The Tohoku region is located in the northern part of Honshu, including Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Yamagata, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures. The region is surrounded by ocean on 3 sides, so visitors can enjoy beautiful coastlines like the Sanriku Kaigan and Matsushima, as well as enjoy fresh and delicious seafood as much as they like.
Aomori Prefecture is located at the northernmost tip of Honshu. Aomori is particularly famous for a summer festival in which huge dolls called ‘nebuta’ and fan shaped lanterns are carried around the city. There is also the Hirosaki area which is famous for the cherry blossoms at Hirosaki Castle, and numerous beautiful autumn foliage viewing spots such as the representative scenic location Towada-ko Lake.
Akita Prefecture is located to the southwest of Aomori Prefecture. Akita is famous for the Kakunodate area which has a street of samurai residences that maintains the appearance of an Edo Period townscape, as well as the Oga area which is famous for a folk event known as ‘Namahage.’ Another recommended location is Nyuto Onsen, which has 7 different kinds of hot springs.
Iwate Prefecture is located to the southeast of Aomori Prefecture. In the Hiraizumi there is the Chuson-ji Temple which has the shining golden Konjiki-do Hall, a true masterpiece of craftsmanship. Iwate also has the Sanriku Kaigan area which includes Jodoga-hama Coast, famous for its caves that reflect light in a brilliant cobalt blue color. There is also the Hachimantai area where you can enjoy various outdoor activities throughout the year.
To the south of Iwate Prefecture is Miyagi Prefecture. The Sendai area is the largest city in the Tohoku region, and is famous for its beef tongue dishes. At Matsushima you can enjoy the scenery of Matsushima Bay; it’s recommended you visit during the spring cherry blossom period.
Yamagata Prefecture is located to the west of Miyagi Prefecture. Ginzan Onsen, where an atmosphere of the Taisho Period remains, is very popular. The Zao area is known for having the most prominent ski resort in Japan, and from January to February the Zao Soft Rime is definitely worth seeing.
Fukushima Prefecture is located in the southern part of the Tohoku region. Fukushima’s most popular areas include the Aizu Wakamatsu region with numerous historical buildings, the Bandai San region which is famous for Goshiki-numa Nature Trail, as well as the Ouchijuku region which was formerly prosperous as an Edo-period (1603-1868) post station.
Although the Tohoku region suffered great damage in the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, many areas have made great progress in reconstruction so visitors can enjoy travelling safely.