Travel through the natural beauty of Tohoku!
All About Japan Thai Site Editor
Where would you like to venture off to in Japan? Classy Tokyo? The bustling shopping areas of Osaka?
As you might have guessed, the large cities of Japan are indeed popular. However, there are plenty of treasures to find that no one knows about in Tohoku. There are many things to do, eat and see that are only possible in Tohoku.
Ancient temples covered in luscious green moss, the beautiful natural scenery that cannot be held in one's hand, experiencing festivals that have been going on for hundreds of years, the countless foods and traditional crafts.
Not only can you find beautiful nature in Tohoku, but there you can also enjoy the interactions with the people there and their kindness, the wonderful atmosphere and food. Not to mention, there is the famous Shinkansen which makes for easy access. I cannot recommend it enough to everyone, from novices to experienced travellers.
Your trip in Tohoku will definitely be an unforgettable experience.
Stretching approximately 14km from Kabushima Island to Hashikami is a coastline which consists of various types of terrain such as desolate rocky and sandy beaches as well as pine groves. The Tanesashi Natural Lawn is a key example of the scenery here, consists of a natural lawn that stretches down to the beach, you'll feel incredibly liberated. The various seasonal flowers shift in color from early in the summer to the fall. It is designated as one of Japan's places of scenic beauty.
|Location||Tanakubo, Samemachi, Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture|
|Phone||0178-46-4040 (Hachinohe City Tourism Section)|
|fee||Free to tour|
Mt. Hashikami is a mountain that reaches a height of 739.6m and is located on the border of Aomori Prefecture and Iwate Precture. In the neighboring Obirakitai, natural azalea flourishes causing the area to become lively with mountain climbers around the end of May to the beginning of June which is the best time for viewing. Beyond the vivid pink colors of the flowers blooming, you can get a spectacular view of Hachinohe. There is a walk path from here to the mountain summit which can be covered in approximately 30 minutes.
|Location||Obirakitai, Hashikamitake, Hashikami, Sannohe District, Aomori Prefecture|
|Phone||0178-88-2875 (Hashikami-cho Industry Promotion Division)|
|fee||Free to tour|
A dynamic coastline composed of 200m palisades, large and small strange rock formations formed through erosion caused by harsh waves, oddly-shaped stones and caves that stretch approximately 8km. It possesses beauty that can be seen not only during sunny days with clear skies but even on days with rainy weather, creating a scenic view with palisades shrouded in a haze that takes your breath away. The 736 steps stairway from the observation area to the bottom of the cliffs allows you to reach the beach at the bottom.
|Location||Kitayama, Tanohata, Shimohei District, Iwate Prefecture|
|Phone||0194-33-3248 (Tanohata Tourist Information Center)|
|fee||Free to walk|
Counted as one of Japan's three large limestone caves, it is designed as one of the country's natural monuments. The total length of the known parts inside the cave reaches 3,600m. 700m of it is open to the public. The stalactites formed through an endless history and one of the world's clearest deep cavern lakes, you can truly experience the wonders of the Earth. There is also a space that appears in the shape of a heart along the way.
|Location||1-1 Kannari, Iwaizumi, Shimohei District, Iwate Prefecture|
|Phone||0194-22-2566 (Ryusendo Cave Office)|
|Hours open to visitors||8:30AM-5PM *Depends on season|
|fee||Adults: 1,000 yen|
A picturesque scenery that represents Miyako. Its name comes from a Priest Reikyo, a Buddhist priest who lived during the Edo period who said “It's just like Amida paradise.” Sharply-pointed white rhyolite huddled together, the green pine trees, the white color of the rocky surface and the ultramarine color of the ocean creates a beautiful contrast. This changes with the seasons and in the winter you can see the landscape covered in blankets of snow.
|Location||Hitachihama, Miyako, Iwate Prefecture|
|Phone||0193-62-2111 (Miyako Ports and Harbor Division)|
|fee||Free to tour|
The Goishi Coast stretches approximately 6km southeast along the Massaki Peninsula which protrudes out into the Ofunato Bay. Board one of the small fishing boats and cruise around the coast to see the cliffs with large and unusual rock formations while occasionally getting showered by the waves to get the full experience. It is said that one will find happiness by going through Anatoshiiso, a location with three holes that were formed through erosion caused by the waves. Reservations are required by the day before for groups.
|Location||Ohama, Massakicho, Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture|
|Phone||0192-29-2359 (Goishi Coast Information Center)|
|Hours open to visitors||9AM-3PM during Golden Week in May, and from June to November|
|Closed||No holidays during period *Operation may stop on days of poor weather|
|fee||2,000 yen per person (operated for more than 2 persons)|
A tour train that runs along the coast on the Sanriku Railway's Kita-Rias line from Kuji to Miyako. In the train cars, passengers can enjoy the tatami-style interior and kotatsu heated tables built into the floors. The specially selected seafood reserved bento lunchbox is also popular, and you can enjoy explanations given by attendants who are dressed in the fashion of the Ama woman shell divers. The time spent taking in the beautiful view from the window while enjoying your lunchbox can be an exceptional experience. Seats on the train can be reserved from 1 month in advance.
|Location||From Kuji, Iwate Prefecture to Miyako, Iwate Prefecture|
|Phone||0193-62-8900 (Sanriku Railways Passenger Services)|
|Hours open to visitors||Saturdays, Sundays from end of April to October, operating on holidays. Inquiries: 9AM-6PM|
|fee||Section rates plus 310 yen for assigned seats|
A shrine located halfway up Mt. Kinka, an isolated island which can be found at the tip of the Oshika Peninsula. The shrine was built as a form of celebration when gold was first produced in Japan approximately 1,270 years ago, is believed to be the god of economic fortune and bringing good luck. It is said that those who visit the shrine for 3 years will never experience issues with money for the rest of their lives, causing many to visit this shrine.
|Location||5 Kinkasan Ayukawahama, Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture|
|fee||Free to visit * Use regular liners from ports in Ayukawa or Onagawa|
Opened as a mausoleum to Date Mitsumune, grandson of Date Masamune, a feudal lord of Sendai. Located here is “Sankeiden,” Miyagi Prefecture's oldest mausoleum, nationally designated as an Important Cultural Asset, and you can enjoy the appearance of the four seasons such as the light-up event to celebrate the changing colors of the leaves in the fall carried out in the moss-covered Japanese garden. You can find on the left-hand side of the temple gate a “Marriage Kannon” which is said to bring good luck to a couple's marriage as well as many lined-up marriage “Kokeshi” wooden dolls. You can also experience making prayer beads using beads of your choice.
|Location||67 Matsushima Chonai, Matsushima, Miyagi District, Miyagi Prefecture|
|Hours open to visitors||8:30AM-5PM (last entry 30 minutes before close) *Depends on season|
|fee||Adults: 300 yen|
The temple of the Date family which Date Masamune took over 5 years time to complete in 1609. Those visiting the temple can see the treasure hall which contains reproductions of magnificent paintings considered national treasures that decorate each of the rooms inside the temple, and documents related to the Date family. English tours of the grounds are also available on Sundays and national holidays.
|Location||91Matsushima Chonai, Matsushima, Miyagi District, Miyagi Prefecture|
|Hours open to visitors||9AM-5PM (last entry 1 hour before close) *Depends on season|
|fee||Adults: 700 yen|
Matsushima, where you can find as many as 260 islands, both large and small. Take the Matsushima Pleasure Boat Round Trip Course, the cruise that will give you the chance to see the beauty of this view up close. This cruise arrives and departs the boarding area located near JR Matsushima Coast Station. The course has various routes that are roughly 50 minutes, cruising around the various uniquely shaped islands such as Futagojima Island and Senganjima Island. “Niojima Island” which is shaped like someone wearing a beret with a cigarette in their mouth is also worth seeing.
|Location||85 Matsushima Chonai, Matsushima, Miyagi District, Miyagi Prefecture|
|Phone||022-354-2233 (Matsushima Island Tour Boat)|
022-365-3611 (Marubun Matsushima Kisen)
|Hours open to visitors||Depends on tour boat company|
|fee||Adults: From 1,500 yen|
http://www.matsushima.or.jp/ (Matsushima Island Tour Boat)|
https://www.marubun-kisen.com/ (Marubun Matsushima Kisen Steamboat)