Must see attractions in Northern Honshū (Tōhoku)

  • Top Choice

    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…

  • Top Choice

    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…

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    Top Choice

    Risshaku-ji

    The 'Temple of Standing Stones', more commonly known as Yamadera, rests atop a rock-hewn staircase weathered over the centuries by unrelenting elements…

  • Top Choice

    Chūson-ji

    Established in AD 850 by the priest Ennin, the Chūson-ji complex was expanded by the Ōshu Fujiwara family in the 12th century. A total of 300 buildings…

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    Top Choice

    Zuihō-den Mausoleum

    The mausoleum of Date Masamune sits majestically atop the summit of a tree-covered hill by the Hirose-gawa. Built in 1637 but destroyed by Allied bombing…

  • 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…

  • 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 …

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    Konjiki-dō

    Gilded and gleaming up to its eaves, with elaborate lacquerwork and mother-of-pearl inlay throughout, the Konjiki-dō, in the Chuson-ji complex, was at the…

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    Goishi Kaigan

    This 6km scenic stretch of rocky coastline and picturesque beaches around Ōfunato is home to a number of geological attractions, including Ranboya Gorge,…

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    Echigo-Tsumari Art Field

    This open-air gallery was conceived in 2000 as a way to bring visitors to this enchantingly beautiful rural area of green fields and historical wooden…

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    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…

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    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…

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    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…

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    Mōtsū-ji

    Established by the priest Ennin in AD 850 at the same time as Chūson-ji, Mōtsū-ji was once Tōhoku’s largest and grandest temple complex. The buildings are…

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    Saito Family Summer Villa

    Wander the polished wooden floors of this beautifully preserved Japanese summer house built in 1918, a luscious example of turn-of-the-century Japanese…

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    Niigata City Art Museum

    This petite, elegant museum stages interesting temporary exhibitions by Japanese artists and also has a well-curated permanent collection of local and…

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    Nippō Media Ship Sora-no-hiroba

    Visit the observation deck on the 20th floor of this skyscraper for amazing 360-degree views over the Sea of Japan, Niigata city and the distant mountains…

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    Tōno Folktale & Storytelling Center

    Housed in the restored ryokan where Yanagita Kunio penned his famous work Legends of Tōno, this evocative museum has audiovisuals of some of the tales and…

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    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…

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    Jōken-ji

    This peaceful temple is dedicated to the deity image of Obinzuru-sama. Behind the temple is the kappa-buchi pool, where Tōno's famous water sprites lurk…