The sprit of nature in the north
The northern tip of Tohoku and the boundary between the known and unknown Japan.
People have long been drawn to Aomori Prefecture’s otherworldly powers. From the pristine waters of Lake Towada to the last surviving virgin beech forest of Shirakami-Sanch or the sulfurous hellscape of Mount Osore. It’s a place where you can strongly feel the spirit of nature.
Hot springs abound in Aomori. They are an important source of restoration for those traveling north from the main island of Honshu to wild Hokkaido (which lies practically within touching distance across the Tsugaru Strait). Rent a car if you can, it’s the best way to stumble upon Aomori’s therapeutic secrets.
Aomori through the seasons
The seasons are Aomori’s showcase. In spring, cherry blossom petal-filled moats around Hirosaki castle look like liquid bubblegum, while in autumn the valley between Towada and Oirase is a kaleidoscope of reds, golds, and browns.
During winter, you’ll spot wild snow monkeys bathing in the volcanic waters to warm up. In the summer, you can commune with the dead through blind mediums known as itako at the sacred Osorezan (Mount Osore) on the Shimokita Peninsula, also known as “Fear Mountain.”
The prefecture’s capital city is Aomori, a modern hub that offers convenient access to the rest of the region. Catch the famous Nebuta Festival, one of Japan’s biggest festivals. Giant floats are paraded through the streets along with dancing, drumming, drinking, and other typical festival revelries.
Aomori City is also a good place to hear tsugaru-jamisen, a virtuoso style of playing the three-stringed shamisen instrument. You can catch the ferry to Hakodate in Hokkaido from Aomori Port in about four hours.
5 Famous Foods You'll Find in Aomori
If you haven’t had your fill of fresh food yet, wandering the backstreets and shorelines of Hachinohe is a must. Beyond local fare, the city has some seriously fun nightlife.
Plan your trip to Aomori with the locations below!