Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Shimokita Peninsula

Osorezan-bodaiji

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...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Aomori

Aomori Museum of Art

Aomori Museum of Art

Looking like a modernist sculpture, the geometric white facade of the Aomori Museum of Art was designed to blend in with the landscape when blanketed with snow. The permanent collection features works by Aomori...

Top ChoiceFood 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...

Top ChoiceMarket in Aomori

Shinsen Ichiba

Cut out the middle man and head straight for the famed Aomori seafood market, where piles of fresh catch – as well as apples, pickled vegetables and a variety of other produce – are laid out for restaurateurs to...

Parade in Aomori

Aomori Nebuta Matsuri

Aomori's 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...

Archaeological Site in Aomori

Sannai Maruyama

Sannai Maruyama

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...

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...

Gardens in Hirosaki

Fujita Memorial Garden

The former home and garden of the wealthy Fujita family, this beautiful example of a manicured Japanese garden is the second largest in Tōhoku. Meandering around its many ponds, waterfalls and bridges is a...

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. Apple-picking tours leave every 30 minutes during the harvest season. It's possible to ride bikes here,...

Park in Hirosaki

Hirosaki-kōen

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...

Seafood in Aomori

Osanai

In a town that knows how to handle a bivalve, Osanai has a stellar reputation among locals for its simple and cheap hotate (scallops). The menu includes marucchi tsumire soba (dumplings made from apple and...

Parade in Hirosaki

Hirosaki Neputa Matsuri

Giant illuminated floats parade through town, accompanied by flutes and drums for every night of Hirosaki's famed Neputa Matsuri. The festival is considered to signify ceremonial preparation for battle,...

Pub in Hirosaki

Robbin's Nest

This is an excellent Japanese rendition of a British pub. It's intimate and there's no cover charge (except sometimes when bands are playing), frequent live music, Guinness on tap and a few tables on the outside...

Arts & Crafts in Hirosaki

Tanaka

Find beautiful examples of boldly coloured tsugaru-nuri (lacquerware from the Tsugaru region) at this elegant store. Even if you're not looking to buy (prices are high) it's worth stopping in to admire the...

Coffee in Hirosaki

Cembalo

Hirosaki's students head to Cembalo to sip strong coffee and munch on cinnamon and honey toast while they type ostentatiously on their laptops. Light and bright, with friendly staff, it's a perfect break from...

Cultural in Shimokita Peninsula

Osore-zan Taisai

These two annual festivals attract huge crowds of people, who come to consult itako (mediums) in order to contact deceased family members.

Buddhist Temple in Hirosaki

Chōshō-ji

A 10-minute walk southwest of the Hirosaki-jō ruins brings you to an atmospheric temple district redolent of feudal times. At the top of the hill, Chōshō-ji comprises the oldest wooden building in Aomori...

Sushi in Shimokita Peninsula

Kaikyōsō

The bright-green building housing Kaikyōsō looks more like a hardware store than a purveyor of fine raw fish, but don't be fooled: you're in the exact right place for fresh tuna. Try the maguro-don (tuna sashimi...

Chinese in Aomori

Jūkei

Walking down Shinmachi-dōri from the station, turn left on Zeimusho-dōri (before the Alpha Hotel). Walk towards the water, and on your left you'll find this refreshingly down-to-earth Chinese diner serving ramen,...