Located north of Tokyo, and taking in the northern end of the island of Honshu, the region of Tohoku provides visitors with an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle the larger cities and relax by enjoying the open space and peace that can be found here. Like much of Japan, the Tohoku region offers spectacular scenery, delicious food and the opportunity to try new experiences. What makes Tohoku different is that as the region is largely mountainous and therefore relatively undeveloped.
The mountain ranges that run through the region offer the opportunity to be immersed in natural forests which change colour with the seasons. The Shirakami Sanchi is an expansive mountain range that runs between Aomori and Akita prefectures and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its untouched beech tree forests. The forest here provides a playground for lovers of nature and the outdoors to explore the beauty of this region throughout the changing seasons.
During winter, the opportunity to get off the beaten path and visit some less visited ski resorts such as Geto Kogen, Shizukuishi, Zao Onsen or Mount Bandai. These resorts are less frequented than those in other regions of Japan, so can provide the serious snowboarders and skiers the opportunity to have the fresh powder snow all to yourself.
A visit to the cities of the Tohoku region such as Sendai or Aomori, again provide visitors with the opportunity to travel to locations which are less frequented by foreign guests. As a result, these cities provide visitors with the opportunity to witness ordinary life in Japan and experience local culture and festivals which occur year round. Sendai is the home of Tanabata Matsuri in August while Aomori hosts the annual Nebuta Festival, also in August. Both festivals offer visitors to experience the colour, sounds, smells and atmosphere of traditional Japanese summer celebrations.
Access to the region is easy either by bus, bullet train or by air, however the beauty of this region comes from going a little further, so take the opportunity to explore little further for an even better experience.