The Best of Tohoku: Seasonal Highlights

Northern Japan's Tohoku region comes alive during the four seasons of the year. Follow these recommended things to do in Tohoku to discover a wealth of scenic beauty, historical treasures, traditional culture and local foods. Tohoku has something for everyone and makes for a memorable trip no matter which season you choose to visit.

Tsurugajo Castle

In Aizu-Wakamatsu, besides the majestic Tsurugajo Castle, there are atmospheric streets with buildings, such as old private houses and mansions, and hot springs. It is recommended to take a stroll through the city and its many historical sites.

Zao Snow Monsters

The Snow Monsters of Zao are a rare phenomenon in the world. Known as 'juhyo' in Japanese, the mountaintop-trees at Zao Onsen transform into fearsome 'monsters' around February under heavy snowfall and cover the mountainside. A ride on Zao Ropeway is perhaps the best way to see the Zao Snow Monsters – with evenings bringing a special illumination that is worth braving the cold weather.

The Mogami River in winter

The settled snowfall and crystal-clear air are laid out like a scene from an ink painting – enjoy a scenic cruise all year round down Yamagata's Mogami river.

Oirase Mountain Stream

Witness stunning autumn scenery along the sprawling Oirase stream that travels south from the Hakkoda mountains in central Aomori to Lake Towada.

Tono Furusato Village

A time slip to idyllic rural life.

Chusonji Temple Konjikido (Golden Hall)

A temple covered in gilt that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a highlight of any trip to the Hiraizumi area of Iwate. The mummies of four rulers of this area are laid to rest here.

Matsushima Bay

Encounter views of elegant natural beauty off the coast of Miyagi prefecture, with the sea interwoven with small picturesque islands. Take a boat ride out across the bay for the ultimate experience of one of the Three Views of Japan.

  • Tsurugajo Castle
  • Zao Snow Monsters
  • The Mogami River in winter
  • Oirase Mountain Stream
  • Chusonji Temple Konjikido (Golden Hall)
  • Matsushima Bay

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