Aomori: Marvel at the dazzling colours

With Japan hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup, there’s never been a better time to discover Aomori — on the route from Tokyo to Hokkaido, which hosts England’s first match on 22 September

By Aomori Prefecture
Published 8 Apr 2019, 23:58 BST, Updated 30 Dec 2021, 16:49 GMT
Tanbo Art
Tanbo Art

Just 3.5 hours from Tokyo on the bullet train to Hokkaido, Inakadate village — on the northern tip of Honshu Island, in Aomori Prefecture — attracts hordes of tourists every year, from early June until early October. They come to witness Tanbo Art, a unique event that centres around the village’s rice fields. Various strains of rice are planted that grow to form giant multicoloured pictures — everything from film posters to manga art.

After marvelling at this amazing spectacle from the observation tower, why not extend your trip to include Lake Towada, where you can enjoy kayaking amid the dazzling autumn colours. The vivid reds, oranges and yellows of the trees reflect in the lake, making for a thoroughly photogenic sight. More postcard-perfect views await on the lake’s eastern shore, where the stunning Oirase Stream flows down from mountains. Aomori is also the perfect spot to try a unique hot spring (onsen) experience. At the Lamp Inn Aoni Onsen, the lamps are the only source of light, making for a restful, watery spectacle in the heart of nature.

If you visit the Hakkoda area, head to Sukayu Onsen, renowned for its 300-year-old baths. Up to 200 guests can bathe together here. Finally, if you have a craving for seafood, then a must-visit is the fish market, where you can enjoy a local culinary tradition: a Nokke-don — your choice of fish served with a bowl of rice.

For more information, visit


Published in the April 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Follow us on social media 

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Flipboard


Read More

You might also like

Christmas gifts for nature-lovers: four new must-have books
How Berlin is blazing a trail in zero-waste, sustainable food
Notes from an author: Catherine Raven on finding solace in the wilderness of the American West
Our 12 most-read travel features of 2021
How to spend a weekend in the Derwent Valley Mills, Derbyshire

Explore Nat Geo

  • Animals
  • Environment
  • History & Culture
  • Science
  • Travel
  • Photography
  • Space
  • Adventure
  • Video

About us


  • Magazines
  • Newsletter
  • Disney+

Follow us

Copyright © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society. Copyright © 2015-2021 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved