Discover a Past Japan in Tohoku

The Tohoku region of northern Japan has a proud history. Follow these recommended spots to gain insight into Tohoku's past, through historical events, old residential areas and discovering where traditional arts and crafts are still being made via techniques that have stood the test of time.

A: Esashi-Fujiwara Heritage Park

This is a theme park where you can experience the history and culture of Tohoku of about 1000 years ago. It is also used frequently for the filming of historic dramas, and you can experience wearing the costumes from that time.

B: Motsuji Temple Zazen experience

Take up the challenge of the Buddhist practice to calm the waves of emotion and to unify the spirit.

C: Iwachu Tekkikan Museum

Experience the much loved solid taste and warmth conveyed by the use of nanbu ironware.

D: Morioka Wanko Soba

How many bowls of bite-sized soba noodles can you eat? Dig into Morioka's famous food tradition of Wanko Soba by taking Japanese 'all-you-can-eat' culture to the next level. Azumaya Honten, in the heart of Iwate's capital, is one such famous shop where you can try this exciting experience. Great for groups and—of course—fans of soba noodles. Can you reach 100 bowls? Find out more about Tohoku's love of noodles.

E: Tsugaru Traditional Crafts Center / Tsugaru Kokeshi Doll Museum

See, touch and experience the traditional crafts of Tsugaru.

F: Namahage Museum

The highlight of the Namahage Museum is the line-up of 100 "namahage" figures — a local traditional performing art. You can also experience trying on a version of the costume yourself!

G: Akita City Folklore and Performing Arts Center

Akita's "kanto" bamboo poles are a vibrant symbol of the city, with its annual Kanto Festival a known highlight on the summer festival circuit. In reality, trying kanto out for yourself is a bit less straightforward, but that's exactly what you can do year-round at the Akita City Folklore and Performing Arts Center. Experience what's it like to lift and balance the poles, which resemble ears of rice, with their hanging lanterns. They are traditionally used to pray for a plentiful harvest.

H: Mototaki Waterfall

A mysterious waterfall where groundwater is gushing from the mossy rocks.

  • A: Esashi-Fujiwara Heritage Park
  • B: Motsuji Temple Zazen experience
  • E: Tsugaru Traditional Crafts Center / Tsugaru Kokeshi Doll Museum
  • F: Namahage Museum
  • G: Akita City Folklore and Performing Arts Center
  • H: Mototaki Waterfall

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