Historical and cultural tour of the Jomon and Heian periods (2 days)

Area Map 青森県 岩手県 宮城県 秋田県 山形県 福島県 新潟県

Historical and cultural tour of the Jomon and Heian periods (2 days)

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Day1
 
 
 
 
 

Aomori Gyosai Center Nokkedon

Pile on as many of your favourite toppings as you want for a delicious heaping of Wagamamadon

Aomori Gyosai Center Nokkedon
The Aomori Gyosai Center is located close to Aomori Station, with Aomori Bay spreading out before you. Locally known as Furukawa Market, it is a lively market and the kitchen for citizens. It is an indispensable part of local lives. Not only can you purchase various items at the market, such as fresh seafood caught in the morning of that day, meat, vegetables, and processed goods, but you can also enjoy Nokkedon, a rice bowl filled with your favourite toppings. This is the ultimate Wagamama rice bowl that allows you to fulfill your heart's desires, whether you want to eat a small portion of different toppings or want to have both seafood and meat.
[How to make Nokkedon](1) Purchase Nokkedon meal tickets from the information office. (Set of 10 tickets: 1,500 yen/Set of 5 tickets: 750 yen)(2) Exchange the tickets for donburi rice at any stand with a red sign. (Standard serving: 1 ticket/Large serving: 2 tickets)(3) There are over 30 shops where you can exchange your tickets for your favourite toppings, such as sashimi, deli foods, and meat(4) Your original donburi is complete! Enjoy it at a rest area in the market!As many of the toppings are raw, you cannot take the donburi home with you. If you buy sashimi at a fish shop, they will prepare it to be taken home.
 
 

Asamushi Onsen

Enjoy stunning sunset views at this hot spring resort on Mutsu Bay!

Asamushi Onsen
The scenic local “Aoimori Railway” line connects Aomori and the hot spring town of Asamushi Onsen. The free foot bath outside Asamushi Onsen station welcomes visitors with an exhilarating introduction to their Onsen experience. The Onsen town consists of two areas: the east side is a traditional hot spring town while the west side is a beach resort facing the sea.
With its narrow alleys lined with traditional hot spring inns and eateries, the eastern part of town displays the unchanged scenery of the old hot spring town. Here visitors can poach their own eggs in the hot spring waters at the “Onsen egg place” and the nearby drinking fountain is said to be beneficial for digestion. Other attractions on the east side are Asamushi Onsen Forest Park, recognised as one of Japan’s best 100 forest bathing locations and Asamushi Aquarium known for its popular dolphin performances.
Ocean lovers can enjoy bathing, windsurfing, yachting and fishing at the artificial sandy beach “Sunset Beach Asamushi” on the west side of town. The nearby Michi-no-Eki “Yusa Asamushi” is a roadside station offering a large hot spring bath with a panoramic view of Mutsu Bay. The luxury hotels lined along the Mutsu Bay coast offer popular modern hot spring resort experiences, the perfect place to enjoy a spectacular sunset view!
The clear hot spring water is pure, odourless, smooth to touch and moisturising on the skin. Along with promoting beautiful skin, the water is said to be beneficial for neuralgia, rheumatism, backache and a range of other ailments.
Day2
 

Lunch at around JR Ichinoseki station

Ichinoseki’s Historic Mochi Cuisine

Lunch at around JR Ichinoseki station
Ichinoseki city in Iwate and the surrounding area has a long history of Mochi (sticky rice cake) thanks to the region’s crops of excellent sticky rice. The locals say that over 300 varieties of Mochi dishes are available in the region including “Mochi Honzen” dating back to the Edo period when the Date clan ruled the region. Honzen cuisine is a formal meal served on a personal tray and “Mochi Honzen” is a multi-course meal with a variety of Mochi dishes prepared in a ritualised style. A wide range of Mochi dishes are available including sweets, savoury side dishes and fusion dishes combining Mochi with international cuisine.  

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Motsuji Temple

Free your mind in this temple’s peaceful garden known as Buddha’s Paradise

Motsuji Temple
Motsuji Temple is a designated UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site along with nearby Chusonji Temple in Hiraizumi. The beautiful Japanese garden and ancient religious buildings are officially recognised both as a historic site and as a place of exceptional scenic beauty.
The priest Ennin originally founded the temple and the construction of the temple complex was done during the 2nd and 3rd generations of Oshu Fujiwara clan.
The beautiful Japanese garden representing Buddha’s Paradise is breath-taking. Visitors can enjoy the Pure Land Garden, a popular garden style of the Heian period with its unique landscape design techniques, surrounding the central Oizumi-ga-ike pond.
The peaceful garden fascinates visitors with its beautiful seasonal flowers and is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Many people come here during the Iris Festival in early summer and the “Hagi” Japanese Bush Clover Festival in early autumn. For those wanting a deeper Buddhist experience, the temple offers Zen meditation sessions and Buddhist sutra transcription courses introducing participants to Japanese Buddhism.

Thanks to the flat nature of the location the temple is easily accessible. Lifts and accessible toilets are available in the temple buildings for the seniors and families with children.
A thematic journey in the Tohoku region:Okuno Hosomichi・The History of Michinoku
 

Chuson-ji Temple

A World Heritage temple complex featuring a dazzling golden hall

Chuson-ji Temple
Chuson-ji Temple in Hiraizumi was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011 as an important location of Pure Land Buddhism. Along with the renowned golden hall “Konjikido”, the temple offers many highlights including Benkeido Hall, Yakushido Hall and Hondo (Main) Hall.
The great priest Ennin originally founded Chuson-ji Temple in 850. From the early 12th century the founder of the Oshu Fujiwara clan, Kiyohira, began construction of the temple complex with halls and pagodas calling for peace through the teachings of Buddha. Kiyohira undertook the construction to honour the family he lost during the local wars of the period. Thanks to the abundance of locally mined gold, Hiraizumi flourished for 100 years during the reign of the four generations of Fujiwara clan. One of the earliest designated National Treasures, Konjikido demonstrates the craftsmanship of that period including mother-of-pearl inlay work, openwork and lacquer work. Visitors can learn about the local history and prosperity of the Oshu Fujiwara clan at the Sankozo Museum, a treasure house of precious cultural properties representing Eastern Japan’s Buddhist arts.
The temple is enchanting throughout the year in harmony with springtime cherry blossoms, verdant summer greens, colourful autumn leaves and snowy winter scenes.
The town offers several services to get around Hiraizumi. The sightseeing bus “Run-Run” travels between Hiraizumi’s popular sights including Chuson-ji and Motsuji Temples, both 20 minutes from JR Hiraizumi station. Bike rentals are available at the cycling station “Rin-Rin” located near the station. Contact the tourism centre at the station for further information.
A thematic journey in the Tohoku region:Okuno Hosomichi・The History of Michinoku
 
 
GOAL
  • Aomori Gyosai Center Nokkedon
  • Asamushi Onsen
  • Motsuji Temple
  • Chuson-ji Temple

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