Travel

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 Monday, 8 April 2019

By Aomori Prefecture

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 en-aomori.com

 

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

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