VIDEO: Virtual Vacation: Aomori Prefecture, Japan

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

VIDEO: Virtual Vacation: Aomori Prefecture, Japan

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Okinawa

Whether you’re working from home, sheltering in place or just staying home, if you’re like us, you’re probably dreaming of open skies, sandy beaches, tall mountains, or perfect powdery slopes. Our travel plans may be on hold, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream up where we’ll go next.

Welcome to virtual vacation video series where we can explore destinations from the comfort of our homes.


Join us as we take a short virtual journey to Aomori, Japan.

The great thing about this destination is that it is easily accessible from Tokyo via Shinkansen bullet train that runs at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour, in just about 3.5 hours. From Misawa Air Base, Aomori is a 1.5-hour drive away.

The city on the northern extremity of the mainland of Honshu, especially its bay area is a model of urbanity, ideal for half-day city strolls and romantic evening walks along the beautifully lit-up boardwalk. The city is also known as a home to traditional lantern floats and historic site of more than 5,000 years ago. These make Aomori a great, quick getaway.

Some of the must-see spots in Aomori include:

  • Center bay area of Aomori - In the central bay area of Aomori, you’ll find the 250-foot pyramid-shaped Aomori Prefecture Tourist Center. Here take in the panoramic view including the Hakkoda Mountain Range and Mutsu Bay. Hakkoda-maru, the last railroad ferry and memorial ship, is home to a museum. Nearby, A-Factory, is where you’ll find Aomori’s signature fruit, the apple, transformed into delicious apple juice and sparkling cider. 
  • Nebuta Lantern Floats and Warasse museum - Nearby the tourist center, Nebuta House Warasse is a museum and civic center where you can take a close look at the city’s traditional lantern floats, called “Nebuta.” The unique floats depicting human figures modeled after historical kabuki characters are used for one of the nation’s largest summer festivals of the same name held in August. The annual festival involves a parade with more than 20 Nebuta parading through the streets.
  • Sannai-Maruyama Site - Sannai-Maruyama is a special historic site in the region and offers a rare opportunity to step back in time to more than 5,000 years ago. Many pit-dwellings, pillar-supported buildings, stone tools, wooden objects, bones and other ancient artifacts have been discovered here. It is currently under consideration for World Heritage inscription.

While you're there make sure and try Kuromaguro bluefin tuna sushi or sashimi. This supreme cut is exceptionally smooth and has a rich sweet flavor.

I hope you enjoyed a look at Aomori through my travel photos and that it's inspired your next trip. Stay safe and get ready to travel with us in our next video. Thanks for watching!

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