With its borders resembling a crown and an axe, this symbol is seen on its flag. Known for its laid-back lifestyle, natural landscapes and volcanic mountain ranges, join the exciting Nebuta summer festival in Aomori with a list of interesting things to do in this prefecture.
1. Mt. Iwaki
Mount Iwaki stands out in Aomori as the highest point. The snow-capped stratovolcano with three peaks is located within the area of the Tsugaru Quasi-National Park. One route some people might go through is the Mt. Iwaki Skyline, a toll road with twists and turns and a chair lift bringing you up to the peak. A great way to view the mountain is from the Hirosaki Castle along with the cherry blossom trees.
Address: Hirosaki 036-1343, Aomori Prefecture
Website: Mt. Iwaki
2. Hakkoda Mountains
An epic range of volcanic mountains, the Hakkoda Mountains consist of sixteen mountains with Mount Odake as the tallest peak. A great way to get to the summit is to take the Hakkoda Ropeway which holds up to 101 passengers. The Hakkoda General Information Center and the Sukayu Onsen Information Center are located around the area to serve information about the mountain, the area, and Aomori prefecture.
Website: Hakkoda Ropeway
3. Juniko Lakes
Located in the Tsugaru Quasi-National Park are the Juniko Lakes, otherwise known as Twelve Lakes. One of the most outstanding and beautiful ponds is the mysterious Aoike Pond, which has a bright cobalt colored tint to the water. The reason of this is still unknown, thus the mystery. One can look deep into the water to see withered beech trees submerged within.
Juniko Lakes (Japanese)
Address: Matsukami, Nishitsugaru-gun, Fukaura-machi 038-2206, Aomori Prefecture
Website: Juniko Lakes (in Japanese)
4. Fujita Memorial Garden
Named after its first owner, Fujita Kenichi, a local businessman, the Fujita Memorial Garden was built in 1919 in a traditional Japanese garden setting. The upper section has a traditional Japanese house, and the lower section has a tea ceremony house. At the entrance to the garden is a small archeology museum and a Western house with tearoom from the Taisho era.
Fujita Memorial Garden
Address: 8-1 Kamisirogane, Hirosaki, Aomori Pref 036-8207
Website: Fujita Memorial Garden
Seiryū-ji is a temple founded by Ryūkou Oda who built the Showa Daibutsu, known as the Big Buddha. It is the tallest sitting Buddha in Japan. There are numerous pinwheels along the tree-lined pathway to the Buddha. It is said that the wheels are placed by parents whose children had died or by mothers who miscarried their child. The temple is accessible with handicap friendly electric carts.
Address: 45 Kuwabara, Aomori 030-0935
Website: Seiryū-ji (in Japanese)
6. Sannai-Maruyama site
A site with the largest ruins of a traditional village. The Sannai-Maruyama site dates back from 4,000 years ago. One of the most amazing discoveries is a large building made with pillars sunk into the ground. The discovery showed that people were able to possess high-level construction techniques, even at that time. The area is best visited around summer time.
Address: 305 Sannai Maruyama, Aomori 038-0031
Website: Sannai-Maruyama site
7. Towada Art Center
Located between Hachinohe and Lake Towada is the Towada Art Center. A contemporary art museum in Towada City which represents the city efforts to be known as a “City of Art”. The museum and artworks are in harmony with its surroundings, resembling the symbiosis of nature and cityscape. The unique structure of the museum consists of multiple buildings connected by glass corridors, making the area an exhibition in itself.
Towada Art Center
Address: 10-9 Nishi-Nibancho, Towada-shi, Aomori, Japan
Website: Towada Art Center
8. Nebuta house Warasse
Experience the epic Aomori Nebuta Festival even if you’ve missed it. Since the festival only runs for one week (from Aug 2) one can witness it at the Nebuta house Warasse. Get to know the history behind the festival and the floats where five permanent Nebutas are exhibited. Join in the Haneto dance along with a live performance from the Hayashi musicians and feel the spirit of the festival!
Nebuta house Warasse
Address: Aomori-shi Bunka Kankou, Kouryuu Shisetsu, Aomori-shi Yasukata 1-1-1, 030-0803
Website: Nebuta house Warasse
9. Aomori Museum of Art
Located next to the Sannai-Maruyama site, the structure of the Aomori Museum of Art was inspired by the archaeological excavation site. The display spaces are dug into the earth instead of being built above ground. The modern art museum permanently displays outstanding works, such as the Aomori-Ken dog statue from the pop artist, Nara Yoshitomo.
Aomori Museum of Art
Address: 185 Chikano, Yasuta, Aomori City, Aomori 038-0021
Website: Aomori Museum of Art
Located in Hirosaki Park is the reconstructed Hirosaki Castle. Surrounded by a multitude of beautiful cherry blossoms, it was rebuilt after an originally five-story castle which was burnt down in a lightning strike. The only castle tower in the Tohoku area rebuilt in the Edo Period, it now stands at 3 stories high. Many people now flock over to see the cherry blossom festival in April. Check out this tour with a local guide and fall in love with the beautiful cherry blossom trees.
Private Cherry Blossom Tour in Hirosaki with a Local Guide
Duration: 6 hours
Axe or crown? How about both!
Visit the cities within the Shimokita Peninsula, the axe-shaped area in the northeast, or the regions of the crown, Tsugaru, and Nanbu. Or visit the whole of Aomori and absorb the best parts of the prefecture. Experience the nature, art, wonder, and excitement in all of Aomori.
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