Aomori

A World Heritage Site, containing the world's largest virgin forest of beech trees. Reminders of ancient times still abound.

Aomori Prefecture is situated on the northernmost tip of Honshu facing Hokkaido, with Tsugaru Strait in between. The Ou Mountains that run from north to south divide the prefecture, thus forming very different climates in the east and the west—lots of snow on the Sea of Japan side and low temperatures even in the summer on the Pacific Ocean side. Aomori Prefecture has abundant nature still left: the Shirakami Mountains (which embrace the world's largest virgin forest of beech trees, a World Heritage Site), Oirase (famous for the beauty of its valley), Lake Towada-ko (known for its mystic beauty), Tsugaru Quasi-National Park (which boasts beautiful scenery), and Shimokita-hanto Quasi-National Park on the northernmost tip of Honshu. You can also indulge in the ancient atmosphere of the Sannai-Maruyama Ruins (Japan's largest, which are said to have been established in 4,000 to 5,000 BC), the Korekawa Ruins, and the Kame-ga-oka Ruins.

Aomori hosts many festivals throughout the seasons, through which you can get a feeling of the lives of the people. The festivals include the Aomori Nebuta-matsuri Festival and the Hirosaki Neputa-matsuri Festival (which illuminates the skies of short summer nights in Aomori), the Iwaki Oyama Pilgrimage in Hirosaki City (a festival that adds poetic charm to the autumn in Tsugaru), and Hachinohe Enburi in Hachinohe City (a traditional winter festival to wish for prosperity and a good harvest).

Cited by: Japan National Tourism Organization

http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/

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