The Final Tohoku Itinerary


Whether or not you’ve come right here looking for a complete Tohoku journey itinerary, or are merely looking for common details about Japan’s thrilling northeastern area, you’re in the proper place. I’m excited to share anecdotes and recommendation about my varied Tohoku journeys with you, and to get you as enthusiastic about this underrated a part of Japan as I’ve at all times been.

Likewise, the paragraphs that comply with aren’t particular to anybody season, even when a lot of my pictures depict Tohoku winter journey. As is the case for many different locations in Japan, Tohoku is nothing if not a spot you may take pleasure in 12 months per 12 months.

With out additional ado, let’s dive into the superb area that’s Tohoku, Japan, in all its cultural and pure glory. I’ve a sense you’ll quickly be reserving flights! (Assuming you haven’t executed so already.)

You’ve most likely gleaned from my varied Tohoku journey weblog posts that I’m ambivalent about sure Tohoku motels. That is very true in cities. From Morioka’s Artwork Resort to the Almont Resort in Sendai, it’s very troublesome to tell apart city lodging in a single Tohoku metropolis from one other. (Be aware that this isn’t essentially an issue: All are high-quality and pretty priced, to say nothing of how massive rooms are typically by Japanese requirements.)

Then again, in case your Tohoku journey itinerary takes you to extra rural locations, I believe you’ll be pleasantly stunned by how particular your sleeping quarters can be. A minimum of if you happen to aren’t on a lot of a funds. Whether or not you select Shouan in Miyagi prefecture’s scenic Matsushima Bay, or Meigetsuso within the wooded hills of Yamagata prefecture, it’s not an exaggeration to say that Tohoku’s greatest motels can prices you tens of hundreds of yen per night time!

Widespread Locations to Go to in Tohoku

Miyagi

 

 

 

Sendai is the most important metropolis in Tohoku, and one of the vital generally visited, however I didn’t admire it for an extended whereas. I’m glad I modified my tune. From metropolis heart points of interest like Zuihoden Temple and the Aoba Fort Ruins, to day journeys to wondrous spots like Matsushima Bay, Sendai far exceed something you’re anticipating from a go to there. Miyagi can be the prefecture the place you discover the internet-famous Zao Fox Village, though I’ll be frank: I wouldn’t actually advocate you go to right here.

Aomori

 

 

 

In the event you’re on the hunt for Tohoku cherry blossoms, there’s no place higher to go than Hirosaki Fort (which can be glorious in different seasons, together with winter, as I just lately discovered). Situated in Aomori prefecture about an hour south of Aomori metropolis (which can be very price visiting, particularly if you happen to like Japanese pageant floats or recent apples), Hirosaki Fort is world-famous for the so-called “petal moat” phenomenon, which happens a few week previous the height of the sakura. In most years, this happens over the past days of April or the primary days of Might. If in case you have further time, I’d additionally advocate touring sake-breweries in Hachinohe alongside the Sanriku Coast, or visiting scenic points of interest corresponding to Lake Towada and Oirase Stream.

Akita

 

 

 

One other place with points of interest excessive on my record of issues to do in Tohoku is Kakunodate. Conveniently situated alongside the Akita Shinkansen line, this charming city is stuffed with former Samurai homes and temples, and is very lovely throughout cherry blossom season. After all, it’s solely the start of Akita prefecture, which additionally contains the monster-infested Oga Peninsula, a few of Japan’s greatest ski fields and naturally, Akita Metropolis.

Iwate

 

 

 

Subsequent up on the record of Tohoku journey locations is Iwate, whose capital Morioka is an enthralling riverside metropolis whose humble skyline rises beneath the prefecture’s namesake Mt. Iwate. When you end consuming well-known Jajamen noodles in Morioka metropolis, you may proceed off the overwhelmed path of Iwate, whether or not that entails mountain climbing alongside the scenic Oirase Stream, marveling on the Dragon Eye of Hachimantai, taking a dip at Jodogahama Seaside in Miyako or having fun with a ship tour at Lake Towada, one of many largest and deepest volcanic lakes on Earth.

Yamagata

 

 

 

As I discussed within the intro to this publish with regard to the timing of your Tohoku itinerary, winter is a well-liked time—even if you happen to don’t ski. Which isn’t to say that the snow monsters Mount Zao are the one factor to do in Yamagata prefecture. Cherry blossoms abound in Yamagata Metropolis in spring, whereas precise cherries develop within the city of Sagae ranging from early June. Though Yamadera temple (alongside the Senzan Line again to Sendai) is at its most gorgeous through the autumn, it’s additionally pleasant through the summer season months. Moreover, Yamagata is dwelling to the coastal metropolis of Sakata, an enthralling heart of sake breweries, Geisha tea homes and so few vacationers you’ll really feel prefer it belongs to you!

Fukushima

 

 

 

Fukushima is probably Japan’s most misunderstood prefecture, for causes that must be apparent to you if you happen to had been alive and sentient in 2011. Nonetheless, along with the truth that Fukushima-ken is unquestionably not nonetheless radioactive, it occurs to be a treasure trove for vacationers. I like to recommend basing your self in Aizu-wakamatsu, a citadel city the place you may dine on sauce katsu earlier than venturing to extra distant locations, be they the Ouchi-juku previous avenue, the Goshikinuma five-colored ponds or Tadami Bridge.

The Greatest Time to Go to Tohoku

You’ve most likely observed that my Tohoku journey information focuses rather more on spring and winter than different seasons. Nonetheless, I additionally love visiting Tohoku in autumn and summer season, and I’ll now reference particular locations that make me really feel that method. My favourite autumn colour spots in Tohoku, for instance, embrace Mount Hakkoda in Aomori prefecture and Naruko-kyo Gorge within the wilds of Miyagi prefecture.

You say you’re planning a Tohoku itinerary for the summer season? Lots of my favourite summer season locations in Tohoku is definitely situated a stone’s throw from my favourite winter ones. Certainly, Tohoku hosts as many summer season hikes because it does alternatives for winter snowboarding, my favorites of which embrace Mount Iwaki in Aomori prefecture and Mount Iide, which truly straddles three prefectures.

 

Different FAQ About Tohoku Journey

What’s Tohoku identified for?

In common tradition, Tohoku is sadly identified primarily for the 2011 Nice East Japan Earthquake, and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Catastrophe. For vacationers, nevertheless, Tohoku is called a wonderland of snow monsters (Mt. Zao), onsen (Tsuru No Yu) and ski slopes (in Akita, Niigata and elsewhere), in addition to underrated cities like Sendai, Morioka and Aomori.

Is Tohoku secure?

Tohoku is without doubt one of the most secure locations in Japan, which is without doubt one of the least harmful international locations on this planet even in its most “harmful” reaches. Whereas there’s at all times the danger of an earthquake anyplace in Japan, the possibilities of a robust or definitely catastrophic one befalling you’re minimal. Likewise, except you propose to hang around within the small nuclear exclusion zone, there isn’t a threat of radiation from Fukushima.

How far is Sendai from Tokyo?

Sendai is about 90 minutes from Tokyo by Shinkansen. ANA affords a few each day NRT-SDJ flights, which take lower than an hour, however these are impractical given how lengthy it takes to get from central Tokyo to Narita Airport—it’s sooner simply to take the practice!

The Backside Line

In the event you weren’t excited to plan your Tohoku itinerary earlier than you arrived right here, chances are high that you’re now. Relatively than telling you exactly the place to go or what to do, my aim with this web page has been to encourage you, and to stoke your curiosity for digging deeper into this underrated, wealthy area. This isn’t to say you may’t assemble a whole journey utilizing the data I’ve shared—you completely can. Then again, if you happen to would slightly fact another person (particularly me) to sweat the main points, fee a customized Japan itinerary at the moment.

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