Welcome to Aomori
In the upper reaches of Japan's main island is the quiet prefectural capital of Aomori (青森), with a very pleasant harbourfront area near the train station. The wilds of Hokkaidō draw many travellers here for a brief stopover, but the savvy wanderer will use it as a base for exploring this vastly under-visited prefecture. Aomori's most famous draw is its Nebuta festival, in August, but the rest of the time the city maintains a sleepy seaside feel. It's sunny and delightfully cooler than most of Japan in summer, but winter here is an icy, frigid state of affairs.