Top things to do

Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Shimokita Peninsula

Osorezan-bodaiji

This holy shrine at Osore-zan's summit is a moving, mesmerisingly atmospheric and beautiful place honouring Jizō Bosatsu, protector of children and a much-loved deity in Japanese mythology. It's also said to be loca…
Top Choice Archaeological Site in Aomori

Sannai Maruyama Site

Excavation of this site turned up an astonishing number of intact artefacts from Japan's Jōmon era (10,000 to 2000 years ago), which are on display at the museum here. Clay figures, jade beads and large chestnut pil…
Top Choice Food Hall in Hirosaki

Kadare Yokochō

In the evening, university students flock to this nondescript office building housing eight tiny restaurants, most doubling as bars. It's a lively local hang-out. Hinata-bokko (日向ぼっこ), with the orange noren curtains…
Top Choice Market in Aomori

Shinsen Ichiba

Cut out the middle man and head straight for the famed Aomori seafood market where piles of produce including scallops, codfish, apples, pickled vegetables and many other foods are laid out for restaurateurs to hand…
Parade in Aomori

Aomori Nebuta Matsuri

The Nebuta Matsuri has parades of spectacular illuminated floats, accompanied by thousands of rowdy, chanting dancers. The parades start at sunset and last for hours; on the final day, the action starts at about noo…
Museum in Aomori

Aomori Museum of Art

There are terrific offerings for kids in the fun and quirky pieces by contemporary artists from Aomori Prefecture featured heavily in the permanent collection here. These include pop icon Yoshitomo Nara – and his 9f…
Park in Hirosaki

Apple Park

In season, an excursion to this working orchard in full view of regal Iwaki-san is an ideal family activity. Pick as many apples as you can carry (2kg for ¥200) – they're so good! It's possible to ride bikes here, b…
Cable Car in Hakkōda-san

Hakkōda Ropeway

For anyone wanting a taste of the alpine without having to brave the steep ascent, this scenic ropeway whisks you quickly up to the summit of Tamoyachi-dake (田茂萢岳; 1324m). From there, you can follow an elaborate net…
Seafood in Aomori

Osanai

In a town that knows how to handle a bivalve, Osanai has the stellar reputation among locals for its simple and cheap hotate (scallop) recipes. Located at the beginning of busy Shinmachi-dōri, the menu here includes…
Park in Hirosaki

Hirosaki-kōen

Perfect for picnicking, this enormous public park has been shaped over the centuries by three castle moats, and landscaped with overhanging cherry trees (more than 5000 in total!) that bloom in late April or early M…