In Honshu’s most northern region, just below the Island of Hokkaido is Aomori. The nature surrounding Oirase Stream is one of the most famous locations for fall foliage. Shirakami Sanchi, one of the largest virgin forests is home to rare plants and animals, protected by the Japanese people. During the winter, Hirosaki Castle illuminates the night with a fairy tale-like scenery during the Snow Lantern Festival; during the spring, Hirosaki Castle becomes one of Japan’s most beloved and popular hanami (flower viewing) locations. And of course, the Rice Paddy Art of Aomori puts its rice farmers on the map, easily seen by trains in vivid images ranging from traditional art to modern pop culture.

What To See