If I told you, that Aomori is one of my favorite places in Japan. My guess is that you would probably shrug your shoulders and ask “where is Aomori?”. It’s not surprising. A couple of months ago, I would have had the same reaction. In fact, Aomori seems to be a well-kept secret among the skiing and snowboarding crowd.
Aomori is a little haven is at the northern most point of the main island of Japan. It is famous in Japan as apple country, but more on that later.
When I close my eyes and think back at my time in Aomori, I picture the winding mountains, huge Nebuta floats, and the thick forest. The time I had in this breathtaking area was relaxing and peaceful.
Here are 5 reasons I feel in love with Aomori
Nebuta Museum and Festival
Learning all about the Aomori Nebuta Festival was a highlight. Nebuta’s are massive floats made of only wood, paper, wires, and lights, They tower over ten feet high, and are equally as wide.
They depict traditional images and stories from Japanese culture like Dragons and Samurai. Each year entirely new floats are made for the festival in August. The floats are paraded through the town and even sent down the river.
The museum showed off a few of these incredible masterpieces. While I didn’t get to see the actually festival the displays at the Wa Rasse Museum wet my appetite enough, that I can’t wait to come back and check it out.
Yes, you read that right. Apples. Aomori is famous in Japan as Apple country, and they are seriously the biggest and best apples I’ve ever had.
Each delicious bite was better than the last. Not only are they sweet and crisp but they’re huge, and can barely fit into the palm of your hand. Apples are everywhere is Aomori and in any form imaginable.
I saw everything from apple pastries, jams, hard candies, chips, and bread. Image your favorite food in Apple form, and there is a good chance you can find it in Aomori.
One of the things I look for when choosing destinations outside of major cities is the landscape. I have seen hundreds of different types of landscapes from the windy plains of Mongolia to damp caves in Ohio, so you will believe me when I say I found Aomori stunning.
The area is surrounded by winding mountain roads, larger than life views, and thriving forest areas.
One thing I like about Aomori is that every season hits at full strength. Now, I am not a huge winter guy, even the thought of snow sends a shudder down my spine, but I think it might be the most beautiful season to visit Aomori.
Strong winds push the snow around the mountains covering the tiny trees making them steep snow mound.
When you see dozens of these together, Aomori has an unearthly feel to it. There wasn’t enough snow to see this phenomenon for myself during my visit, but the locals we talked to and the pictures I saw convinced me that I need to head back to Aomori to see this phenomenon for myself.
To get the best views take a ride on the Gondola that ventures high into the mountains.
I visited Aomori in fall. All throughout the forest, the leaves were changing. There were vibrant reds, golden yellows, and mossy greens everywhere I looked. I fell in love with these woods and with the leaves so beautiful we decided to do some hiking.
I spent a few hours on an easy trail beside a rushing stream. It sprinkled during as we walked but the woods were too nice to give the rain too much of my attention. Along the trail, there were waterfalls were of all shapes and sized pouring down from the mountains.
The landscape of Aomori is untouched which only adds to the charm of the area.
Hotspring Resorts I recommend,
Hot Springs and Japanese Bath houses are famous in Japan and Aomori has a few of the most popular in the entire country. I got to spend an entire day checking out a few nearby hot springs and resorts.
Sitting in the warmth of my watery haven I watched the frigid wind blow snow through the mountain passes below. It was one of those moments I sat back, appreciate how lucky I am and take in everything.
Many of these hot springs and resorts offer rooms at prices not much more than hotels. If you are splitting it with a friend, it is extremely affordable. I highly recommend them if you are looking for a weekend getaway in Japan.
They have a variety of rooms like Japanese style rooms ( a large room with doubles as a living/bedroom), western style, and family rooms. Some of the rooms even had their personal hot springs.
A few Bathhouses I recommend in Aomori.
All of these bathhouses also double as hotels. Comfortable rooms attached to steamy bath houses. What more could you ask for? And if you are looking to escape Tokyo for 48 hours or take a nice weekend getaway then it is a good choice.
Aomori is a great place to relax and get a small taste of the landscape of Japan. There is enough hiking, hot springs, museums to keep you busy, and it is also the perfect place to relax.