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Introducing Aomori Prefecture

Aomori-ken, at the curious northern tip of Honshū, is split in the middle by Mutsu, Noheji and Aomori bays, all cradled in the arm of the axe-shaped Shimokita peninsula. Volcano strewn, it has some fantastic onsens and boasts Japan’s biggest apple harvest, its oldest cherry tree and (don’t go kissing anyone!) the most garlic produced. Rather than ward off the dead, Aomori’s people commune with them: Osore-zan, splendidly sulphurous, is famed for its connections to the spirit world. Lake Towada, at the opposite end of the prefecture, puts on airs as Tōhoku’s most popular sight. The world’s longest submarine tunnel (54km) connects Aomori with Hokkaidō. Yet despite all these amazing superlatives, the city and surrounding countryside are quaintly provincial. It’s a fun place, though the more remote areas may require some advance planning...or a car rental.