Japan’s North: Countryside Charm
Discover Japan off-the-beaten-track as you explore the rugged north in this guided walking tour that reveals a different side of the country.
"Andrea did a wonderful job designing an itinerary to suit three generations of diverse interests, and was flexible and responsive to last minute changes and requests. He showed us many hidden treasures of this beautiful region that would have missed we're it not for him."
- Heather on her journey in Italy
A possible, beautiful itinerary for you
After arrival at Shin-Aomori, head to Sannai Maruyama Historical Site, the largest discovered Jomon site in Japan. Walk through recreations of the settlement, which was first inhabited 4,500 to 5,000 years ago. You will also enjoy the numerous excavated items at the site’s museum. Continuing to Komakino Jomon Ruins, you see a circular stone ceremonial site constructed in the late Jomon period. After first stopping at the site’s museum, continue on to the actual site by foot. Not only can you glimpse back into the ancient past of Japan, but you can also see magnificent views over Aomori City from the site. In the evening, go to an authentic Japanese pub to enjoy the cuisine of Aomori.
Edo Period Rockstars
After breakfast at a local fish market, head to Nakano Momiji Mountain, home to a shrine which boasts 600-year-old great cedar trees. Then, explore Komise Street, popular for its preservation of buildings from the Edo period of Japan. There you will experience a powerful performance of Tsugaru Jamison and drink local sake. Read more
Waters of the North
As you make your way along the path to Oirase stream, you take in the vibrant nature of Japan’s north. With its many waterfalls, Oirase Stream is a natural gem of the country and a truly memorable experience. Your destination is Choshi Otaki Waterfall. This majestic waterfall is over 7 metres high and 20 metres wide. Afterwards, you will have lunch in Nenokuchi (Lake Towada).
A Trail with a View
Today, you head to Hachimangu Shrine, which is believed to have been constructed around 1282 AD. Enjoy a trek on the nearby Yachiyama Mountain trail. At the summit, you can enjoy beautiful views of the blue waters of Mutsu Bay. The many islands dotted throughout sea seem to float on the waves.
Head out to see the famed Osorezan (Mt. Osore), a place believed to connect this world with the afterlife. It is one of the three most sacred mountains of Japan. Continue to the small fishing village of Sai. Keep your eyes open for Japan’s famous snow monkeys! Here, you will enjoy a meeting with a local Kabuki performer, who performs a style called Fisherman’s Kabuki.
Treasures of the Sea
Oma is famous all over the country as the source of "Oma tuna", regarded as the highest quality of Bluefin tuna. In Oma, you will board a tuna boat and head straight into the thick of battle, to catch the prized Bluefin tuna. If lucky, you may have the chance to observe your hosts engage in a fight with these monstrous fish, which can weigh more than 200 kilograms. Fish this size can sell for millions of yen in an auction.
Extend Your Trip to Hokkaido
We recommend that you simply “hop” on to Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, and continue your journey. However, depending on the season, there is much of Japan yet to be discovered.