VIDEO| Virtual Vacation: Kuroishi in Northern Japan

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi: Suirennuma Pond
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi: Suirennuma Pond

VIDEO| Virtual Vacation: Kuroishi in Northern 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 Kuroishi in Northern Japan.

The great thing about this destination is that it is easily accessible from Tokyo via the Shinkansen bullet train which runs at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. This train ride will take about five hours. From Misawa Air Base, Kuroishi is only a two-hour-drive away.

Kuroishi is on the north end of Honshu and is home to impressive streets filled in traditional wooden arcades, an abundance of pristine hot springs and a local craft art museum. The area also offers lush forests and a wonderful view of Mt.  Hakkoda.

Some of the must-see spots in Kuroishi include:

Aoni Onsen (Inn of Lamps) -- As the name indicates, Aoni Onsen is a hot spring resort made up of wooden lodges, shacks and five baths located in and outside of the buildings. This inn is nestled deep in the Kuroishi Valley and surrounded by mountains. This secluded inn is named after its only source of light— oil lamps. Disconnect and enjoy the relaxing wooden baths inside and the outdoor baths with views of the scenery. The sounds of the streams, waterfall cascades and chirping birds in the deep forest offer you a surreal, quiet and serene experience.

Kuroishi City center -- Originally developed as a castle town, Nakamachi Komise District is known for its impressive wood-covered shopping arcades constructed to shelter visitors from snow in the winter and strong sunshine in the summer. Drop by Tsugaru Kuroishi Komise Eki, a shop featuring local sweets and wooden products, as the shop offers complimentary live Tsugaru-shamisen performances.

Jyogakura Bridge and Suirennuma Pond -- Jyogakura Bridge, an 837-foot long and 400-foot-high bridge, is the nation’s longest arch bridge and a must-see attraction. Both the bridge and pond offer beautiful views of Mount Hakkoda, local fauna and flora.

While you're in Kuroishi, don't forget to sample popular local noodle dish, tsuyu yakisoba. These thick and chewy noodles come with shrimp and mushroom tempura in a soy sauce-based broth. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce for a richer taste you’ll love.

I hope you enjoyed a look at Kuroishi 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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