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History / Culture / Tour Spots in Aomori Area

  • Hirosaki Castle Tower
    Travel / Tourism
    Aomori Pref. Hirosakishi Shimoshiroganechou 1
    Hirosaki castle was completed in 1611. In 1627 the castle was struck by lightning and burnt from the fifth level of the keep to the ground. The castle stood without a tower for the following 200 years, but in 1810, the ninth lord of the Tsugaru Clan Yasuchika rebuilt a three-layered keep in the southwest corner of the grounds. It is called “Gosankai Yagura” and is the castle you can see today. It is now used as historical center exhibiting historical materials of the feudal era.
  • Towada Art Center
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    4.5
    215 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Aomori Pref. Towadashi Nishinibanchou 10-9
    Located on Kanchogai-dori Avenue in Towada City, the Towada Art Center exhibits the artistic works of internationally-renowned artists like Yayoi Kusama and Ron Mueck. Intended to be a “facility for providing new experiences through art”, this center functions as a central pillar for the “Arts Towada Project” to make all of Kanchogai-dori Avenue function like a big art museum. It includes a café and activity spaces, offering chances to revitalize Towada City as an art town.

    This gallery was a real highlight in our journey on this particular day. I love collections that are not overwhelming in their scope and scale and the modern art on display here is top quality and...

  • Special Historical Site Sannai-Maruyama Site
    Travel / Tourism
    Aomori Pref. Aomorishi Sannai Maruyama
    Here is the largest Jomon village ruins in Japan which was discovered in an exploration conducted in 1992. It was designated as a National Special Historic Site in 2000. The large pillar-supported buildings that suddenly appear in a vast field were built by erecting chestnut wood pillars in holes dug into the ground. It is thought to have been a building of rectangle shape with six pillars with a large, high floor. You can also see pit dwellings and pillar constructions as well as the special feature of many earthen figures.
  • Aomori Museum of Art
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    4.0
    322 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Aomori Pref. Aomorishi Yasuta Chikano 185
    Opened in 2006, this art museum primarily houses and displays local cultural art of Aomori City and Aomori Prefecture. It is characterized by its unique architecture whereby the building is combined with the adjoining Sannai-Maruyama Jomon Era ruins. In the center of the museum is the Aleko Hall, where one can see in one glance all 4 masterpieces of the master Marc Chagall's 4 backdrops from the ballet ''Aleko'' until March 2021 (proposed). A broad range of standard exhibit items include western art, Japanese style paintings, modern art, and works by local artists. Take the city bus from Aomori Station and disembark at Kenritsu Bijutukan-Mae bus stop.

    What a great spot ! And with four fabulous, huge Chagall paintings (ballet stage back drops) as well as masterpieces from more contemporary Japanese artists. It's very impressive - both the building...

  • Nebuta Museum Wa Rasse
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    4.0
    675 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Aomori Pref. Aomorishi Yasukata 1-1-1
    This museum in Aomori City’s Aomori Waterside Area opened in 2011 to introduce the history and charm of Aomori’s Nebuta Festival. Inside the building there is a hall containing four floats used in the festival and a “Nebuta Museum” corner where one can learn about the festival’s history. The food area where one can enjoy lunch while looking out over Aomori Harbor is also popular.

    It’s static display of floats is charming but other than that, one can finish the whole museum tour in half an hour. Can skip this is you are in a hurry.

  • Tsugaruhan Neputa Mura
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    4.0
    168 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Aomori Pref. Hirosakishi Kamenokoumachi 61
    This is an experience-based tourist facility in Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture, themed on local culture including the Hirosaki Neputa festival and the Tsugaru region. The permanent exhibition features displays on Hirosaki Neputa and accompanying musical demonstrations. One can learn about local craftwork and have a production experience, and in the Tsugaru shamisen corner one can not only listen to a live performance but also try playing the shamisen under the guidance of a professional. There is also a free to enter shopping area offering locally-produced vegetables, apples and handicrafts.

    Visited the place for about 45 minutes with a tour group. It’s good in a sense that it’s a one-stop trail to learn about the interesting local culture, music (drums & shamisen) performances and...

  • Osorezan Bodaiji Temple
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    4.5
    86 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Aomori Pref. Mutsushi Tanabu Ugo Toshiyama 3-2
    Osorezan, which was founded in 862 by Jikaku Taishi, is one of Japan’s three largest reizan (sacred mountains) which also include Hiezan and Koya-san. It prospered as a place for the Tendai sect of Shugendo (a Japanese mountain asceticism incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts). Sights to see include the arching bridge over what is supposed to represent the Sanzu no Kawa (which has to be crossed by all dead souls on their way to afterlife and is often compared to the River Styx of ancient Greek mythology), Jigokudani (Hell Valley), and the beautiful Sai no Kawara (Dry Bed of the River of Souls) that makes one think of the Sukhavati (Amitabha’s Pure Land).

    Having read a great deal about the history and cultural significance of this wonderful place I was determined to visit here. Hired a car from near our accommodation in Mutsu and very easy drive...

  • Iwakiyama-jinja Shrine
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    4.5
    143 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Aomori Pref. Hirosakishi Hyakuzawa Terasawa
    With a history of approximately 1,200 years since it was built and believed to enshrine the guardian deity of agricultural and fishing industries, Iwakiyama-jinja Shrine is also called by its other names of “O-Iwaki-sama” and “O-yama.” The long path leading from the torii gate to the honden (main shrine) is flanked on either side by sugi (Japanese cryptomeria trees). The premises feature a honden, haiden (hall of worship), okumon (inner gate), and romon (two-storied gate) all arranged in a line, and these beautiful structures have been designated as Important Cultural Properties.

    This shrine should be far better to visit in spring. Bus from the Hirosaki station is not very frequent and the shrine closes @4 pm according to the tourist information. If you just pray and explore...

  • Towada-jinja Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Aomori Pref. Towadashi Okuse Towadakohanyasumiya
    Along with Osore-zan (on the Shimokita Peninsula), Towada-jinja Shrine is believed to be a sacred ground in shugendo (Japanese mountain asceticism incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts). As Tohoku’s leading power spot, it is also called “Uranaiba” since one’s fortune can be told here. Legend has it that if you make a wish and cast the “oyori-gami” paper that you received at the shrine into the lake, your wish will come true if the paper sinks down into the water.
  • Engaku-ji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Aomori Pref. Nishitsugarugunfukauramachi Fukaura Hamamachi 275
    A temple of the Shingon sect’s Daigo school of Buddhism, this was built in 807 as a temple dedicated to Kannon by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, the first Seii Taishogun (literally “great general” who subdues the barbarians). The temple enshrines a statue of the Eleven-faced Kannon Bosatsu which is said to be the work of Shotoku Taishi. People believed Maguchi Kannon watched over the entrance to port, and one time when sailors were caught in a storm they chopped off their topknot and offered prayers, and reportedly spotted a light coming from an old cryptomeria on the grounds which saved them. Sights not to be missed include those topknots tablets that were offered and boat-shaped ema (votive pictures), the Engakuji Yakushido-naizushi, a miniature shrine with double doors which is an important cultural property, and temple treasures including the image of Shaka Nyorai in Nirvana embroidered with the hair of 84,000 people and Sanjusan Kannon-zo.
  • Chojasan Shinra Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Aomori Pref. Hachinoheshi Chouja 1-6-10
    This Shinto shrine is about ten minutes on foot from both the Nijusannichi-machi and the Jurokunichi-machi bus stops. Located on the summit of Mt. Choja, it was built in 1678 by Nanbu Naomasa, the second feudal lord of the Hachinohe Domain. The shrine structure visitors see today was constructed over a ten-year period starting in 1826. Its various Edo Period (1603-1868) characteristics have earned it the status of a prefectural treasure. From the first to the third of August, the shrine holds its annual Sansha-Taisai Festival, a nationally Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property. Other well-known events are the Hachinohe Enburi Festival on February 17 and its Kagami-style Kiba Dakyu Tournament on August 2, featuring a traditional equestrian sport.
  • Juniko Lakes
    Travel / Tourism
    Aomori Pref. Nishitsugarugunfukauramachi Matsukami National forest
    "This is the name given for the 33 lakes and swamps on the undulating plateau of Fukaura Town. A landslide caused by an earthquake in 1704 is said to have created the lakes from part of a stream becoming filled. The small lakes are hidden by the forest when seen from Okuzure located in the middle of Mt. Kuzure, and the name ""Juniko"" (12 lakes) comes from the fact that only 12 large ones can be seen. Lake Aoike, with its distinctive pure blue water that looks as if ink was spilled, is often given as a lake representing them all. The colors that change according to the season and time is the main attraction. In addition, you can also enjoy strolls while observing animals and plants that inhabit the surrounding forest."
  • Tomb of Jesus Christ in Shingo village
    Travel / Tourism
    Aomori Pref. Sannohegunshingoumura Herai Noduki 33-1
    "Approximately a 60-minute drive from JR Hachinohe Station, this historical site is located inside Kirisuto no Sato Park along National Route 454. A description stating ""Jesus, who was crucified on Golgotha Hill, secretly went to Japan"" was found in an old document called the Takeuchi Document in the Kouso Koutai Jingu Shrine in 1935, and it was called the Tomb of Jesus Christ after Takeuchi traveled to Shingo Village himself and discovered it. In the following year, it attracted a lot of attention with the discovery of Christ's will. On the right is Toraizuka with Christ's tomb, and on the left is Judaibo, the tomb of his brother. Isukiri"
  • Aomori Bank Memorial Hall (Former main branch of the 59th National Bank)
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    4.0
    97 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Aomori Pref. Hirosakishi Motonagamachi 26
    Located southeast of Hirosaki Castle, the Aomori Bank Memorial Hall is a designated National Important Cultural Property which was originally built in 1904 as the 59th National Bank. A Renaissance-esque Western-style building, with decorative tower at the top, called the “White Palace,” also serves as an observatory. The interior is decorated with old-fashioned gold patterned Japanese leather paper, very few examples of which survive today in Japan, and the windows incorporate features from Japanese earthen warehouse architecture as both an anti-burglary and fireproofing measure. The hall still retains vestiges of the mixture of Japanese and Western styles with which it was designed in the Meiji period.

    As the museum is close to the Hirosaki Castle, one should drop by and have a quick walk around. It’s of nice old architecture and very Western style.

  • Catholic Hirosaki Church
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    4.0
    50 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Aomori Pref. Hirosakishi Hyakkokumachikouji 20
    Located around five minutes’ walk to the east of Hirosaki Park, Catholic Hirosaki Church was built in 1910. It was constructed in the Romanesque style, with a spire, and with prominent pillars at the left and right corners of the front face. The oak-wood altar that faces the door at the far end of the interior was a gift from the Church of St. Thomas in Amsterdam; the altar was made in 1866, and won an award for its design at an exhibition held in Antwerp, Belgium.

    This is not a tourist attraction. For devout Catholics, it may be worth a visit to find peace of mind during a long travel with a lot on one's mind! It is a small church and we had difficulty...

  • Former To-o Gijuku Missionary Residence
    Travel / Tourism
    Aomori Pref. Hirosakishi Shimoshiroganechou 2-1
    Located near Hirosaki Castle’s O-temon gate, the Former To-o Gijuku Missionary Residence was built in 1901 as a lodging house for English instructors invited to teach at the To-o Gijuku, the first private school opened in Aomori Prefecture. Modeled after Western-style architecture, the building features Western-style chimneys and a trussed roof. The interior presents the lifestyle the teachers of the time living at the residence enjoyed. The first floor operates as a café, while the second floor is used as a museum space. Several Western-style miniature buildings stand in the facility's garden, and visitors can view them at their leisure from the windows.
  • Former Hirosaki City Library
    Travel / Tourism
    Aomori Pref. Hirosakishi Shimoshiroganechou 2-1
    Built in 1906, this library was built in a Western style with a pair of Renaissance-esque octagonal steeples. Three stories tall and made of wood and mortar, the facility operated as a city library up to 1931; today it is open for viewing to the general public.
  • Hirosaki Church, United Church of Christ in Japan
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    4.0
    50 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Aomori Pref. Hirosakishi Mototeramachi 48
    A church built by the Hirosaki Methodist Church in 1906. Located close to Hirosaki Castle Botanical Garden, the wooden building’s gothic style architecture with two towers is an extremely rare example constructed during the Meiji period. A variety of traditional crafts were used in the decorate of the church as well. The pulpit and communion table are painted Tsugaru-nuri lacquer, and the donation baskets are traditional woven vine work. Visitors are permitted, but not when staff are not present or during church events.

    Sighted in late Autumn around 4:30pm, so it was dark and entry to the church wasn't possible. However, from the outside it was quite impressive a facade.

  • Rokkasho Visitors Center
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Aomori Pref. Kamikitagunrokkashomura Obuchi Kamiobuchi 2-42
    A visitor’s center for the nuclear fuel cycling center located in almost the exact venter of Rokkasho Village on the Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture. The building is modeled after a nuclear fuel cycle ring. The third floor offers a sweeping 360 degree panorama of the Mt. Hakkoda, the Pacific Ocean, and the nuclear fuel cycling facility. Through large models, videos, information panels, and games, visitors can have fun learning about the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant. The visitor’s center also offers guided tours with easy to understand explanations provided by a center staff member with an advance reservation.
  • Shayokan, Osamu Dazai Memorial Hall
    Travel / Tourism
    Aomori Pref. Goshogawarashi Kanagichou Asahiyama 412-1
    Shayokan stands along Prefectural Route 2 in Asahiyama, Kanagi Town, Goshogawara City. The building, a stately wood residence built in 1907 before Osamu Dazai was born, is now a designated National Important Cultural Property. The museum makes use of the residence storehouse as an exhibition space, display some of Dazai’s favorite personal goods, manuscripts, letters, and his first edition books.

Aomori Main Areas

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Centuries-old stories of samurai at Kakunodate and the remains of millennia-old archaeological sites including the likes of Isedotai invite history buffs to delve into Aomori's fascinating history. As the most northern prefecture on the Japanese mainland, Aomori enjoys a cooler climate, which makes it a welcome escape from the southern cities for combining castles, art galleries, and summer festivals with the great outdoors.

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