Cultures

For those who truly want to experience the real Japan, Tohoku region is a good place to start. Despite progressive changes over the past centuries in Japan, Tohoku has retained a uniquely authentic feel by preserving its traditional way of life and culture.

With rich history that can be traced back to the 7th century, Tohoku is truly a hidden gem for those who appreciate a relaxed holiday in a pure and rustic environment. Each attraction has a story to tell, and every culture a special place in the community.

Ascending the 1,015 steps to the summit of Risshaku-ji (Yamadera Temple) allows one to have a magnificent view of the valley. Risshaku-ji means “mountain temple” and it was founded in 860 to oversee the Tendai Buddhism Sect in Tohoku. The temple is made up of shrines, gates and monuments that have strong religious significance.

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Kakunodate Samurai District is a well-preserved small town that used to house about 80 families. The broad streets and yards are filled with plenty of weeping cherry trees and they are one of the biggest attractions in early May, during the cherry blossom season.

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Chusonji Temple is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011. The temple is located at the top of Kansan hill in Hiraizumi. With every step on the pebbled ground leading up to the temple, one will feel the tranquility.

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The architecture of the Aomori Museum of Art is inspired by the Sannai Maruyama Jomon Archaeological Site next door. Display spaces are built like it has been dug into the ground rather than being built above it. The museum have both permanent and temporary exhibitions by famous artists such as Munakata Shiko, Nara Yoshitomo and Toru Narita.

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Tsuruoka City Kamo Aquarium is the only aquarium in Yamagata and it is famous for the huge collection of jellyfishes. There is a “Jellyfish Park” in the aquarium where different species of jellyfishes are showcased in backlit display windows.

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