Aomori is a prefecture located in the northern part of Japan's main island, Honshu. It is known for its beautiful natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and unique festivals. Here are some key details about Aomori:
- Geography: Aomori Prefecture is situated at the northern tip of Honshu, facing the Tsugaru Strait and Hokkaido. It is characterized by rugged coastlines, picturesque mountains, and abundant forests.
- Capital: The capital city of Aomori Prefecture is Aomori City, which serves as the gateway to the region.
- Natural Beauty: Aomori is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, including the Hakkoda Mountains, Lake Towada, and Oirase Gorge. The Tsugaru Peninsula and Shimokita Peninsula offer dramatic coastal scenery.
- Hirosaki Castle: Hirosaki Castle, located in Hirosaki City, is one of Japan's twelve original castles. It is particularly famous for its beautiful cherry blossoms during spring.
- Nebuta Festival: Aomori is famous for its Nebuta Festival, one of Japan's most spectacular summer festivals. Elaborate illuminated floats, known as "nebuta," are paraded through the streets, accompanied by traditional music and dancing.
- Aomori Apple Orchards: Aomori is Japan's leading producer of apples. You can visit apple orchards in the region and enjoy freshly picked apples and apple-related products.
- Seafood: Aomori is known for its seafood, including delicious scallops, squid, and the famous Aomori Bay sea urchin. The region's cuisine reflects its coastal location.
- Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival: In addition to Hirosaki Castle, the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival is a major attraction. The park surrounding the castle is illuminated at night during the cherry blossom season, creating a magical atmosphere.
- Lake Towada: Lake Towada is a stunning crater lake located on the border between Aomori and Akita Prefectures. Visitors can enjoy boat rides and hiking trails around the lake.
- Aomori Prefectural Museum: This museum in Aomori City offers insights into the region's history, culture, and natural heritage. It's a great place to learn about Aomori's traditions.
- Aomori Bay Bridge: The Aomori Bay Bridge is an iconic modern landmark in the city. It provides excellent views of Aomori and the surrounding area.
- Onsen (Hot Springs): Aomori has numerous natural hot springs (onsen) where you can relax and rejuvenate while enjoying beautiful landscapes.
- Land of Apples: Aomori is often referred to as the "Land of Apples" and is the largest producer of apples in Japan. The prefecture is known for its delicious and high-quality apple varieties.
- Nebuta Festival: The Aomori Nebuta Festival is one of Japan's most famous festivals. It features enormous illuminated floats, or "nebuta," that are paraded through the streets during August. The festival attracts millions of visitors each year.
- Hirosaki Castle: Hirosaki Castle is a picturesque and well-preserved castle known for its beautiful cherry blossom park. It is one of the few remaining original castles in Japan.
- Lake Towada: Lake Towada is a stunning crater lake located at a high elevation in Aomori. It is known for its clear blue waters and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
- Tsugaru Shamisen: Aomori is famous for the Tsugaru shamisen, a traditional Japanese musical instrument. The region is known for its skilled shamisen players who often perform at local festivals.
- Mount Hakkoda: Mount Hakkoda is a volcanic mountain range in Aomori known for its scenic beauty and outdoor activities. It is a popular destination for hiking and skiing.
- Aomori Bay Bridge: The Aomori Bay Bridge is an iconic modern landmark in Aomori City. It's a cable-stayed bridge that provides stunning views of the city and the bay.
- Ainu Culture: Aomori has a significant connection to Ainu culture, the indigenous people of northern Japan. The region has several Ainu museums and cultural sites.
- Traditional Tsugaru Dialect: Aomori Prefecture is known for its distinctive Tsugaru dialect, which is quite different from standard Japanese. It reflects the region's unique cultural identity.
- Tuna Fishing: Aomori is known for its tuna fishing industry. The Tsugaru Strait, which separates Aomori from Hokkaido, is a prime location for catching tuna.
- Hakkoda Snow Monsters: During winter, the Hakkoda Mountains are known for the phenomenon called "snow monsters." The trees become covered in heavy snow and ice, creating surreal, otherworldly shapes.
- Aomori Gyosai Center: Sample and purchase local Aomori products, including apples, seafood, and crafts, at the Aomori Gyosai Center.
- Hirosaki Castle: Explore the beautiful Hirosaki Castle, especially during the cherry blossom season when the park surrounding the castle is in full bloom.
- Aomori Nebuta Festival: If you visit in August, don't miss the Aomori Nebuta Festival, where you can witness the incredible illuminated floats and traditional performances.
- Lake Towada: Enjoy the serene beauty of Lake Towada, surrounded by lush forests and offering boat rides and hiking opportunities.
- Tsugaru Peninsula: Discover the scenic Tsugaru Peninsula with its rugged coastline, charming fishing villages, and stunning views of the Sea of Japan.
- Mount Hakkoda: Hike or ski in the Mount Hakkoda area, known for its beautiful landscapes and outdoor activities.
- Aomori Bay Bridge: Walk or drive across the Aomori Bay Bridge to enjoy panoramic views of the city and bay.
- Aomori Museum of Art: Explore contemporary and traditional Japanese art at the Aomori Museum of Art, known for its unique architecture.
- Aomori Prefecture Tourist Center ASPAM: Visit ASPAM, a distinctive triangular building that serves as a tourist center with great views and exhibitions about Aomori.
- Ainu Culture: Learn about Ainu culture at places like the Ainu Museum in Shiraoi Village and the Sannai-Maruyama Site in Aomori City.
- Aomori Port: Stroll along Aomori Port, which features shops, restaurants, and a maritime museum where you can learn about the region's fishing industry.
- Hakkoda Ropeway: Take a ride on the Hakkoda Ropeway to enjoy breathtaking views of the Hakkoda Mountains and the surrounding area.
- Aomori Hot Springs (Onsen): Relax in Aomori's hot springs (onsen) to unwind and rejuvenate while surrounded by natural beauty.
Must Eat / Try
- Aomori Seafood: Don't miss out on the wide variety of fresh seafood, including squid, mackerel, sea urchin, and more. Try it as sashimi or sushi for a truly authentic taste of Aomori's coastal cuisine.
- Nokkedon: Aomori's version of seafood rice bowls, nokkedon features fresh seafood such as sea urchin (uni), scallops, and ikura (salmon roe) atop a bed of rice.
- Aomori Apples: Start your culinary journey with the famous Aomori apples, known for their crisp texture and sweet flavor. You can find them in various forms, from fresh apples to apple pies and desserts.
- Jappa-Jiru: This hearty soup is made with miso broth and local ingredients like root vegetables, konnyaku (devil's tongue jelly), and tofu. It's perfect for warming up on cold Aomori days.
- Kaiyaki Miso: Kaiyaki miso is a unique Aomori dish that consists of grilled, buttered, and miso-slathered scallops. It's a savory and flavorful seafood treat.
- Hachinohe Senbei-jiru: A local specialty from Hachinohe City, this soup features senbei (rice crackers) soaked in a savory broth. It's a comforting and unique dish.
- Ika Senbei: Aomori is known for its dried squid snacks, called ika senbei. These thin, crispy squid sheets are a popular local snack.
- Hotate (Scallops): Aomori is famous for its high-quality scallops, which can be enjoyed grilled, as sashimi, or in various seafood dishes.
- Aomori Garlic: Aomori is one of Japan's largest garlic-producing regions. Try dishes featuring locally grown garlic, such as garlic ramen or garlic buttered corn.
- Nanbu Tekki: Enjoy a meal cooked in traditional ironware known as Nanbu Tekki. This style of cooking imparts a unique flavor to dishes.
- Hittsumi: Hittsumi are Aomori-style dumplings made with a flour-based dough and filled with various ingredients like miso, vegetables, and meat. They're often served in a hot pot.
- Kuroishi Neputa: These black sesame seed-flavored cookies are a popular Aomori souvenir. They are shaped like the colorful lantern floats used in the Kuroishi Neputa Festival.
- Aomori Wagyu Beef: While not as famous as Kobe beef, Aomori's wagyu beef is known for its marbling and tenderness. Savor it as sukiyaki or yakiniku.
Must Eat / Try
Every kind of seafood you found
Must Drink / Try
At least stop here for short time and try some fresh fish.