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Aomori – Japan's Prefecture for All Seasons

Aomori – Japan's Prefecture for All Seasons

Opps-Snow
10 May 20192,0201,894

Aomori is Japan’s prefecture for all seasons. Set in the northernmost part of Honshu, the largest of Japan’s islands, Aomori is a place for travelers seeking a different experience. The region blends the natural and the urban in surprising ways. Beautiful landscapes and the largest collection of cherry blossoms in all Japan make this an unforgettable destination.

Table of Contents

1) Getting There
2) An Aomori for all Seasons
3) Summer in the Green Forest
4) Fall’s Harvest and a Landscape of Color
5) Winter in a Land Covered with Snow
Aomori – Japan's Prefecture for All Seasons

Dense foliage covers the hills in summer, giving Aomori its name as the “green forest.” With fall come the famous Aomori apples, ripe and sweet. Winter’s embrace coats the mountains in fresh white powder, a skier’s paradise. There is arguably no bad time to visit Aomori. The following partial list of season-related items should help you decide when you too can venture forth to cultivate your own quiet joy.

Aomori – Japan's Prefecture for All Seasons

1) Getting There

Aomori city is the principle urban center in Aomori prefecture. Aomori Airport is the regional air hub and has a small number of international flights, primarily to Korea. Most travelers will arrive from destinations within Japan. Rail links connect Aomori to the rest of the country. Shinkansen (bullet train) service was extended to Aomori in 2010, greatly expanding travel options.

Aomori – Japan's Prefecture for All Seasons

2) An Aomori for all Seasons

Aomori changes with the seasons. When you go likely much depends on what you want to see. In spring, the cherry blossoms flower. The area around Hirosaki Park is lauded as the largest cherry blossom collection in all Japan. First planted beginning in 1715, the trees peak each year in April, painting the entire castle park a delicate pink. Few things bring such joy to the heart as a walk among spring’s blossom. Outside Aomori city and set near the southern foot of Mount Iwaki are some 20 kilometers of cherry blossom-lined road.

Aomori – Japan's Prefecture for All Seasons

The blossoms add to the spectacular view of the lush green on the mountain. This is arguably the world’s longest cherry-lined road. In mid-May, Yokohama in eastern Aomori prefecture glows a bright yellow as the rapeseed reaches full bloom. Seen from a distance, the fields appear covered in gold. The town features many blossom-related events including the local marathon. Not to be outdone, the region’s famous apple trees also flower and shine in spring. Hirosaki-city holds an annual Apple Flower Festival to celebrate. It’s certainly worth a visit to learn how apple cultivation is integral to Aomori’s

Aomori – Japan's Prefecture for All Seasons

3) Summer in the Green Forest

Roughly translated, Aomori means “green forest.” It’s an apt moniker. As spring gives way to summer, the lands around Aomori turn a full-hued green. Perhaps nowhere more epitomizes the richness of life in its summer glory as Shirakami Sanchi. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this vast tract of protected wilderness teems with life. Numerous bird and mammal species dwell within the park. Catching a glimpse of these creatures in their natural habitat should be on anyone’s bucket list.

Aomori – Japan's Prefecture for All Seasons

In eastern Aomori prefecture is the Oirase River area. The mountain waters draining from Lake Towada create auditory ecstasy as they roll and flow their way to the Pacific. In summer, the sun’s warmth revives the moss on the ground, and clear spring waters nourish the forest floor. It’s a true celebration of life. Take a walk along the trails or bike to experience the many waterfalls and streams along the way. If you happen to be in the region around this time, the Aomori Nebuta Festival is a Japanese fire festival held annually from August 2-7 in Aomori city. Every year more than 3 million visitors gather from all over to attend the festivities. Massive lantern floats based on the kabuki tradition of mythical stories parade through the city. The Aomori Nebuta Festival is nothing short of memorizing and certainly would be the highlight of anyone’s visit.

4) Fall’s Harvest and a Landscape of Color

Fall in Aomori teems with activity. Trees across the region dance in their natural color as days drift into longer nights. What little words may hope to achieve in capturing the sight of a forest in autumn glory. The Oirase Gorge is one of the most beautiful river valleys in Japan. As the colors deepen and sweep across the land, their radiance paints an indelible memory upon any visitor. Lake Towada is brilliant with the reflection of Mount Towada; an unforgettable sight.

Aomori – Japan's Prefecture for All Seasons

At the Hakkoda Mountains, beautiful red and yellow foliage from maple and rowan trees is on offer. Many visitors come during peak color from the end of September through October. However, no autumn visit to Aomori could fail to include the abundant apple harvest. Known as the Japan’s apple-producing region, Aomori alone is responsible for over 50% of the national output. On top of that, the growing conditions make for splendid varieties high in natural sweetness. There are many ways visitors can get a sense for apple farming and processing. Apple-related products abound. Sample the many pies and ciders before relaxing in an apple bath, famous for its soothing effect in addition to purported health benefits.

Aomori – Japan's Prefecture for All Seasons

5) Winter in a Land Covered with Snow

Even once the harvest passes and the nights grow long, Aomori still isn’t finished with its surprises. The region transforms once more into a winter wonderland. Hakkoda Ski Area in the Hakkoda Mountains boast excellent snow during the winter months. The soft powder attracts many skiers and snowboarders from around the world. Snowshoeing is also popular at Hakkoda Mountain when the white landscape and crisp air provide a wondrous tranquility. Afterwards warm yourself with a visit to one of Aomori’s many onsen hot springs. The onsen can help heal not only the body, but also the heart. Paired with the region’s natural scenery, the onsen in Aomori cannot help but entice you to return again and again.

Aomori – Japan's Prefecture for All Seasons

Aomori is one of Japan’s hidden treasures. Travelers who venture here will find rich rewards for mind, body, and soul. It is clear instantly why this region is special and well-known throughout Japan. No matter when you visit, there is something Aomori has to offer. The scenery, people, and local culture are sure to leave a lasting impression and fill you with a quiet joy.

Aomori – Japan's Prefecture for All Seasons
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