5 ways Tohoku tops Tokyo for a holiday (sponsored post)

With countries like Japan, you’d be forgiven for thinking that as a tourist, you’d easily run the risk of walking the beaten path by the millions of tourists from around the world that have visited before you.

Sure the Shibuya Crossing is a laugh, Mount Fuji is worth a spectacle and the Geisha are a tradition mind-blow, but where else can you go to see something truly worthwhile? Ever heard of Tohoku?

It’s the northernmost region of Honshu, Japan’s largest island and is made-up of six prefectures, Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata, all of which are on show in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s latest 360 video series, exploring all its best bits.

The Oirase Gorge in Aomori

Who’d’ve ever thought of Japan for anything other than cherry blossom trees and sushi? Well, the naturally-formed gorges that are beautiful enough to stop traffic are widely on offer in the northern region of Aomori. Oirase Gorge runs 14km between Yakeyama at the foot of Hakkoda-san and Nenokuchi on the shore of Towada-ko (Lake Towada). The Oirase Stream drains from Lake Towada down a gentle gradient of 200m to Yakeyama.

Think rapids, peaceful stretches, greenery and natural, seemingly untouched beauty.


The yurikamome (train) through Tokyo

It’s clean, fast, reliable and offers some spectacular views around the city, over waterways, in-between highways and from stunning location-to-location. Take an immersive look at what you’d see with the 360 video above!


The Aomori Nebuta Festival

All the way north in Aomori, the Nebuta Festival takes place every Japanese Summer in August 2-7. It’s all about the floats, depictions and stories, made by teams into around a dozen floats that celebrate.

The highlight of the festival is the daily parade of enormous lantern floats, flanked by large taiko drums, musicians and dancers. The Nebuta Matsuri together with Akita‘sKanto Matsuri and Sendai‘s Tanabata make up the Tohoku Sandai Matsuri (Three Great Festivals of the Tohoku Region).


Ride the Yakatabune Houseboats 

Taking a cruise about Aomori bay on board one of the houseboats is an experience! Dine, be sung to, take all the photos and sit traditionally on the floor. Many of the trips take anywhere between one to three hours and the sights you see are only typically available from the water. Watch the video above to see them in action!


The Omagari fireworks festival in Akita

The national fireworks contest attracts over 750,000 people from a prefecture with a little over 1 million people, to wonder at the best people can do with the sky-high light shows. A must-see!


This post has been sponsored by Tokyo Metropolitan Government.


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