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Need advice for Tohoku travels

London
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Need advice for Tohoku travels

Hi,

I'm currently on holiday in Tokyo until this Friday (19th May) and then am off with my JR eastern rail pass around Tohoku for 10 days. Do any of you have any specific recommendations for places to visit, stay and eat. I'm 34 will be travelling alone and looking for preferably coastal towns, a strong connection to nature and an 'authentic' tohoku experience :)

Many Thanks

Stephen

Calgary, Canada
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1. Re: Need advice for Tohoku travels

I'm no expert on Japan, so I'm not sure what constitutes an 'authenic' Tohoku experience. However, last October I spent a week or so traveling around that area with no real itinerary--it was certainly a memorable part of my three weeks in Japan. You certainly won't see many foreign tourists!

I stayed at youth hostels, which were clean and pretty much empty. They generally cost about Y3000 (if you have a membership). If you call ahead, you can order dinner for around Y1000 (usually Japanese-style and tasty) and Y500 for breakfast (usually 'western'-style).

Some interesting places I saw:

- Urabandai - colourful ponds and a good hike up to the top of Bandai-san.

- Miyato-jima (on Matsushima Bay, east of Sendai)- supposedly one of the 3 best views in Japan. Traveling around the island and seeing the small fishing villages and rice paddies was probably more interesting.

- Hachimantai - marshes/lakes near the top of a volcano.

- Towada-ko and Oirase valley - a scenic lake and valley. I also did a scenic hike to Odake. Your JR pass is valid on the JR buses that run through the area (mainly from Hachinohe and Aomori). The information desk at the Morioka station provided me with a bus schedule.

Sapporo, Japan
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2. Re: Need advice for Tohoku travels

Hi there

I was in Aomori last autumn and had a wonderful time hiking along the Oirase Valley at dawn...saw a mink! Just up the mountain from there is Ttsta-yu Onsen....very beautiful, and day visitors can enter from about 9 am...

Then I headed up to the Shimokito-Hanto - the most northern bit of Honshu - the peninsular to the right of Aomori City...the train goes as far as Mutsu.

Up there I'd really recommend the strange Entsu Shrine...very very spooky place....and if you can get a bus down to the tip of the peninsular to Wakinosawa you can stay at the youth hostel there, the manager is a local well known wildlife photographer and he'll tell you where to go to see the wild monkeys and those big goat things...You can catch the ferry back to Aomori from Wakinsawa.

A few years ago I also did HIrosaki with its castle - also very nice.

Enjoy your Tohoku experience!

Amanda

London
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3. Re: Need advice for Tohoku travels

Thank you both so much

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: Need advice for Tohoku travels

Amanda, I am intrigued by your description of the 'spooky' shrine, Entsu. Could you please give me more details as to where it is, etc, as I can't find any info on it online.

Cheers!

Singapore
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5. Re: Need advice for Tohoku travels

I like Lake Towada and Matsushima. Hirosaki has a nice castle...

Sapporo, Japan
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6. Re: Need advice for Tohoku travels

sure...

Osorezan... or Osore-zan....and the temple Entsu -Ji.

Wierd place.

Access by bus (end of April to end of October) from Mutsu on the Shimokita Peninsular, north east of Aomori city - the pensinsular that sticks up toward Hokkaido.

Mutsu itelf is a 3 hour bus jouney from Aomori City.

There's a big festival there... September maybe...with old women and insense and stuff...but at any time of year this is a strange place.

A lake in the mountains, sulphor vents, sulfur smell, a dead river...piles of rocks...a temple...dedicated to the sould of dead children.

amanda

Sapporo, Japan
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7. Re: Need advice for Tohoku travels

Here is a good artical f rom the Japan Times...sums it all up nicely...

japan-in-motion.com/en_report_detail_48.html

Singapore, Singapore
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8. Re: Need advice for Tohoku travels

Wow! I have always intended to travel through the Tohoku region some day and after reading thru the posts, I really HAVE to do it someday during autumn!

Sapporo, Japan
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9. Re: Need advice for Tohoku travels

you should...i've lived in Japan...14??? 15 years...and I really enjoyed my dawn hike at Oriase...the monkeys...the death temple by the sulphur lake...the big goaty things on the Shimokita Hanto...the onsen....and Hirosaki is a great little town....

Brisbane, Australia
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10. Re: Need advice for Tohoku travels

Thanks for the info! Cheers!