Experience Tohoku in Winter

Area Map 青森県 岩手県 宮城県 秋田県 山形県 福島県 新潟県

Experience Tohoku in Winter(3days)


Hakkoda trees tour on a ropeway

Hakkoda trees tour on a ropeway
A guide will lead you on a walk through the juhyō.On the way, you can also enjoy the spectacular view of the ice from the Hakkouda Ropeway.Snow monsters, which appear only in winter, are waiting for you.
Fee: 6,600 yen per person (guide fee, snowshoe rental fee, round-trip ropeway ride, and insurance)Meeting place: Hakkoda ropeway base stationMeeting time:【Morning】09:15、【Afternoon】12:45Place:Near the summit of Hakkoda ropeway stationPeriod:January 08, 2022 - March 23, 2022
*Times are subject to change at the discretion of the guide due to weather and other conditions.
Clothing: Warm and waterproof undergarments, snow boots, hat, gloves, etc.Target: Elementary school students and olderMinimum number of participants: 2Note: If the Hakkoda Ropeway is not in operation, the tour will be cancelled. The tour can be changed to the Sukayu Onsen Nature Tour if the customer so desires.

Matsukawa Onsen

Enjoy a secret cloudy bath at Mt. Hachimantai where several inns are located deep in the mountains

Matsukawa Onsen
Matsukawa Onsen is a small hot spring resort located in Hachimantai, which is known for its autumn leaves and winter frost-covered trees, located southeast of Towada-Hachimantai National Park. The hot spring is said to have opened about 280 years ago, and there are three hot spring inns, each of which has a source on the premises.
Drive down a snow corridor and enjoy the colours of skunk cabbage in the spring. Enjoy the refreshing cool breeze and lush trekking in nature in summer. Take in the spectacular scenery where the entire valley is surrounded by primeval beech and oak forests coloured by autumn leaves. And, play winter sports in excellent snow and be amazed by the largest amount of frost-covered trees in Japan. Why not stay at Matsukawa Onsen on Mt. Hachimantai where you can enjoy a variety of seasonal activities? Of course, you can always just drop in for a soak.
Nearby is the Matsukawa Geothermal Power Plant, which started operation in 1966 as Japan's first geothermal power station. The Matsukawa Geothermal Museum is adjacent to the power plant, so you can learn about geothermal power generation through panels and video footage.
There is a steep slope before arriving at Matsukawa Onsen and it is known for its retro four-wheel-drive bonnet bus that operates in the winter because the road freezes and makes driving a regular bus difficult.
A thematic journey in the Tohoku region:Hot springs

Geibikei Gorge

Enjoy the picturesque scenery of this gorge often compared to classical landscape paintings!

Geibikei Gorge
Geibikei Gorge is an officially recognised national natural monument and is listed as one of the 100 greatest landscapes of Japan. A 2km stretch of limestone cliffs rises over 50m on either side of the Satetsu River.
River tours are available through the gorge guided by boatmen propelling their boats with bamboo poles, an experience unique in all of Japan. The boatmen’s traditional singing harmonises beautifully with murmuring streams and adds a particular charm to the tour. Pets are allowed to travel with you on board and passengers can also enjoy feeding the fish swimming elegantly by in the clear waters.
Before returning down the river passengers can get out of the boat at the turning point for a walk along the gorge. The walk features a rock known as the Lion’s Nose, from which the name Geibikei originated, and also a famous cavity in the cliff on the other side of the gorge. Visitors try their luck by throwing “lucky stones” into the cavity in order to make a wish come true!
An elegant tea ceremony is available on the boat while enjoying the seasonal beauty of Geibikei Gorge. Along with the popular springtime views of wisteria flowers, the verdant greens of summer and autumnal leaves attract tourists throughout the year. In winter passengers can enjoy graceful winter snow scenes along the gorge, often compared to Japanese ink brush paintings, while warming themselves in an on-board Kotatsu (a low heated table covered with a quilt) and enjoying a hot-pot meal. Morning tours are recommended when the gorge is especially popular during the autumn foliage viewing season.
Another beautiful gorge in the town of Genbikei is a 40-minute drive from here. Why not combine your visit to Geibikei with a trip to Genbikei and compare their beauty!
A thematic journey in the Tohoku region:Riverside

Ginzan Onsen

This classic hot spring town lined with traditional wooden architecture is full of photogenic nostalgia!

Ginzan Onsen
Travel back in time to classical Japan in Ginzan Onsen! The town is home to wooden hot spring inns lining each side of the Ginzan River and resonates with nostalgic beauty when illuminated at night by gas street lamps. The view reminds visitors of scenes from the famous film “Sprinted Away” by Hayao Miyazaki. Before that the town was used as a location of NHK’s popular TV drama series “Oshin”, a monumental hit of 1983. The night view of the town blanketed in snow beneath the warm streetlights is particularly photogenic during winter.
Walking along the town’s streets visitors will find colourful pictures known as Kote-e on the walls of hot spring inns and snowflake designs on tiles on the roads. Relax your feet in hot spring water rising directly from its source at the “Warashiyu” footbaths along the Ginzan River while exploring the town! The compact town is suitable for strolling around and has a variety of cafes, eateries and gift shops. Classical costumes of the Taisho period can be rented from local shops to enhance the Onsen experience and take visitors back to the time when Japanese arts and culture flourished following exposure to western cultural influences. Why not enjoy strolling around this picturesque town in a chic costume?
The town is covered with deep snow in winter however it is easily accessible via a 3-hour Shinkansen from Tokyo and direct 40-minute bus ride. A relaxing soak in a hot spring surrounded by snowy scenery is an exceptional delight! After a warm hot spring bath, enjoy savouring local specialties including the local Wagyu beef “Obanazawa” and Obanazawa Soba noodles!
Neighbouring natural attractions include Senshinkyo Gorge, a scenic location during the seasons of verdant greens and autumn leaves and the 22-metre vertical drop of Shirogane-no-taki Waterfall.
A thematic journey in the Tohoku region:Hot springs

Yokote Kamakura Festival

Be served with amazake and rice cakes in a lit-up snow shelter

Yokote Kamakura Festival
The Yokote Kamakura Festival is one of the Michinoku Godai Snow Festivals (five major snow festivals of Michinoku). Yokote is one of the areas in Japan’s snow country with the heaviest snowfalls. The Kamakura Festival, held on 15 and 16 February every year, is dedicated to the water deity. During this folk festival, altars are built in snow chambers where children play, drink amazake (sweet fermented rice drink) and grill rice cakes. The festival has a history of about 450 years. 
The Kamakura Festival was originally an event in which money was offered to the water deity enshrined in the altar, and was held to pray for the well-being of families, prosperity of businesses, and good harvests. However, as times changed, it gradually developed to become a tourist attraction and took on its current format. Inside the 100 or so kamakura snow-huts that are erected in the city, children feast on amazake and rice cakes.  
The beauty of the kamakura snow-huts as their silhouettes stand out in relief against the dark night, is magical. We recommend taking a walk through the kamakura venues, starting from the park in front of Yokote City Hall Main Government Office, where the most kamakura are erected, followed by Yokoteminami Elementary School and Janosaki-kawara where numerous mini kamakura can be found, then on to the kamakura built along the old samurai residences, and the kamakura at the illuminated Yokote Castle. 
  • Hakkoda trees tour on a ropeway
  • Matsukawa Onsen
  • Geibikei Gorge
  • Ginzan Onsen
  • Yokote Kamakura Festival

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