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Tohoku

Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in tohoku

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Asia : East Asia : Japan : Honshu : Tohoku
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T?hoku (??, literally "East-North") is the northeastern region of Japan's Honshu island.

tohoku Travel Guide :

Tohoku

Understand

Traditionally a poor rural backwater with a harsh climate, today's Tohoku offers the traveller some of the best scenery in Japan. In winter, the Snow Country (Yukiguni) of the western Japan Sea coast racks up some of the highest snowfall figures in the world, which also means great skiing and lots of hot springs to warm up in.

Tohoku

Prefectures and Regions

Tohoku

Cities

  • Aomori
  • Hiraizumi — historical site with several large temples
  • Hirosaki — the cultural capital of the North
  • Miyako — while the town itself is nothing spectacular, it's near the beautiful Jodogahama beach
  • MoriokaMorioka
  • Sendai — capital of Miyagi and the largest city in Tohoku. It enjoys the epithet Mori no Miyako, "The Forest City", due to its dense tree lined thoroughfares and forested public areas.
  • YamagataYamagata — featuring the mountain temple of Yamadera
Tohoku

Other destinations

Ohata River, Ohata River,
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Ohata River, Shimokita Peninsula
Tohoku

Itineraries

Tohoku

Talk

Information in English tends to sparse in rural Tohoku, since foreign travellers are few in these parts; the positive side to this is that people will go out of their way to help you.

The rural Tohoku accent, known as z?z?-ben for its characteristic feature of turning all "s" sounds into "z", can be difficult to comprehend at times even if you do understand Japanese. Younger people are, however, universally versed in school-standard hy?jungo.

Tohoku

Get in

Tohoku

By plane

There are no major airports in Tohoku and most travellers arrive via Tokyo. Sendai and Akita airports do field some international flights, mostly to China and Korea.

Tohoku

By train

The Tohoku Shinkansen connects Tokyo to Mito, Sendai, MoriokaMorioka and Hachinohe, with spur lines to Akita and YamagataYamagata. It will take 2 hours from Tokyo to Sendai. The line remains under construction and is inching towards Aomori, from where it will eventually tunnel under the sea to Hokkaido.

Tohoku

By ferry

Ferry services connect ports in northern Tohoku to Hokkaido.

Tohoku

Get around

Tohoku is large and mountainous and getting around in the boondocks can be time-consuming.

Tohoku

By train

Tohoku's main train artery is the T?hoku Shinkansen (?????) bullet train line on the east coast, connecting Tokyo to Hachinohe via Sendai, Fukushima and MoriokaMorioka, with spurs to YamagataYamagata and Akita and an extension to Aomori under construction.

Outside the Shinkansen network, rural train services in Tohoku, known affectionately as donko, are slow and infrequent. It's not unusual to have waits of 2 or even 4 hours between trains, especially for services crossing the sparsely inhabited interior. The scenery along the twisty mountain routes can be stunning though.

While JR has a near-monopoly for connecting all major towns together, the stretch of ordinary track between MoriokaMorioka and Hachinohe now belongs to a private company, and there are bits and pieces of private railways around the larger towns.

Tohoku

JR East Rail Pass

The JR East Rail Pass 1 (http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/eastpass/index.html) lets you travel for free on all JR East lines including the Tohoku Shinkansen and its spurs, and is a good option if you plan to travel extensively by train. There are three durations, 5-day pass (¥28,000), 10-day pass (¥48,800) and a 4-day Flex Pass (¥28,000). The 4-day Flex Pass can be used any four days within a one-month window.

If you're not in a hurry, you may also want to consider the cheaper Seishun 18-Kippu.

Tohoku

By car

Tohoku (in particular north of Sendai) is one of the few areas in Japan where you might want to rent a car. Rental car outlets are conveniently located near the train stations in the major cities, as this is the way local business travellers get around. Please note when planning your trips that your average travel speed on the road will be around 60km/h. All sight-seeing spots have parking available, which is inexpensive as compared to the cities in the south.

For long distance travel, the Tohoku Expressway more or less follows the route of the Shinkansen, but it's a solid 10 hours of driving for the 900 kilometers from Tokyo to Aomori. A good starting point for exploring Tohoku is MoriokaMorioka, which can be reached by train from Tokyo in 2:30.

Tohoku

See & Do

Most visitors come to Tohoku for hiking, history and hot springs, not necessarily in that order. Highlights include the temples of Hiraizumi, the holy mountains of Dewa Sanzan and the secluded hot springs of the Shimokita Peninsula.

Tohoku

Eat & Drink

Tohoku has not made very many contributions to the Japanese culinary scene, although (as always in Japan) even the smallest hamlet will boast something it claims to be famous for. But in mountain regions you will certainly have a chance to sample sansai-ry?ri, prepared from herbs and plants harvested from the forests and hillsides.

Unlike the sh?ch?-swilling south, Tohoku is sake country and manufactures some fine rice wines.



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