Aomori is the northernmost prefecture on the main island of Japan and is blessed with both diverse culture and magnificent nature, including the UNESC...
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At your hotel in Aomori City or at Aomori Port
Great Statue of Buddha in Seiryuji Temple
Nebuta Museum Warasse
Mt. Hakkoda Ropeway
Oirase Mountain Stream and Lake Towada
Hirosaki Castle in Hirosaki Park
Rice Paddy Art
Goshogawara Tachi Neputa Museum
Takayama Inari Shrine
At your hotel in Aomori City or Aomori Port
Aomori is the northernmost prefecture on the main island of Japan and is blessed with both diverse culture and magnificent nature, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site Shirakami Sanchi, the Jomon Period archeological site Sannai Maruyama, the famous cherry blossom viewing spot Hirosaki Park, and other beautiful natural areas such as Lake Towada, the Hakkoda Mountains, and Hotokegaura.
Among these areas, I've picked out seven sightseeing spots that are quite popular among foreign tourists. You can choose three or four spots from them. It takes about 7 or 8 hours by van to visit the spots and come back to Aomori City. You can make your tour shorter in time for your cruise ship. If you would like to visit other places, I can make plans for you upon request.
A. Great Statue of Buddha in Seiryuji Temple
There is the Great Statue of Buddha, the tallest seated bronze statue of Buddha in Japan at Seiryuji Temple in the suburbs of Aomori City. Its characteristic is that the Buddha wears a crown on his head and makes a Zen meditation hand gesture. There are also a five-storied pagoda and a dry landscape garden on the premises.
B. Nebuta Museum Warasse
Here you can see big 'Nebuta' lantern floats made of paper and wire with lots of light bulbs inside. The pictures often depict the heroes of old Japanese and Chinese historical events. The Nebuta Festival is held from August 2 to 7 and attracts nearly 3 million visitors from home and abroad.
C. Hakkoda Ropeway
Mt. Hakkoda is located on the outskirts of Aomori City. The mountaintop station is 1,324 meters or about 4,300 feet above sea level. It takes about 10 minutes to the top. This cable car can carry 100 passengers and the distance between the two stations is 2,459 meters or about 8,000 feet. The difference of elevation is 650 meters or about 2,000 feet. You can see not just the mountains around but the panoramic view of the city from the mountaintop.
D. Oirase Mountain Stream and Lake Towada
You will be able to enjoy watching the stream from various angles along the road leading to Lake Towada. Several falls flowing into the stream make the scenery more attractive. Lake Towada is a dual crater lake that was formed by the caving in of a volcano mouth formed by an eruption. The lake reflects the four seasons in its clear blue water accentuated by the fresh green of spring, autumn leaves, and the snow in winter, giving it a mysterious beauty.
E. Hirosaki Castle in Hirosaki Park
Hirosaki Castle was the residence of the Lord who governed Hirosaki and its vicinity for about 260 years. This castle was built in 1810 and it is one of the 12 castles in Japan that remain intact without being reconstructed. The castle is in Hirosaki Park. This park is famous for its cherry blossoms. There are about 2,600 cherry trees in the park. More than 2 million tourists from home and abroad come to see the cherry blossoms in spring.
F. Rice Paddy Art
The rice paddy art started about 20 years ago, when Inakadate Village had an event in which local people and tourists had experience in planting rice seedlings. Now they use various kinds of seedlings in different colors. Year by year its artistic value has been increasing. Several years ago the emperor and the empress came here all the way from Tokyo to watch the work of 'Gone with the Wind'. The history of rice-planting in this vilage is very long and rice-planting started about 2,000 years ago.
G. Goshogawara Tachi Neputa
Tachi Neputa is big lantern floats that march in procession through the main street downtown during the summer festival. Its characteristic is the height of the floats. The entire height is 23 meters (75 feet), which is equivalent to a seven story building. You can see these gigantic floats throughout the year at Tachi Neputa Museum. The museum exhibits three floats that marched the street last year and you can see them from different angles on the spiral staircase.
H. Takayama Inari Shrine
The huge torii or gate welcomes you when you get to this shrine. You usually see this gate in front of the shrine as it is a shrine's symbol. The gate works as a border between the sacred place and our world and keeps evil things from coming in. The distinctive characteristic of this Takayama Inari Shrine is that the shrine has 202 small torii or gates that stand close to each other winding like a dragon toward the top of the hill. They look magnificent and you can go through under the gates to the top. There is also a rock garden that matches the gates.
・van charge (50,000 yen/group) or taxi charge (35,000 yen/group)
・entrance fee or fare
Great Statue of Buddha (400 yen/person)
Mt. Hakkoda Ropeway (1,850 yen/person)
Hirosaki Castle (310 yen/person)
Rice Paddy Art (600 yen/person)
Goshogawara Tachi Neputa (600yen/person)
Yes, in that case, I'll be able to meet you at the port and take you back to the ship after the tour.
You are paying the charge to the driver after the tour.
I'm afraid not. The van can accommodate as many as 10 people including a driver and a guide. So 8 is the maximum.
I had a wonderful day in Aomori at a junior high school thanks to Yuki. He is very professional and organised and put together a memorable day. Highlights at the school included a lunch in the classroom where I got to chat casually with the students, and joint them in sports activities after school. I have been to Japan many times and this easily ranks as one of my favourite experiences, and I am privileged to have been able to take part. Yuki was very helpful not only on the day but also the preparation beforehand, and made sure any requests were accommodated. I definitely reccomend Yuki as a guide for your time in Aomori. 本当にありがとうございました！ Martin
Martin, Thanks for your review of the school visit tour we had yesterday. I'm glad to know you had a good time with the students in various activities. Thanks to the principal, we could go into every classroom while showing you around the school buiding. He said he just wanted the students to know about you. If you have another chance to visit Aomori, I'll show you around places we haven't visited. Just keep up with your Japanese language study. Yuki
Expensive for 1 day when you include all the extras such as Hiroyukis train fare of 10,000 yen from his home in Aromori. We really do not understand why we should pay extra for his comute to his place of work. When he advertises his tour of Hakodate you don't expect to pay for his comute. In the numerious tours we have had in Japan we have never been asked to pay this.
Hi Frans, Thanks for your review of the trip you had in Hakodate on October 3. My travel expenses to and from Hakodate are shown on the tour plan and also I often mentioned you the expenses while we were exchanging messages with each other, so I was sure you all understood this. As I mentioned you before you booked the tour, I don't live in Hakodate and usually ask my clients to pay my travel expenses to and from Hakodate. They paid them to me when the tours were over so far. Yuki
Today Hiroyuki guided us the whole day in Aomori on a personalised tour in the mountainous area. He organised a van so we could travel comfortably. First we visited the Great Statue of Buddha in the vicinity of Aomori. Yuki is very knowledgeable and extremely well prepared as he explains the local customs and traditions. This is a must see! We did also a beautiful tour around lake Towada. Here we had a fantastic lunch. Later we drove along the Oirase Mountain Stream. This is actually a national park with many stunning waterfalls. Yuki did a great job and answered every question about Aomori, and Japan. We can warmly recommend his services. His English is flawless by the way. Thank you for the wonderfull day!
Monika, Thanks for your quick review of my guiding today. I really enjoyed being with you! All of you were very polite and kind to me during the tour. We were lucky to visit the Great Statue of Buddha instead of going up the mountain by ropeway. And we were also lucky to see the beautiful Oirase Mountain Stream and Lake Towada from the observatories though the weather was not necessarily good. Now I feel satisfied I could show you around the places I planned to. I have to say thank you to the god who helped us. I'm sure he helped us because you are very nice people and came here all the way from Belgium. I wish I could guide you again some time in the future and other tourists from Belgium. Yuki
Yuki was a truly fantastic guide. Knowing that things would be busy and hectic during Golden Week, I reached out to Yuki to begin planning a tour. Yuki provided very prompt and detailed responses to all my questions, and laid out a detailed itinerary for my consideration. Once we arrived at the train station, Yuki assisted us in booking our return tickets, ensuring we had reserved seats on the right train, and could sit together in the same car. Once we began our adventure it was clear -- Yuki was very prepared to provide detailed information, history, and background that would help us better appreciate each stop on the tour. Yuki's command of English is great -- I didn't tell him this, but his time studying ESL in San Francisco left a slight West Coast accent, which, like his laugh, was endearing and infectious. You can't go wrong booking a tour with Yuki. He takes his job very seriously, and will do everything to make sure you get the most out of your adventure!
Nick, I'm glad you came back to the States safe and sound. Thank you so much for your review of the tour. I really appreciate it! You also did a great job getting all the tickets necessary to come to Aomori from Hachinohe in advance. Without your cooperation, I'm sure I couldn't have carried out this tour. I'm glad you've chosen the area far from the place you had stayed and that I could show you around the sightseeing spots popular among international tourists. I really thank you for choosing me as your guide. Yuki