Tohoku

Tohoku

Traditionally retains a reputation as a remote region with a harsh climate, today’s Tohoku offers the traveller some of the breathtaking scenery and its tourism became a major industry. In winter, the region of the western Japan Sea coast has some of the highest snowfall figures in the world, which also means great skiing and lots of hot springs to warm up in. Tohoku also has many castles and medieval residences, making it a good place to take in some history. It also serves as a good backup plan for cherry blossom viewing, since the trees blossom a few weeks later here than they do in other regions in Japan.

Tohoku

Akita Aomori Fukushima Iwate Miyagi Yamagata
Akita Aomori Fukushima
Iwate Miyagi Yamagata

Akita

Akita Prefecture is situated in the northeastern part of the Japanese Honshu main island. The western side faces the Sea of Japan and has abundant flowing rivers, flatlands, and expanses of grain growing on fertile farmlands. High mountains, such as Mount Akita-Komagatake and Mount Hachimantai, surround the northern, southern and eastern sides. The inland areas are blanketed with heavy snowfalls in the winter.
Akita City is the prefectural capital and is best used as a staging point for visits to Kakunodate, Lake Tazawa-ko or the Oga-hanto Peninsula.

Cape Nyudo-zaki
Oga-hanto Peninsula juts out for about 20 kilometers and is worth visiting to see the contrasts between its rugged coastline and grassy slope …  more »
Nature
Lake Tazawa-ko
Lake Tazawa-ko is a classic caldera lake with a mystic atmosphere.
The circular lake with about 20 kilometers of circumference is surrounded  …  more »
Nature
Mount Akita-Komagatake
Located in the east of Lake Tazawa-ko, Mt. Akita-Komagatake is an active volcano that last erupted in 1970.
The mountain is 1,623 meters abov …  more »
Nature
Oga Aqauarium GAO
Oga Aqaualium GAO is a ship-shaped aquarium located on the Oga-hanto Peninsula.
It is the biggest aquarium in the Tohoku region, contains mor …  more »
Entertainment
Senshu Park (Kubota Castle Ruins)
Senshu Park marks the site of the now-ruined Kubota Castle of the Satake clan.
Kubota Castle was originally built in 1604 by Satake Yoshinobu …  more »
HistoryPark / Garden
Tamagawa Onsen Hot Spring
Tamagawa Onsen Hot Spring is located between Lake Tazawa-ko and Hachimantai Plateau.
This hot spring resort, 41 kilometers north of Lake Taza …  more »
Spa / Hot spring

Kakunodate, Akita

Kakunodate is a small town with its well-preserved Samurai district and avenues of cherry trees. You can cover the main sights in a few hours or devote a lazy day to browsing around town. There are half a dozen Samurai houses open to the public along the main streets of the town.

Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum (Kakunodate Rekishi-mura Aoyagi-ke)
Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum is a well preserved Samurai house of Aoyagi family.
Yakui-mon Gate, the main gate to the manor built in 1860, is  …  more »
HistoryMuseum / Gallery
Kakunodate Cherry-bark Craft Museum (Kabazaiku Densho-kan)
Kakunodate has been famous for its Kabazaiku (cherry-bark craft) products since the Edo Period (1603 – 1868).
Kabazaiku is the traditional Ja …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Kakunodate Samurai House Museum (The Kawarada Manor)
The members of the Kawarada family were hereditary vassals to the Ashina clan and Satake clan.
The family’s manor has maintained its traditio …  more »
HistoryMuseum / Gallery
The Ishiguro Manor
Ishiguro family was one of the most prestigious Samurai clans in Kakunodate as a high-ranked retainer of the Satake clan.
The Ishiguro Manor  …  more »
History

Aomori

Aomori Prefecture is situated on the northernmost tip of Honshu mainland facing Hokkaido, with Tsugaru Strait in between. The Ou Mountains that run from north to south divide the prefecture, thus forming very different climates in the east and the west—lots of snow on the Sea of Japan side and low temperatures even in the summer on the Pacific Ocean side.
The city of Aomori is located at the base of the Tsugaru-hanto Peninsula, and is the political, economic, and cultural center of the prefecture of which it is the capital. Aomori has a history as a port town, but is continuing to develop as a modern city.

A-Factory
A-Factory is a complex facility located right in front of JR Aomori Station.
The facility, opened in 2010, consists of apple-based workshops  …  more »
Food / Shopping
Aoi Umi Park
Aoi Umi Park is located next to Aomori Port, and you can enjoy walking around with a scenic view of Mutsu Bay.
It is a good place to walk alo …  more »
Park / Garden
Aomori City Foresty Museum
Aomori City Foresty Museum was built in 1908 and originally housed the Aomori Foresty Office Building.
The building was built mainly of Aomor …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Aomori Contemporary Art Centre
Taking “Art and Nature” as their main theme, the “Artist in Residence” program is the focus of Aomori Contemporary Art Centre (ACAC).
Under t …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Aomori Fresh Fish and Vegetable Center
Aomori Fresh Fish and Vegetable Center is a traditional market site located near JR Aomori Station.
Visitors can make their own custom rice b …  more »
Food / Shopping
Aomori Museum of Art
Aomori Museum of Art was established in harmony with Sannai Maruyama, as it sits adjacent to the Jomon Period historical site, and its distin …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Aomori Prefectural Folk Museum
Aomori Prefectural Folk Museum comprehensively introduces Aomori prefecture’s nature, history, culture, and apples by using movies, models an …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Aomori Prefecture Tourist Center ASPAM
ASPAM is a tourist facility located in the 76 meters tall unique-shaped building which symbolizes “A”, the initial letter of “Aomori”.

It i …  more »

EntertainmentFood / Shopping
Apple Hill (Michi-no-Eki Namioka)
Apple Hill (Michi-no-Eki Namioka) is an apple-themed roadside rest area located in Namioka, Aomori City.
Aomori’s famous apples and food prod …  more »
Food / Shopping
Asamushi Aquarium
Asamushi Aquarium is one of the largest aquarium in the Tohoku region, which keeps over 500 species of aquatic animals, such as penguins, sea …  more »
Entertainment
Ken Tsuneda Dozou of Atelier Museum
Ken Tsuneta was born in Aomori and spent his whole life as a “farmer artist”, an apple farmer and painter.
The 100-year-old Dozou storehouse  …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Lake Towada-ko
Lake Towada-ko is a double caldera lake formed by a volcanic eruption 200,000 years ago.
The circumference of the lake is 46 kilometers and s …  more »
Nature
Medieval Museum (Chusei-no-Yakata)
The museum was constructed by the descendants of the feudal lord of Aomori, Chikafusa and Akiie Kitabatake.
The museum exhibits the goods exc …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Memorial Ship Hakkoda-Maru
Seikan Renrakusen was a JR’s ferry service which ran between JR Aomori Station and JR Hakodate Station.
The service was ended when Seikan Tun …  more »
HistoryMuseum / Gallery
Michinoku Traditional Wooden Boat Museum
Michinoku Traditional Wooden Boat Museum is Japan’s largest fish boat museum with around 200 fishing boats on display, including a collection …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Mount Hakkoda-san
Mt. Hakkoda-san consists of several peaks, including Mt. Odake and Mt. Akakuradake, and is home to pristine wildlife.
It takes on different f …  more »
Nature
MOYA Hills
MOYA Hills is an outdoor recreation complex where you can take part in various activities throughout the year with the panoramic view of Aomo …  more »
Entertainment
Munakata Shiko Memorial Museum of Art
Aomori Prefecture is proud of Shiko Munakata, a native of Aomori and world-famous woodblock printmaker.
Munakata Shiko Memorial Museum of Art …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Namioka Exchange Center APPINESS
Namioka Exchange Center APPINESS located right next to JR Namioka Station is a new cultural exchange center where there is something for visi …  more »
Food / ShoppingMuseum / Gallery
Nebuta House Wa-rasse
Nebuta House Wa-rasse was opened in 2011 on the waterside of Aomori Station.
Here, you can learn all about the culture and history of Nebuta  …  more »
Food / ShoppingMuseum / Gallery
Nebuta-no-Sato
Nebuta-no-Sato is a large pavilion displaying huge Nebuta floats and a Hirosaki Neputa floats.
The facility displays the process of making a  …  more »
Entertainment
Sanfuri-Yokocho
Sanfuri-Yokocho is a small street with many traditional style food stalls decorated with hanging paper lanterns all stood in a row.
In a nost …  more »
Food / Shopping
Sannai-Maruyama Site / Komakino Site
Sannai Maruyama Site is one of the largest Jomon ruins excavated in 1992.
The recent discovery of the Sannai Maruyama Site revolutionized ex …  more »
History
Seiryu-ji Temple (Showa-Daibutsu Great Buddha)
Sriryu-ji Temple is known for having Japan’s largest seated bronze statue of the Nyorai (or Dainichi) Buddha built in 1984.
The statue of Gre …  more »
History
Sukayu Onsen Hot Spring / Jogakura Onsen Hot Spring
Hakkoda is one of the major hot spring areas in Aomori Prefecture.
Sukayu-Onsen Hot Spring, opened during the Edo era (1603 – 1868), is know …  more »
Spa / Hot spring
Yu-sa Asamushi
Asamushi-Onsen hot spring area has a history of nearly 1,200 years, but still offers a moment of luxury even today.

At this roadside rest a …  more »

Food / ShoppingSpa / Hot spring

Fukushima

Fukushima Prefecture, situated at the southern part of the Tohoku region about 200 kilometers from Tokyo, is the third largest prefecture in Japan. While being close to the nation’s capital, traditional Japanese culture still exists there. It is an industrial prefecture with the total value of goods shipped being the highest in the Hokkaido and Tohoku regions.

Aizu Folk Museum
Located next to Hideo Noguchi Memorial Hall, Aizu Folk Museum displays articles and tools used by the local people of pre-modern days or in t …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Aizu Hanko Nisshin-kan
Aizu Hanko Nisshin Kan is an open-air historical museum, established in 1803 as an educational institution for the Aizu Clan.
Children in Aiz …  more »
HistoryMuseum / Gallery
Aizu Higashiyama Onsen Hot Spring
Aizu Higashiyama Onsen is a quiet hot spring resort located in the suburb of Aizu-wakamatsu City.
The hot spring is said to have been discove …  more »
Spa / Hot spring
Aizu Hongo-yaki Museum / Kama-no-Misato Iwatate
Aizu-Misato is known as the oldest pottery town in the Tohoku region.
It developed as a supplier of roof tiles and daily pottery ware to the  …  more »
Food / Shopping
Aizu Sake Historical Museum (Aizu Shuzo Rekishi-kan)
Aizu Sake Historical Museum demonstrates the process of sake brewing using a model.
The making of shochu, a Japanese distilled beverage, can  …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Aizu Samurai Residences (Aizu Buke-yashiki)
Aizu Buke-yashiki shows what the Samurai lifestyle used to be like in the medieval times.
It is a reconstruction of Saigo family’s residence, …  more »
HistoryMuseum / Gallery
Aizu Sazae-do
Aizu Sazae-do is a temple noted for its unique, turban shell shape.
It was constructed by Priest Ikudo in 1796 and designated as a national  …  more »
History
Ansho-ji Temple
Ansho-ji Temple was founded in 1422.
The temple’s original wooden building was burnt down by a large fire in 1880 and the present black-and-w …  more »
History
Byakkotai Memorial Museum
Byakkotai, which means white tiger, was a group of teenage warriors organized in the Aizu domain for the Boshin Civil War (1868 – 1869).
Byak …  more »
HistoryMuseum / Gallery
Fukushima Museum
Fukushima Museum stands in the northeast of Tsurugajo Castle.

The museum displays many historical materials and cultural legacies related  …  more »

Museum / Gallery
Ganjo-ji Temple
Ganjo-ji Temple, established in 1227, is famous for its 2.41-meter tall Great Buddha, called “Aizu Daibutsu”.

Looking closer, you will noti …  more »

History
Goshikinuma Swamps
Located in Bandai-Asahi National Park, Goshikinuma Swamps, or five-colored swamps are so named because each of the swamps shows a delicately  …  more »
Nature
Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Hall
It is located in the northeast part of Lake Inawashiro.
Dr.
Hideyo Noguchi was an internationally famed medical scholar as well as a man of g …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Kitakata Lacquer Museum (Kurayashiki Azumasa)
Kitakata Lacquer Museum is located in the shopping facility called “Kurayashiki Azumasa”, which uses the renovated Kura storehouses and forme …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Lake Hibara-ko
Lake Hibara-ko, 40 kilometers in circuit, is the largest lake in Ura-Bandai.
The lake is picturesque with jagged shorelines and numerous isl …  more »
Nature
Lake Inawashiro-ko
Lake Inawashiro-ko, 55.32 kilometers in diameter and 93.5 meters in depth, is the 4th largest lake in Japan.
The clarity of the lake’s water …  more »
Nature
Mitsuya Village (Wakana family's Storehouse)
Mitsuya is famous for their characteristic storehouses built in the Meiji (1868 – 1912) and Taisho (1912 – 1926) Periods.
These brick storeh …  more »
History
Mount Iimori-yama
Mt. Iimori-yama is famous as the burial place of the Byakkotai.
The Byakkotai were a group of young warriors who died tragically in defense o …  more »
HistoryNature
Oyaku-en Garden
Oyaku-en Garden was originally the site of the Aizu clan’s mansion.
The name “Oyaku-en (medical herb garden)” came from the fact that the sec …  more »
HistoryPark / Garden
Shingu Kumano-jinja Shrine
Shingu Kumano-jinja Shrine was established in 1089.
Its Nagatoko Hall, 44 wooden columns stand on a long and wide hall with no wall, was a tr …  more »
History
Tenkyo-kaku
Tenkyo-kaku is located in the northwest part of Lake Inawashiro.
The Renaissance architectural style building constructed in 1908 was once a  …  more »
History
The World Glassware Hall in Inawashiro
Located in kitty-corner from Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Hall, the World Glassware Hall displays over 25,000 items of the finest world glass coll …  more »
Food / ShoppingMuseum / Gallery
Tsuruga Castle (Wakamatsu Castle)
Tsurugajo Castle was originally built in 1384 and was called Kurokawa Castle at that time.
In 1591, Gamo Ujisato constructed the seven-story  …  more »
HistoryMuseum / Gallery
Yamatogawa Sake Brewing Museum
Yamatogawa Shuzo is a long-established Sake brewery in Kitakata opened in 1790.
They show a part of their old factory complex open to the pub …  more »
HistoryMuseum / Gallery

Iwate

Iwate Prefecture, which boasts the largest land area among Japanese prefectures, is situated in the northeastern part of the Japanese main island, with its eastern side facing the Pacific Ocean. North of the coastline are cliffs eroded by the sea, and beach dunes. On the south is a saw-toothed coast with many inlets, revealing various contrastive scenery from the north to the south.

Chuson-ji Temple
Chuson-ji Temple is the head temple of Tendai sect of Buddhism in the Tohoku region.
The temple was originally established by the priest Enni …  more »
History
Hachimantai Plateau
Further south from Lake Towada-ko is the mountain plateau region of Hachimantai, which stretches both in Akita and Iwate.
Hachimantai is popu …  more »
Nature
Hoon-ji Temple
Hoon-ji Temple was established in Sannohe by Nanbu Moriyuki in 1394 and moved to the current location by Nanbu Toshinao in 1601.
The temple i …  more »
History
Japanese Garden at Morioka Central Public Hall
Morioka Central Public Hall was used to be a ruling Nambu Clan’s villa during the Meiji Period (1868 – 1912) and the Taisho Period (1912 – 19 …  more »
HistoryPark / Garden
Jodogahama Beach
On the north of Miyako Bay, one of the largest fishing ports in Iwate Prefecture, spreads Jodogahama beach.
The colors of blue ocean, white i …  more »
Nature
Kamaishi Dai-Kannon
Kamaishi Dai-Kannon is a big statue of Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) constructed in 1970.
You can go inside the 48.5 meters tall statue which ove …  more »
Others
Kami-no-Hashi Bridge
Kami-no-Hashi Bridge, which crosses over the Nakatsu-gawa River, was constructed together with Morioka Castle by Nanbu Toshinao in 1609.
The  …  more »
History
Kitayamazaki Cliffs
Kitayamazaki features 8 kilometers long, 200 meters high cliffs along the Sanriku-kaigan Coast.
The cliffs are also called “Alps of the sea”  …  more »
Nature
Koiwai Farm
Koiwai Farm was opened in 1891 as Japan’s largest privately owned ranch covering 3,000 hectares at the southern foot of Mt. Iwate.
You can vi …  more »
Entertainment
Miracle Pine Tree
The lone pine tree is called “Miracle Pine Tree” because it was the only one left standing after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami that  …  more »
HistoryLandmark
Morioka Castle Ruins (Iwate Park)
Morioka Castle was constructed by Nanbu Nobunao in 1598.
Unlike other Japanese castles, the castle had no Tenshu-kaku central tower to show a …  more »
HistoryPark / Garden
Morioka History and Culture Museum
Morioka History and Culture Museum is based on the concept of “Morioka Castle and castle town field museum”.
It preserves and exhibits materi …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Ryusen-do Cave
Located at the foot of Mt. Ureira-san, Ryusen-do Cave is one of the three largest stalactite grottoes in Japan.
The cave is over 3,100 meters …  more »
Nature

Miyagi

Miyagi Prefecture is situated in the northwestern part of Japan, facing the Pacific Ocean. With Sendai, the capital city, in the center, it is flanked to the south by the Abukuma-gawa River, and to the east, by the Kitagami-gawa River. On the coastal side, intricate shorelines twist to the north while warm beaches extend southward from Matsushima. Along the western inland is a stretch of stunning 1,000 meter-high mountains, the Zao range.
Miyagi, with these elaborate geographical characteristics, has much to attract visitors. These include, but are not limited to, Matsushima, known as one of the three most beautiful sites in Japan, Zao with its rich natural environment, and the Minami Sanriku Kinkasan Quasi-National Park that leads to the saw-toothed Rikuchu-kaigan Coast.

Akiu Onsen Hot Spring
Akiu Onsen is an old hot spring town located along the upper reaches of the Natori-gawa River.
The surrounding area of this town is blessed w …  more »
Spa / Hot spring
Hiyoriyama Park
Hiyoriyama Park sits on a gentle hill in Ishimaki City.

From the park at 56 meters high above the ground, you can see the the panoramic vie …  more »

Park / Garden
Matsushima
Matsushima is one of the Nohon-Sankei (Three Views of Japan), along with Ama-no-Hashidate in Kyoto and Miyajima in Hiroshima.
You can enjoy t …  more »
Nature
Michinoku Date Masamune History Museum
Date Masamune was the Daimyo (territorial lord) who reigned the Ou region (today’s Tohoku region) in medieval times.
The museum recreates the …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Sendai Castle Ruins (Aoba Castle Ruins)
Sendai Castle, or also called Aoba Castle, was built on the Aoba-yama Hill by Date Masamune in 1602 .
Since then, the castle was the residenc …  more »
HistoryMuseum / Gallery
Sendai Kaleidoscope Museum
Sendai Kaleidoscope Museum is an experience-based museum displaying various kinds of kaleidoscopes, from the unique to the mysterious, the an …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Shiogama-jinja Shrine
Shiogama Shrine stands on a wooded hill in the city center of
Shiogama.
The shrine, said to have been established before the Heian period (7 …  more »
History
Zao Heart Land
Zao Heart Land is a 1,000,000-square-meter farm located in the Nanokahara highlands.
You can touch the rabbits, sheep, cows, and goats living …  more »
Entertainment
Zuigan-ji Temple
Zuigan-ji Temple is the most representative Zen temple in the Tohoku region and is also the family temple of the Dates, being originally rebu …  more »
History

Yamagata

Yamagata Prefecture is situated on the westernmost part of the Tohoku region, and has, since long ago, been an important marine transportation spot with developed routes on the Sea of Japan. Many cities in the prefecture, such as Yamagata, Shinjo, Tsuruoka and Yonezawa, have a long history, and naturally there are many historical temples, shrines and other sights to be found.

Homma Museum of Art
Homma Museum of Art displays items owned by the Honma family.
The family, who lived in the Sakata area, was one of the wealthiest landowner f …  more »
HistoryMuseum / Gallery
Kaminoyama Castle
Kaminoyama Castle was originally constructed by Takenaga Yoshitada, a retainer of the Mogami clan, in 1535.
The castle’s donjon was built in  …  more »
History
Kaminoyama Onsen Hot Spring
Kaminoyama Onsen flourished as an inn town in the Edo Period (1603 – 1867) and was one of the three famous hot spring resorts in the Tohoku r …  more »
Spa / Hot spring
Ken Domon Memorial Hall
Ken Domon Memorial Hall located in Iimoriyama Park contains 70,000 photographs of the renowned Japanese photographer, Ken Domon.
The memorial …  more »
Museum / Gallery
Lina World
Lina World is the largest amusement park in the Tohoku region.
There are attractions such as roller coasters, a Ferris wheel with Hello Kitty …  more »
Entertainment
Mogami-kyo Gorge
Boat tours are operated through the Mogami-kyo Gorge on a section of the Mogami-gawa River between Sakata and Shinjo.
It is harmless fun comp …  more »
EntertainmentNature
Risshaku-ji Temple (Yama-dera)
Risshaku-ji Temple, or also called Yamadera, was constructed in 860 by Ennin (Jikaku Daishi) as a branch of Enryaku-ji Temple in Mt. Hiei-zan …  more »
History
Tobi-shima Island
Located 39 kilometers northwest from Sakata City, Tobi-shima Island is a small island, with a circumference of some 10.2 kilometers and 2.7 s …  more »
Nature
Yamagata Castle Ruins (Kajo Park)
The 350,000 square meters Kajo Park is the site of the former Yamagata Castle.
There are restored Yamagata Castle’s Ninomaru Higashi-Otemon g …  more »
History
Zao Ropeway
Zao Ropeway takes you to the summit of 1,736 meters high Mt. Jizo, where the statue of Zao Jizoson, a guardian deity for pregnancy and childc …  more »
Nature
Zenpo-ji Temple
Zenpo-ji Temple with its five-story pagoda and large gateway was originally established in 951 to dedicate to the Dragon King, guardian of th …  more »
History

Notes

Entertainment Entertainment Food / Shopping Food / Shopping History History
Landmark Landmark Museum / Gallery Museum / Gallery Nature Nature
Park / Garden Park / Garden Spa / Hot spring Spa / Hot spring Others Others