An itinerary focused on nature and tradition to discover Tohoku, the Northeast region of the main island of the Japan: it is an area rich in forests, lakes and beautiful natural views, as well as history and excellent food.
The itinerary is especially recommended for autumn to admire the wonderful colors of the foliage. The services include private cars and assistants where advisable to optimize time and to better visit these areas.
The basic proposal includes at least two overnight stays in hotels that have the famous onsen, traditional Japanese-style thermal baths, to combine moments of absolute relaxation with excursions and walks in the landscapes of this region.
In addition to visiting some of the major cities of Tohoku, such as Sendai, Akita and Yamagata, the itinerary includes areas interesting from a historical point of view such as the town of Kakunodate, where it is possible to visit authentic samurai residences, the Namahage Museum of folklore linked to the New Year’s Eve of the Oga Peninsula, as well as some beautiful temples such as the Zuigan-ji with its magnificent painted sliding walls.
Of course, the itinerary can be extended and modified according to specific preferences and needs, to make the holiday completely tailor-made.
Departure from your airport of choice. Overnight flight.
Arrive at the airport in Tokyo and take your domestic flight to Aomori airport, where you will be greeted by an English speaking assistant.
With a private car, you and the assistant will go to Aomori, a port city famous for its fish market and the local dish nokke-don, recommended for lunch: it is a classic rice bowl that allows you to pick the toppings from the large selection of fish and various delicacies that the market stalls offer, composing the dish according to your preferences. A tasty and fun meal.
After lunch, the private car will take you to the volcanic lake Towada, where you can enojoy a ferry ride: the lake is a panoramic point that offers a beautiful view in all seasons, especially the foliage in autumn. * The lake is not navigable in winter.
Transfer by car to your hotel, Hoshino Resort Oirase Keiyuu: here you will have the first thermal experience of the trip, taking advantage of the onsen tubs both inside and outside the hotel, and you can enjoy an excellent buffet dinner with a wide choice of Japanese-style dishes and delicacies with apples, of which Amori has the higest production of the whole country.
Transfer by private car to Oirase River, the only river that drains Lake Towada, for a nature walk.
Afterwards, transfer by private car to Hirosaki, one of the culturally richest cities in the Tohoku Region, famous for its catsle and garden with many cherry trees.
After lunch in some local restaurant, transfer independently by train to Akita. The city can be reached by normal JR train or by the Shirakami Resort tourist train, which is slower but it offers a stunning seaside scenery of Shirakami-Sanchithe, a large area of virgin forest, a part of which has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Check in at the hotel before an exclusive high-level experience: a traditional Japanese-style dinner with the entertainment of a real geisha or maiko!
Transfer by private car and English speaking assistant to the Namahage Museum that displays masks worn during a unique New Year’s Eve ritual of Oga city. Next to the museum is the Shinzan shrine, whose cult is closely linked to the tradition of these masks.
Transfer by private car with assistant to Kakunodate, an ancient town whereyou can visit real samurai houses located in a beautiful district where there are many cherry trees.
For lunch (not included) we recommend tasting kiritampo, pounded rice formed into a cylindrical shape typical of the Akita prefecture.
Transfer to Morioka city.
Transfer independently by JR trains to Hiraizumi, where an assistant will be waiting for you to help you explore the city: a must-see is the Chuson-ji temple complex, as well as the Motsu-ji temple, famous for its Buddhist Pure Land garden, which has a pond at its center and represents the Buddhist “paradise”.
In the afternoon, transfer independently by JR train to Sendai city, founded by Date Masamune, an important feudal lord of Japanese history.
Transfer with local assistant to Matsushima and enjoy a sightseeing cruise on the bay and its 260 tiny islands, where the famous poet Matsuo Basho said he saw a natural beauty that is difficult to describe in words.
Walking through the area you can visit Zuigan-ji, the oldest Zen temple in the area, and the small Godaido temple which overlooks the bay.
Transfer independently by train to Yamagata city, where you will meet a local guide who will help you visit the Yamadera temple, a scenic temple whose grounds extend high up a steep mountainside: by climbing the thousands of steps immersed in the forest you will experience some spiritual trekking.
After free lunch in the area (not included; we recommend trying soba, a type of noodles typical of the Yamagata region), transfer independently by JR train to Oshida station, from which you will reach your ryokan in the Ginzan thermal area by local shuttle. A last night of total relaxation: your stay also includes Japanese-style dinner and breakfast. Do not miss the opportunity to take a walk after dinner, to enjoy the traditional houses built along the river and feel like you have been transported to another era.
Breakfast at the ryokan included.
Back at the station, transfer independently via Shinkansen AV train to Tokyo.
Transfer independently to the airport in Tokyo, departure with your flight and return to your country.
Upon request, quotations for: