Team Travel Kuramoto


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8 Days
“Hidden Gems” Tohoku Region
Exploring Aomori & Akita from Tokyo

Itinerary Summary

    Day 1 – Leave Tokyo for Aomori

    You will travel to Aomori prefecture, the northernmost prefectural capital city on Honshu, Japan’s main island. Transfer to Haneda airport for the 1.5 hours domestic flight.

    Upon arrival, be welcomed by your English-speaking guide who will transfer with you to your accommodation. Adjust to your new environment in northern Japan and get ready for your upcoming adventures.

    Night in Aomori

    Inclusions: Accommodation, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees

    Day 2 – Hakkoda Mountains Sightseeing

    Today is your first full day exploring the expansive natural surroundings of the Hakkoda Mountains. The Hakkoda Mountains are the collective name of the sixteen mountains which include Mount Odake as the main peak. Mount Odake has an altitude of 1585 m.

    Enjoy a ride on the Hakkoda Ropeway to Mount Tamoyachi ( altitude 1323 meters) and admire the beautiful panoramic view. There is an interesting Sukayu onsen (hot spring), famous for Sennin-buro (bath of a thousand bathers), waiting to soothe traveller’s fatigue after exploration. In the winter, the Hakkoda Mountains fill with skiers and snowboarders; snow trekking is also a popular pastime.

    Night in Lake Towada

    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Dinner, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 3 – Oirase Sightseeing and Trekking

    After breakfast, you will visit Lake Towada. It is the largest crater lake in Honshu. It is located on the border between Aomori and Akita prefectures, and lies 400 meters (1,800ft) above sea level and is 327m (1,073ft) deep. Towanda’s bright blue color is due to its great depth which makes it a popular tourist destination.

    Next, continue to Aomori’s Oirase Gorge. This is the only river that drains Lake Towada and flows in a generally eastern direction, through the municipalities of Towada, Rokunohe, Oirase and Hachinohe. The crystal-clear Oirase river flows mostly parallel to the road through a beautiful forest, known for its fresh green leaves, cool summer spots and  amazing colors in autumn with vivid shades of yellow and red leaves..

    Night in Lake Towada

    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 4 – Transfer to Akita prefecture – Exploring Akita city

    Today, you will travel down to Akita prefecture by  private car. It’s about 175 km/ or 3 hours drive from Aomori. Akita is a large prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast in the northern Tohoku region. Among Akitas main attractions are its natural beauty of mountains and the sea, hot springs, and the town of Kakunodate, home of Japan’s most interesting samurai districts.

    Check in and explore the city on your own, or rest your body from the previous nature adventure days.

    Night in Akita

    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 5 – Ancient Town Kakunodate– Lake Tawaza Nature Sightseeing

    Today, you will travel to Kakunodate which is a former castle town and samurai stronghold in today’s Akita Prefecture. The Kakunodate samurai district, which once housed about 80 families, is one of the best examples of samurai architecture and housing in the country. Its wide streets and large courtyards are shaded by dozens of weeping cherry trees which bloom in early May. You may get a chance to meet “Kataribe” who is a storyteller and recounts the history of Kakunodate.

    Next, you will visit Lake Tazawa. Located just south of Towada-Hachimantai National Park, Lake Tazawa is a scenic caldera lake that has not been overly developed and retains a natural and rustic atmosphere.It is also Japan’s deepest lake with a depth of 423 meters.

    Nyuto Onsen is a collection of onsen ryokan in the eastern mountains of Akita Prefecture. The area is known for the hot spring baths found at its eight Ryokans, some of which are quite traditional and rustic. With a history of over 300 years, Tsurunoyu is Nyuto Onsen’s oldest and most famous inn. The name Nyuto Onsen means “nipple hot spring” and comes from the suggestive shape of nearby Mount Nyuto rather than the milky/cloudy appearance of the area’s hot spring water. Tsurunoyu is the oldest operating ryokan of Nyuto Onsen. Some of its rooms date to the Edo Period (1603-1867) and offer a rustic and authentic stay with an irori fireplace. The large, mixed gender outdoor bath is iconic of the region, and there are single gender indoor baths available, as well.

    In winter, you will be Surrounded by snow-covered mountains.  Soak in an air-open bath and let the snow cover your head. You won’t forget this beautiful scenery. 

    Night in Akita

    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 6 – Day trip to Oga Peninsula and Namahage house

    After breakfast, let’s take a ride in your private car to Oga Peninsula. You will travel to Shinzan Shrine which lies in the woods of the Oga Peninsula in Akita prefecture. It was built during the Heian period (794 – 1185). One tree on the shrine grounds is approximately 1,100 years old, and has been designated as a prefectural natural monument. Next, you will visit Kanpuzan Observatory and admire  Mt. Kanpuzan. From the beginning of its volcanic activity more than 30,000 years ago, its size has increased through the buildup of andesite lava, giving it the shape we see today.

    Every February, the Namahage Sedo Festival is held, and you can catch the namahage performance. Namahage is a kind of messenger with an ogrish appearance which is thought to reveal people’s laziness or bad behaviors. So people welcome the Namahage into their house, confess bad behaviors of the year, after offering treats and sake, the Namahage are seen off very politely . Namahage is designated as a significant intangible folk cultural asset of Japan. The Namahage Museum is a space where you can experience all of the mysteries of this ritual and even try on a Namahage  costume.

    Return to the hotel in Akita city and enjoy your last night.

    Night in Akita

    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 7 – Transfer to Tokyo

    After breakfast, you will leave Akita for Tokyo on a domestic flight.

    After arriving at your hotel, enjoy your free day in Tokyo.

    Night in Tokyo

    Inclusions: Accommodation, Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation and Fees.

    Day 8 – Departure

    After breakfast, you will transfer to Narita Airport for your departure.
    See you again!

    Inclusions: Breakfast, Private Guide, Transportation

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