Aomori prefecture is located at the Northernmost point of Honshu island. It is a popular Summer travel destination as the highest temperature is less than 25 degrees even during the Summer. Aomori is famous for its apples and Nebuta (Neputa) Festival. In addition, we will introduce recommended spots and local gourmets of Tsugaru, Shimokita, and Nanbu regions.
Tsugaru Region: Neputa & grilled squid
Hirosaki Neputa Festival
Hirosaki Neputa Festival, which has been designated as an officially designated significant intangible folk cultural asset of the country, is famous throughout the country. Besides the festival season, you can go visit the Tsugaru Clan Neputa village and see the exhibit of Neputa sculptures and live performance of the Tsugaru Shamisen guitar. It is a fun spot for family recreations as there is also a workshop of Tsugaru local crafts.
A “Michino-Eki” road station next to the beach in Nishitsugaru Gun, has a popular “Ika-yaki Mura village”. You can enjoy charcoal grilled squid from the Japan Sea and special squid curry.
Kuroishi city’s “B-kyu Gourmet” is a soup style “Yakisoba” (fried noodles) named after the city. More than 70 restaurants in the city serve “Yakisoba” in soup stocks, where you can eat and compare the flavors.
Shimokita region: Osorezan Mountains & Ouma tuna
Shimokita region, located in the north-eastern peninsula area of Aomori Prefecture, is famous for Osorezan, one of the three most important Japanese sacred grounds considered to be the closest to the after world. If you cross the red bridge over “Sanzu-no-kawa” river flowing at the entrance, the other side is said to be the afterworld, and large number of tourists visit as a place to remember the deceased.
Oma-machi, located at the Northernmost point of Shimokita Peninsula, is known for Oma-tuna, no matter what. “Oma-nzoku” is a restaurant run by a fisherman who pierced a tuna with the highest initial bidding value of 20 million yen, where you can enjoy various seafood dishes. The most popular menu among all is the luxurious 3 color tuna rice bowl filled with Toro fatty tuna, medium Toro and Akami!
Nanbu region: hot springs & Chinese yam
In Nanbu region is a dense hot spring area and many of them are open from 6 o’clock in the morning, so you can fully enjoy bathing from early in the morning.
Nanbu region also produces the largest amount of Chinese yam in Japan. Long aged in the soil until naturally withered, Nanbu’s Chinese yam is sweet and delicious, without a distinctive strong flavor. Besides, Nanbu region’s cherry production is the largest in the prefecture.
“Senbei-jiru” or rice cracker soup is a local dish cooking rice crackers in a soup stock that contains plenty of meat, fish and vegetables.
Speaking of Aomori Souvenirs!
“Kininaru Ringo” is a unique apple pie made with Aomori’s apple brand “Fuji-ringo.” Each apple is dipped in a syrup, then the whole apple is wrapped in a pie sheet and baked. Its impactful appearance and refreshing taste makes it popular. “Ichigo-ni” soup made with boiled sea urchin and abalone comes as a canned food so that you can easily reproduce the Aomori flavor. A little unusual “Konbu-yokan” kelp sweet bean jelly has been loved in Aomori since the Meiji era, and its flavor is a combination of sweetness with the scent of the ocean.
Many hot springs and seafood dishes are waiting for you in Aomori Prefecture, the Northernmost point of Honshu island. Please come to visit!