Tohoku, often referred to as Japan’s deep north, receives the heaviest snowfall in all of Japan (Hokkaido included) and yet its people are still some of the warmest. The countryside of Tohoku is still unknown to most foreign visitors and yet it boasts some of the most stunning scenery, and best places to view cherry blossoms in the country. Here are some must experience highlights for those looking for an unforgettable trip to northern Japan.
Yamagata prefecture's ancient temple, Yamadera (literally mountain temple) offers stunning vistas no matter the season and is considered to be one of Japan’s most beautiful temples. Those determined enough to climb the 1,000 steps to the summit will be rewarded with an unforgettable sight and luxury travelers can check into nearby Ginzan Onsen for a relaxing soak at days end. Visitors to Yamagata can also experience an authentic geisha performance outside of Kyoto which is not to be missed.
Learn More: http://en.tohokukanko.jp/yamagata
Stroll the Samurai City of Aizu-Wakamatsu in Fukushima prefecture. The famed Tsuruga castle and surrounding gardens are a must for any traveler, especially during cherry blossom season. Enjoy an authentic tea ceremony in the tea house on the castle grounds or visit one of the many nearby samurai residences for a real dose of Japanese history. After a day of exploring, retire in luxury at the Aizu-Higashiyama resort.
Learn More: http://e.samurai-city.jp/
Miyagi prefecture is a foodie paradise that most travelers are missing out on. If the famous Matsushima oysters don’t bring you running, the overabundance or restaurants on Sendai’s Jozenji-dori definitely will. While you’re in Sendai, be sure not to miss a trip to the Nikka Whisky Distillery to sample the award winning Japanese whisky.
Learn More: http://sendai-travel.jp/
Although Hirosaki Park in Aomori Prefecture is beautiful year-round, it’s absolutely spectacular to experience during cherry blossom season. The park boasts over 50 different types of cherry blossoms and because it lies so far north, you can see them as late as the end of April/early May. If you want to fully experience Japanese nature, venture east to the Oirase area and hike or bicycle through lush green forests past stunning streams and waterfalls. Relax in luxury at the Hoshino Oirase Keiryu Hotel to complete your trip.
Learn More: http://www.en-aomori.com/
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