Region
Tohoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Aomori
Population
1,475,635

Aomori

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 City

The summer Nebuta festival in Aomori city features giant floats parading through the street at nighttime.

The summer Nebuta Festival i in Aomori city features giant paper floats parading through the street at nighttime.

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.

5 Famous Foods You'll Find in Aomori

Aomori Food composite
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.

Half of the nation’s apple stock is produced in Aomori, and there are apple-related products everywhere across the prefecture. The apple juice is ridiculously good and you might find it a challenge to stop yourself from scoffing a kininaru ringowhole baked apple pie in one go. Besides apples, Aomori has a few more famous delicacies, including horse meat!

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.

Aomori through the seasons

Autumn Colors of Oirase River, located in Aomori Prefecture Japan

See the beautiful autumn colors along Aomori’s Oirase River.

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.”

Plan your trip to Aomori with the locations below!

Trivia

Aomori Food composite

5 Famous Foods You'll Find in Aomori

Food for the soul during the tough winter, from milky ramen to senbei soup.

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Places to visit

Resort Shirakami

Resort Shirakami

Covered by the JR Pass, this picturesque train ride takes you on a journey through Japan’s most untouched prefectures.

Hachinoe Sansha Taisai - Floats (14)

Hachinohe Sansha Taisai Festival

When the streets turn into the ultimate Japanese variety show.


What are Tengu?

Nebuta Festival

Cool off in Aomori this summer and dance among giant floats at Japan’s most iconic festival.

Mount Osore of Aomori, Japan

Mount Osore

A bewitching natural underworld, hidden at the tip of Aomori.


Hakkoda Mountains

Powder snow and the bath of 1,000 bathers.

Hirosaki Castle

Five ways to view cherry blossoms at northern Japan’s favorite sakura-viewing park.


Aomori Food composite

5 Famous Foods You’ll Find in Aomori

Food for the soul during the tough winter, from milky ramen to senbei soup.

Jodogahama Beach in Iwate.

Michinoku Coastal Trail

Hike alongside the Pacific Ocean and witness the beauty and scars of Tohoku.


Shirakami-Sanchi in Aomori Prefecture

Shirakami Sanchi

Your dream hike awaits!

Hachinohe

The doorway to Aomori. The city with a little bit of everything.


Tatehana Wharf Morning Market

Wake up early to catch freshly caught fish and local food and goods in Aomori's second-largest city.

Lake Towada

Lake Towada

Get ready to paddle in this big blue puddle!


Furukawa Fish Market

A local culinary experience: Make your own “Nokke-don” with the freshest seafood in Northern Japan.

Oirase Stream

Oirase Stream

30 reasons to waterfall in love.


Sea Moss Near Kabuto Rock At Senjojiki

Senjojiki Beach

For wanderers and adventures, this rugged locale is vital.

Aomori city Nebuta festival giant float

Aomori City

How do you like them apples?

Other Destinations in Tohoku

Godzilla Rock Oga, Akita Japan

Akita

The best way to enjoy Akita is simply to go outside and be among it. Watch out for Godzilla though.

Ouchijuku in Fukushima, Japan.

Fukushima

Don't miss out on this boundless, breathtaking natural landscape.

Genbikei Gorge

Iwate

The local people say that Iwate is a place where you forge your own path. Take their advice and enjoy this re-emerging—and rewarding—destination.

Hitome Senbon Zakura in Miyagi, Japan.

Miyagi

With vibrant Sendai at its core, Miyagi makes the ideal base for exploring the remote corners of Tohoku.

Yamadera Temple in Yamagata is a good hiking and autumn spot in Japan.

Yamagata

Winter is coming. But so is spring, summer and fall at this rewarding year-round destination.

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