Aomori

Aomori (青森県; -ken) is the prefecture directly to the north of Akita. It is in the Tohoku region of Japan.

Festivals

Aomori is most famous for its Nebuta, Neputa and Tachi Neputa festivals. They are held in Aomori city, Hirosaki city and Goshogawara city respectively. The Neputa festival is held every year from August 2nd-7th, Neputa from August 1st-7th, and Tachi Neputa from August 4th-8th.

Onsen

  • Furofushi Onsen (不老不死温泉)
〒038-2327 青森県西津軽郡深浦町大字舮作字下清滝15
A natural onsen resort built right into the west coast of Aomori. All of their baths face the Sea of Japan, and their outdoor mixed bath offers a great view of the sunset. If you stay overnight here, you can also explore the Shirakami Mountains and many of the other attractions in the area during the day.
☎ 0173-74-3500
Website (English)
  • Sukayu Onsen (酸ヶ湯)
It is known for its sen nin buro (千人風呂) or "1,000-person bath", a large mixed gender public bath.
〒030-0111 青森県青森市荒川南荒川山国有林酸湯沢50番地
☎ 0177-38-6400
Website (Japanese)

Hachinohe City

Hachinohe (八戸) is a pretty lively city on the Pacific coast just above Iwate. There are plenty of things to do, things to eat, and places to see.

Accommodations

  • Super Hotel Hachinohe (スーパーホテル八戸)
    青森県八戸市長横町12-22
    ☎ 0178-24-9000
    This is probably the cheapest game in town. Average cost of just about ¥3,000 per person. Rooms are kind of small, but there is a shower and breakfast is included.

Eat/drink

  • Jazz bar Flat (フラット) is a great little bar with live music and reasonably priced drinks. The bonus here is one of the owners is named "Japanese Nick" due to his resemblance to Nicholas Cage. They also have a pretty decent food menu.
    青森県八戸市三日町27中央ビルB1F フラット
    ☎ 0178-44-3898
    Bar Flat Website(Japanese)
  • Hasshoku Centre (八食センター) is a famous fish market.

Do/See

  • Cross Space shelter. A decent club in the city. Check ahead of time for DJ events. 八戸市十三町16 cino B1F
  • Kabyshima shrine (蕪島神社) - Home to 40,000 sea gulls located on the bay-side. There is a festival there on the 3rd Sunday of every April.

Hirosaki

Hirosaki is one of the major cities closest to Akita. It takes about 30-40 minutes from Odate and accessible even during winter (no mountain roads to drive through).

Eat/drink

  • PePe Kitchen (ペペキッチン) has some very good solid burgers, wings and pub food offerings. Their fries (or potato wedges) are just as tasty and they rotate their specials from time to time. If you need a juicy all beef burger, don't miss this. Great selection, friendly staff, and good service.
    〒036-8097 青森県弘前市大字稲田2丁目1−1
    ☎ 0172-55-9266
  • Happy Café (ハッピーカフェ). They have quite a bit of pizza offerings as well as plenty of topping options. Variety is the name of the game here, though quality is a bit lacking and service was less than stellar. The décor is decked out in wall-to-wall Babymetal merchandise and posters. You might want to go here if PePe's next door is packed or closed, but don't expect a great pizza or pasta.
    〒036-8097 青森県弘前市大字稲田2丁目1−13
    ☎ 0172-55-6650

Do/See

  • Hirosaki Castle. While the castle isn't anything to write home about, the park itself is very scenic. Boasting of one of the top 10 spots for cherry blossom viewing in Japan, you can also see some great seasonal festivals as well as the beautiful fall leaves during autumn.
    〒036-8356 青森県弘前市大字下白銀町1
  • Mount Iwaki is easily seen as you're entering Hirosaki. It is the highest mountain in Aomori prefecture. Hike-able and climbable, though not easily, you can also find a shrine there as well. It's worth trying to catch pictures of it around winter time to catch the peaks when they're snow-capped. Some have compared Mt. Iwaki to Mt. Fuji as "it's younger sibling."
    〒036-1343 青森県弘前市大字百沢東岩木山

Shopping

  • Sakurano mall is the popular mall in Hirosaki, especially because it houses an Aeon Cinema with many American movies and concert live viewings. You can also find a Starbucks right outside the mall as well as a McDonald's, game center, bowling, karaoke, and an onsen/hotel on the 4th floor.

Accommodation

  • Hirosaki Youth Hostel (ひろさきユースホステル)
    11 Mori-cho, Hirosaki-shi, Aomori-ken
    青森県弘前市森町11
    Cost: ¥ 3,045
    ☎ 0172-33-7066
    Homepage (English)

Inakadate village

Tambo Art in Inakadate

Do/See

  • Rice paddy art (田舎館村の田んぼアート)
    Every year a different picture is planted into rice fields by using 4 different coloured rice plants. Make sure you get there before City Hall (which looks like a castle) closes and view the fields for free. Best viewing time is from late August to September.
    Homepage

Goshogawara

See also

Akita JET Travel Guide
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