Japan Travel Guide
The Yamasa Institute
Edited by: Declan Murphy
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Aomori is a remote, mountainous and primarily rural prefecture at the far northern end of Honshu. Its population has been declining for more than 20 years to less than 1.5 million as young people leave for the work and educational opportunities provided by cities such as Sapporo to the north, and the main cities of Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka etc to the south.
What Aomori lacks in economic rigour, is more than made up for with beauty and tranquility, and a reputation for preserving "authentic" Japanese culture, whatever that might actually mean, in the form of folk music (Tsugaru Jamisen) and dance, and its fascinating matsuri. Aomori is particularly well known throughout Japan for its festivals, especially the Nebuta Matsuri in Aomori City and Neputa Matsuri in the nearby castle town of Hirosaki. Although the population of each city is tiny when compared to those of the south and west, the festivals feature in travel brochures and covered in news bulletins throughout Japan.
Although people have lived here since the Jomon Period, with extensive settlements at places such as Sannai Maruyama, Aomori remains unspoilt. It is noted for its nature, particularly Lake Towada and the Hakkoda mountains, and the hiking opportunities offered by the national parks.
Aomori City hosts the famous Nebuta Matsuri every August (1st to 7th), one of the most famous festivals in Japan. http://www.nebuta.or.jp/ Aomori Nebuta Festival is one of the most famous festivals in Japan and is known as Japan's fire festival.It's held from Aug. 2 to Aug. 7 every year. Over 20 nebuta floats are pulled by people in the streets of Aomori-city. Also,Aomori citizens and audiencesparticipate in the festival as dancers called haneto. To make a nebuta float,wooden bases are built at first, and frames are made with wires. Then, Japanese papers (washi) are glued on the frames.Finally, Japanese historical figures or Kabuki characters are painted on the paper. It takes almost a year to complete a nebuta float from designing the nebuta. See the process. Nebuta parades are taken place in the streets close to the JR Aomori Station. Joining the festival as a hanetois fun. Audiences are free to participate. If you would like, rent or buy the costume of haneto and join the parade. Aomori Nebuta Excutive Committe (6F Akusa-Aomori Building 1-25-9 ChuoAomori-city Aomori 030-0822 TEL 81-17-723-7211 FAX 81-17-723-7215 Aomori Nebuta Festival is one of the three greatest festivals in Tohoku region. The other festivals are Sendai Tanabata Festivaland Akita Kanto Festival. These thee festivals are held during the first week of August. Plan to visit Tohoku region at this time and see the festivals.
Osoreyama Lake Towada is the largest caldera lake in the island of Honshu, Japan. It is located in Aomori and Akita prefectures, and lies 400 meters above sea level. The bright blue color of the lake is due to its depth. The lake is drained by the Oirase river. With a surface area of 62.2 km Towada is Japans 12th largest lake. The lake is a popular tourist destination and the refreshing water attracts many swimmers.
Hirosaki Castle is a 17th century Japanese castle located in Hirosaki city, Aomori prefecture, Japan. It was constructed in 1611 by the local Tsugaru clan. A three-storied castle tower, fortified moats, castle gates and some corner turrets (yagura) survive or have been reconstructed. Hirosaki used to be the political and cultural capital of the Tsugaru Region during the Edo Period, and remains one of the culturally richest cities in the northern Tohoku Region. Hirosaki's main attractions include its castle, samurai district and temples
The surrounding Hirosaki Park is one of Japan's most famous cherry blossom spots. Over a million people enjoy the park 2600 trees during the sakura matsuri (cherry blossom festival) when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, usually during the Japanese Golden Week holidays in the end of April and beginning of May. Hirosaki Castle was built in 1611 by the Tsugaru clan. A three storied castle tower, fortified moats, castle gates and some corner turrets (yagura) survive or were reconstructed. Hirosaki Park, the location of Hirosaki castle, is one of Japan's most famous cherry blossom spots. Over a million people enjoy the park's 2600 trees during the sakura matsuri (cherry blossom festival) when the blossoms are in bloom, usually during the Golden Week in the end of April and beginning of May. Hirosaki Castle is a 10 minute bus ride from JR Hirosaki Station.
The Shimokita Peninsula is the remote northeastern cape of the Japanese island of Honshu, stretching out towards Hokkaido. Administratively the area is a part of Aomori Prefecture. Blakiston line. Tsugaru dialect. monkeys
Shaped like an axe pointing west, the peninsula has a thin "axe handle" connecting the mountainous "axe blade" to mainland. The coasts maintain a thin scattering of population but the interior is practically uninhabited.
Shimokita is best known as the site of Mount Osore, the mythical Japanese location of the entrance to Hell. The lush Yagen Valley, known for its hot springs, is also located in Shimokita, as is the village of Rokkasho, one of the proposed sites of the plasma fusion reactor ITER.
Koganezaki Spa for eternal youth
Tours - The Japan Discovery Tours visit Aomori.
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Opening hours, prices, booking procedures, schedules etc are subject to changes beyond our control. This site is just a guide, and we advise that you always check and confirm in advance. Suggestions, additions and correction of errors are always welcome. Please contact us.
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