Going underground in Japan: Exploring the Seikan Tunnel Museum from Hokkaido to Honshu

The Seikan tunnel is a train tunnel that connects Tohoku in the main island of Honshu to Hokkaido to the north, going a impressive 240m below the sea level. The whole tunnel is over 50km in length and was quite a feat of engineering when it was constructed over 40 years ago under the TsugaruContinue reading “Going underground in Japan: Exploring the Seikan Tunnel Museum from Hokkaido to Honshu”

Top 5 Autumn color spots in Tohoku

Don’t forget Tohoku when planning your Autumn colors trip! There are some amazing places to visit, with cheap access and unspoiled views. Be sure to bring a camera with a big memory card, put into panoramic mode, and fire away. Places in Tohoku can be quite spread out, so if you are traveling here weContinue reading “Top 5 Autumn color spots in Tohoku”

Yamadera

Yamadera (山寺), meaning Mountain Temple, is a small town well known for its beautiful, scenic Ryūshaku-ji (立石寺) temple. The town is a great spot for Autumn colours, but is excellent any time of the year. Walking up the temple area provides a great view over the town and forests, as you check out many different religiousContinue reading “Yamadera”

Yamagata

Yamagata (山形) is a small city near Sendai, which is a good transportation and accommodation hub for Yamedera and Zao Onsen. Budget travel tips There is a small castle in the center, Yamagata Castle, which is a nice way to spend some time, but not a must-see. Consider staying here to save on sometimes pricier options outside theContinue reading “Yamagata”

Zao Onsen

Zao Onsen (蔵王温泉) is a popular ski resort and hot spring town in Tohoku. The resort is known for its excellent powder conditions and also for its ‘snow monster trees’. Budget travel tips Works well with trips to Yamagata and Yamadera. Contact your hostel or hotel to see if they have rental discounts for guest.Continue reading “Zao Onsen”

Naruko Gorge

Naruko Gorge (鳴子峡) is a stunning Autumn leaves spot in Tohoku. The leaves cover the 100 metre deep gorge with stunning orange and gold colours, so this has become one of Japan’s best places to see the Autumn leaves. There are various walking paths and a train that goes through the gorge. Budget travel tips NarukoContinue reading “Naruko Gorge”

Goddess of Kannon

The Goddess of Kannon (仙台大観音) is a spectacularly huge statue of Kannon, the Deity of Mercy, near Sendai in Tohoku. It is over 100 meters tall and visitors are able to enter and walk up for views over the city and pacific ocean. It is the sixth tallest statue in the world! Budget travel tips There is a MOS BurgerContinue reading “Goddess of Kannon”

Matsushima

Matsushima (松島) is famous bay not far from Sendai. What makes this place unique is that the bay is dotted with beautiful little islands, the most famous of which has a shrine on top. You can view the islands by walking around the bay or by using traditional Japanese bridges to access the 2 main islands. Budget travel tips Taking aContinue reading “Matsushima”

Sendai

Sendai (仙台) is one of the biggest cities in Tohoku. It is not an essential visit, but offers cheap accommodation and many side trips. There are also some interesting things to do in the city if you have some spare time between travelling. Budget travel tips Head up north to the World Heritage site of Hiraizumi.Continue reading “Sendai”

Hiraizumi

While Japan’s other World Heritage sites get more attention, Hiraizumi (平泉) is the one to see if you want to do something a little different. Most famous is its golden hall in Chuson-ji Temple, but the town is full of mini-temples, plus some impressive gardens and lakes. Top Tips Pick up a free map from theContinue reading “Hiraizumi”

Kakunodate

Kakunodate (角館) is an old samurai town with a rich history and lots to see. Near Lake Tazawa in Tohoku, Kakunodate has plenty of traditional samurai and merchant houses, as well as museums, cherry blossom spots and lots of free samples! Budget travel tips There is a really helpful Tourist Information Center next to the station. Head thereContinue reading “Kakunodate”

Nyuto Onsen

Nyuto Onsen (乳頭温泉) is one of the most famous hot spring towns in Japan, with it’s silky white water and traditionally styled hot spring buildings. It’s a great place to spend some time relaxing or hiking in Tohoku. Budget travel tips Most hot springs only open from 10AM to 2/3PM for non-staying guests. Bring a towel,Continue reading “Nyuto Onsen”