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Mark Edward Harris

In the far north of Tohoku, in Aomori prefecture, snowfall comes early and the ground is usually carpeted white by the beginning of November. Festivals like Hirosaki Castle Snow Lantern Festival see ornate ice sculptures spring up across the city, as well as glowing lanterns, beautifully decorated. Slightly further south, towards the east coast, lies the start of the Michinoku Coastal Trail, and a poignant example of the regeneration of Tohoku since the 2011 tsunami wreaked havoc on the region. This 620-mile path opened in 2019 and follows the coastline all the way to Soma in Fukushima.


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