• TOKYO
  • AOMORI

STONE & WATER

After enjoying a stroll around Meiji Jingu Shrine, a spot surrounded by nature despite its location in central Tokyo, travel to Oirase Stream in Aomori and take in the colorful scenery of majestic nature within the gentle passing of time.

Official Tokyo Travel Guide
http://www.gotokyo.org/en/index.html

Local government official website
http://www.en-aomori.com/

TRAVELER

  • Stephen Schreck

    Reside in USA
  • Benjamin Boas
    Tokyo Weekender Lighter Benjamin Boas
    Reside in
    Home country: USA

John F. Kennedy International Airport

JAL003 Examine the directions from your country

  • Stephen Schreck

    <JAL>
    The flight was very nice. I have flown from NYC to Asia many times. This is the first time the flight has been direct. This added an excellent level of comfort to the trip. The meals and staff were excellent. I felt very comfortable on the flight, and the fact that it was a straight flight let me sleep undisturbed the entire way which made it easy to deal with jet lag.

Narita International Airport

Narita Express Show details

Tokyo Metropolitan Area

Day1

TOKYO

Nihombashimore

The Nihombashi area, known as a "town for merchants," flourished in the Edo period centered on the Five Routes, which converged there. It continues to be the center of commerce and finance even today, with streets lined with offices, department stores, long-standing shops, etc.
On Chuo-dori Street, visitors may enjoy seeing Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Main Store, known as Japan's first department store, and other famous buildings of Tokyo, including the nationally designated important cultural properties of Takashimaya Nihombashi Store and the Bank of Japan Headquarters.
There are also numerous long-standing and famous specialty stores and traditional restaurants founded in the Edo period.
Ningyocho, retaining the atmosphere of Shitamachi, has many long-standing businesses from the Edo period, and it is also renowned for Suitengu Shrine dedicated to prayers of conception and easy childbirth, and the ceramics, doll and pickled vegetable fairs synonymous with their respective seasons.

  • Stephen Schreck

    <Stroll around Ginza>
    Ginza is an excellent part of Tokyo. It is stunningly clean, and there are a lot of shops to see and explore.
    The tour guide was very helpful and taught us the history of the buildings and area of the city.

    <Stroll around Nihonbashi>
    My favorite part of our stroll around Nihonbashi was learning the history of the bridge. I found learning about why the bridge was built, where the statues came from, and the fact that it is straight on National Route 1 very interesting.

    <Origami>
    I enjoyed the afternoon learning how to do some basic Origami. The teacher was very good, and I found the class easy to work with. I think this would be fantastic things for visitors to check out in this area, and they will have a lot of fun with it. This is an activity that I would recommend to anyone traveling Tokyo and around this area. I think many visitors would find the Origami lesson very fun.

    <Lunch: Hounenmanpuku>
    We were treated with the utmost respect and honored guest at restaurants like Hounenmanpuku. The food presentation at the meal was very beautiful, and the food was delicious. The food in Japan was some of the best food I have ever had while traveling.

  • Benjamin Boas

    <Stroll around Ginza>
    Full of history and some of the best shopping experiences in Tokyo, Ginza is a must-see for any tourist interested in experiencing the height of Japanese fashion and retail. Fans of the local cuisine will find a treasure trove of treats waiting for them in the basement of any of the large department stores in the area, which feature a seemingly limitless selection of fruits, meats, salads, desserts and just about any type of Japanese food you can think of, all sourced from only the best providers.

    <Stroll around Nihonbashi>
    Nihonbashi is a commercial and shopping center in Tokyo that also is home to the starting point of National Route 4, which spans over 700 kilometers and ends at Aomori, our next day's destination.We had a chance to stop by the Nihonbashi Dashi Bar and try some of their ""stock,"" which was delicious.

    <Origami>
    Experiencing an origami lesson under the tutelage of an Italian instructor at Coredo was enlightening. I had not expected to be able to complete my crane but not only did the teacher prove me wrong, she also encouraged me to continue on to create two samurai helmets as well.

    <Lunch: Hounenmanpuku>
    Hounenmanpuku, our lunch destination, was a nice place to take a break along the Nihonbashi river. Our ""Shoukadou"" lunch bento contained four sections, each filled with a different type of delicious seasonal food, including sashimi, tempura, oden, and assorted shellfish.

JR Chuo Line
Tokyo Station → Yotsuya Station
JR Sobu Line
Yotsuya Station → Yoyogi Station
40 minutes / 170 yen

Meiji Jingu Shrinemore

RECOMMENDED DESTINATIONS

The shrine was established in 1920 as a dedication to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and the Empress Dowager Shōken. The extensive forest around the shrine in the center of the city was created artificially by planting a hundred thousand trees donated from people all over the country.
The shrine attracts the greatest number of worshippers every year during "hatsumode" over the New Year period.

  • Stephen Schreck

    <Meiji Jingu>
    I loved walking around the gardens of the Meiji Shrine. It is a breathtaking and peaceful place to walk around. We walked around the shrine and I got to fill out my first Ema after paying respect to Emperor Meiji. I really liked this shrine and would visit it again.

  • Benjamin Boas

    <Meiji Jingu>
    The Meiji Shrine is the top tourist destination in Tokyo and rightfully so, being the site of perhaps the world's largest urban man-made forest.

Walk
30 minutes

Nezu Museummore

The museum was founded in 1941 to preserve and display Japanese and East Asian antique art from the collection of its founder, Nezu Kaichiro, a businessman whose career included being President of the Tobu Railway Co., Ltd. It reopened in October 2009, newly designed by Kengo Kuma. The expanse of this open, relaxing space is an enjoyable place to appreciate art.
The lush 17,000 square meters of Japanese garden creates an oasis in the city, where visitors can take pleasure in the passage of the seasons.

  • Stephen Schreck

    <NEZU MUSEUM>
    My favorite things about the NEZU MUSEUM where the lush green, gardens, wooden bridges, and tea houses in the back.
    I spent most of my time here wandering outside enjoying the beautiful walkways. The Museum itself was interesting and held some great drawings. I sat looking at them for a good 15 minutes taking in the entire area.

  • Benjamin Boas

    <NEZU MUSEUM>
    The Nezu Museum is a must-stop for any serious fan of Japanese art.We wound up spending our time in the Museum garden, which was a wonderful way to enjoy the brisk Autumn weather.

Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
Omotesando Station → Akasakamitsuke Station
Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line
Akasakamitsuke Station → Tokyo Station
30 minutes / 200 yen

  • Stephen Schreck

    <Dinner: Teyan-tei>
    Dinner at Teyan-tei was one of my favorite meals of the trip. I loved sitting in the private room with everyone.
    The potato balls were very delicious, and slightly sweet, which was a nice surprise. All the food was well prepared.
    I really liked this restaurant and to me, it felt like a traditional Japanese restaurant.

  • Benjamin Boas

    <Dinner: Teyan-tei>
    Swanky neighborhood Nishi-Azabu is where our dinner destination, Teyan-tei, was located. A wonderful opportunity to introduce our tour guide's to the wonders of yakitori shish kebab, the restaurant boasted an impressive collection of chicken and regional varieties of sake.

Haneda Excel Hotel Tokyu

  • Stephen Schreck

    <HANEDA EXCEL HOTEL TOKYU>
    The Haneda Excel Hotel was the perfect choice because of the early morning flight. It let us get more rest and be prepared for when arriving Aomori. The rooms were immaculate and had lots of outlets. It has fast wifi, and the breakfast was delicious. The hotel offered both Japanese and English style breakfast. I liked that I had this choice.

  • Benjamin Boas

    <HANEDA EXCEL HOTEL TOKYU>
    For those who have recently arrived via Haneda Airport or who are about to take a morning flight, the Haneda Excel Tokyu is literally the most convenient hotel you can stay in, given its location some 5 meters from the check-in counter. Make sure you get a room with a view of the runways. It's quite a sight to wake up to!

Day2

TOHOKU(AOMORI)

7:55 Haneda Airportmore

The airport serves as an air gateway for Tokyo. The passenger terminal is filled with various commercial facilities, and visitors can command a panoramic view of Tokyo Bay from the rooftop observation deck, so that every one, even those who are not flying, can enjoy the terminal.

  • Stephen Schreck

    <Haneda airport, JAL>
    The flight was on time and comfortable. The guide was excellent at getting us on the plane on time, and dealing with our bags. The flight was smooth and went by quickly.

  • Benjamin Boas

    <Haneda airport, JAL>
    As usual Japan Airlines (JAL) was comfortable, had excellent service and was 100% on time. I have never been disappointed with a domestic carrier in this country and was not surprised to be extremely well taken care of. Those flying JAL (or ANA) to Aomori who are interested in bicycling around the area may be interested to know that the airlines will accept bicycles as check-in luggage for no additional charge, provided the front wheel of the bike is removed from the frame and both are contained within an opaque bag.

JAL141(oneworld YOKOSO/Visit TOHOKU Fare) Show details

9:10 Aomori Airportmore

The gateway to Aomori, located between Aomori city, a top tourist destination in the prefecture, and Hirosaki city, providing outstanding access.
In the winter, the White Impulse runway snow removal team gets to work. They look after Aomori in the winter with overwhelming quickness and efficiency.
Enjoy dining on White Impulse Curry at the airport restaurant.

Airport Bus
Aomori Airport→Aomori Ekimae
About 35 minutes

JR Bus Mizuumi-go
Aomori Station→Ropeway Ekimae
About 1 hours

  • Stephen Schreck

    <WA RASSE>
    Wa Rasse was a major highlight of my trip to Japan. I knew nothing about Nebuta before visiting this museum. I found the entire festival breathtaking.
    The time and dedication that goes into making these incredible float in mind boggling.
    I loved learning about this wonderful festival, and I plan on visiting the Nebuta festival in the next couple years.
    I think this type of festival is something that tourist from all over the world would love. I can't wait to show it to them.

    <Lunch: Hakkouda Resort Hotel>
    The think the personal hotpot for this meal was a perfect idea. The meat and fish were delicious and top quality. The restaurant and atmosphere of Hakkoda was lovely. It has a winter resort fell to it.
    It was very fun to cook my own food in the hotpot. I ate so much I could not have eaten more. It was a fantastic meal.

  • Benjamin Boas

    <WARASSE>
    Our first stop in Aomori, Warasse is a building devoted to celebration of the Nebuta Festival, the largest event in Aomori. Taking place every year from August 2-7, the parade of intrically designed illuminated floats attracts over 3 million people annually, which is more than double the population of the entire prefecture! The name of the facility is derived from the exclamation shouted out by those who participate in the parade.

    <Lunch: Hakkouda Resort Hotel>
    For lunch we had a delicious bento with a view of some of Aomori's ski slopes popular with Australian tourists. Although the November weather wasn't quite cold enough for snow, we did get a chance to see some gorgeous views of the multi-color tree scape.

Hakkoda Ropewaymore

This aerial outing, which takes about ten minutes each way, offers outstanding views. Visitors can enjoy skiing on the magnificent mountains from winter to spring, trekking in the summer, and viewing the foliage in fall.

  • Stephen Schreck

    <Hakkoda-ropeway>
    Sadly, the ropeway was closed due to the weather. But we talked to the owner and he should tell us pictures of Aomori all throughout the year.
    I will say that this area of Japan is absolutely beautiful. I am glad I visited in the fall, but I would like to come back and visit it all year round. The area is just stunning.

JR Bus
Hakkoda Ropeway Ekimae→Sukayu Onsen
10 minutes

Sukayu Onsenmore

The Hiba Sennin Buro is a large, communal bath that is as big as 160 tatami mats. It was made entirely from hiba arborvitae wood, without a single support pillar, and it is famous throughout Sukayu Onsen. Consideration was given to installing screens and it features women-only bathing times, so it can be readily enjoyed by people that are new to mixed bathing.

  • Stephen Schreck

    <Onsen>
    Onsen hot springs is a lovely resort. It has a vibrant atmosphere. My hot springs experience was lovely.
    I spent some time outdoors fighting the cold with the warm water of the hot springs. This was one of the most memorable parts of the entire trip. I would love to return to the hot springs.

  • Benjamin Boas

    <About Sukayu Onsen>
    Having lived in Japan for 10 years, I've experienced my fair share of onsen (hot springs) but nothing like the sulfur infused waters of Sukayu. While a dip in most onsen will be good enough to heat you up for the time being, an hour in sukayu's special blend will make your body feel toasty all the way until the next morning. I don't really understand it (apparently it has something to do with sulfur) but anyone who wants to experience the cold weather without ever actually feeling cold would do well to drop by. The facility also offers an interesting range of accommodation options, including shared kitchens with running mountain water. Also of note is that the Sukayu baths are mixed-gender;, although there are separate sections for men and women, both bathe in the same large tub."

Shuttle bus
About 10 minutes

Hakkoda Hotel

  • Stephen Schreck

    <Hakkoda Hotel>
    The hotel was large and clean. It was very warm which was perfect since Aomori was getting cold at night.
    The atmosphere was friendly, and there had a nice hot springs in the hotel that Mr. Benjamin and I visited it.
    It is a great hotel.

  • Benjamin Boas

    <Hakkoda Hotel>
    Hakkoda Hotel, where we stayed for our one night in Aomori, is a spacious hotel with impressive dining and event facilities. The dinner and breakfast we had there were delicious and took place in a dining room with a great view of the surrounding Autumn foliage. The communal bathing facilities, although not as unique as those at Sukayu, were a wonderful place to finish the evening.

Day3

Hakkoda Hotel

Shuttle bus
About 10 minutes

JR Bus
Sukayu Onsen → Choshi Otaki
About 1 hour and 20 minutes

Oirase Streammore

RECOMMENDED DESTINATIONS

Oirase Stream is concealed by a dense, virgin forest. Along the roughly 14km it runs from Nenokuchi at Lake Towada to Yakeyama, an infinite variety of beautiful streams, moss gardens, oddly shaped rocks, and sites of scenic beauty spread out. With over 300 species of bryophytes inhabiting this area, the entire area is a veritable natural moss garden.

  • Stephen Schreck

    <Oirase Keiryu mountain stream>
    Even though it was a little rainy, the hike was worth it. The rain even added to the beauty of Oirase Keiryu.
    The levels were a lovely display of different colors. Nature and hike were nice and relaxing.
    This area is so beautiful that I think it there was an activity like an apple festival that tourist would flock to Aomori for the festival and the beautiful landscape.
    Overall, Aomori has insane amount of beauty and nice people.
    I would enjoy coming back to this trail and do some more hiking.

  • Benjamin Boas

    <Oirase Keiryu mountain stream>
    Our hike along the Oirase River was the highlight of the trip. Far from the crowds of Tokyo and even Aomori City, our hour-long hike through spectacular Fall foliage brought us past a number of beautiful waterfalls that were a sight to behold. Tourists would do well to start their hikes even earlier than we did, at the beginning of the 9-kilometer trail, for the full experience.

JR Bus
Kumoinonagare→Towadako(Yasumiya)
About 30 minutes

Lake Towadamore

With its beautiful lake that is like a mirror reflecting the sky and mountains, as well as its open and vast panoramas that take one's breath away, Lake Towada is famous for its fresh greenery and autumn foliage. As such, it receives numerous visitors who come to fully enjoy the four seasons there.

  • Stephen Schreck

    <Lunch: Towada-Barayaki>
    This was perhaps my favorite meal in Japan. The beef and onions had a lot of flavors, and the dish tasted so good that I ate every single bite. I would happily eat this meal many more times.
    This is also a meal that I think many westerners would enjoy.
    For desert, Mr. Benjamin and I had a delicious apple pie. Aomori has the best apples in the world.

    <Oirase Stream Museum, Moss Ball>
    The Moss Balls were a fun activity. The teacher was funny, and making a moss ball was a very experience as I got to interact with some other Japanese travelers. It was a good alternative to the Ferry

    <Dinner: Aomori Hotate Goya>
    I had a light dinner because I was still full from Towada Barayaki.
    The scallops I did have were excellent. I loved fishing for them even though I did not catch any.

  • Benjamin Boas

    <Lunch: Towada-Barayaki>
    Our final lunch in Aomori was at Towada-Barayaki, and it was an exciting one since we all had a role to play. Barayaki, or rib meat with green onions and sauce, is a speciality of the prefecture and each of us received a small personal hot plate to cook it on. The restaurant is located a short distance from Otome no Zo, a famous bronze statue that is very popular with domestic tourists. While those travelling abroad may not be excited to see sculptor Kotaru Takamura's final piece of art, the short trip to the statue goes along a very pretty part of Lake Towada.

    <Oirase Stream Museum, Moss Ball>
    We made the moss ball as an alternative of the Lake Towada excursio on boat.
    The Oirase Stream Museum (an odd name given the Oirase River's size) is a great destination for families looking to learn more about the area. Its main draw is the Kokedama (Moss Ball) Making class, led by a former professional wrestler who certainly knows his stuff. Travelers should be advised that moss balls are alive and probably will not clear international customs, but make a great gift for any Japanese friends.

    <Dinner: Aomori Hotate Goya>
    Hotate Goya offers a dining experience that may very well be unique to Aomori: Customers are given the chance to fish for the very scallops they will be dining upon. For a 500 yen entrance fee, you are given a fishing pole and three minutes to catch all of the scallops you can within the time limit. Anything you catch is then prepared for you as sushi, sashimi or grilled style.

Towada Lake Excursion Boat
Yasumiya→Nenokuchi
About 50 minutes, 1,400yen

JR Bus
Nenokuchi→Aomori Station
About 2 hours 45 minutes

Airport Bus
Aomori Ekimae→Aomori Airport
35 minutes

Aomori Airport

JAL(oneworld YOKOSO/Visit TOHOKU Fare) Show details

Haneda Airport

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM TRAVELERS

This tour was very well planned, and executed. We went to great hotels, restaurants, and fun sites. This tour was a great introduction to Japan and makes me want to explore the country more.

Stephen Schreck

Reside in USA
  • Hobby

    Travel, Nature, Backpacking, Adventure

  • Number of visits to Japan

    first time

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM TRAVELERS

Aomori is a wonderful place to experience Japan's bountiful nature as well as some of the most delicious apples you'll ever find. Visit during the Nebuta Festival to experience something truly unique and if you'll miss it (or want to miss the crowds on purpose), take a look at its fantastic parade floats at Wa rasse, the Aomori museum dedicated to it.

Benjamin Boas
Tokyo Weekender Lighter Benjamin Boas
Reside in
Home country: USA
  • Hobby

    Popular Culture, Martial Arts, Zen

  • Length of stay in Tokyo

    10years

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