Northern Honshū (Tōhoku)

Stretching out above Tokyo is the fabled Tōhoku (東北; Northeast) – starring Miyagi, Yamagata, Iwate, Fukushima, Akita and Aomori Prefectures – where ice monsters and river imps inhabit the imagination (but hopefully not the onsen). Hugging the west coast is Niigata Prefecture, a skiing and hiking wonderland that also includes the rugged and remote island of Sado-ga-shima.

Three national parks, alternating between thick mountain forests, stark volcanoes and coastal marshes, offer year-round outdoor pursuits, while the spectacular caldera lakes of Tazawa-ko and Towada-ko welcome summertime pleasure-seekers. Stylish Sendai is the pick of the prefectural capitals for those seeking an uncomplicated urban fix.

Feudal-era remnants are present in numerous places – Hiraizumi and Kakunodate being the most historically notable – and traditional cultures are alive and well.

This region suffered greatly in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and some coastal areas along the glorious Sanriku Kaigan, in particular, will welcome your visit as they continue to rebuild.

Explore Northern Honshū (Tōhoku)

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Northern Honshū (Tōhoku).


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