Aomori Prefecture is northernmost in Honshu island, and there is Hokkaido island to the north across Tsugaru Strait.
Two large peninsulas extend from the north coast.
The eastern one is Shimokita peninsula shaped like an ax, and the western one is Tsugaru peninsula. There is Mutsu Bay between these peninsula.
And the eastern coast faces Pacific Ocean, and the western coast faces Japan Sea.
The western region is called "Tsugaru", and has much snow in winter.
The central city is Aomori city, and it is located on the northern
coast at head of Aomori Bay to the south of Mutsu Bay.
Hachinohe city is a main one in eastern region, and it has the terminal station of Tohoku-shinkansen from Tokyo.
And a western main city is Hirosaki, and it is a historic castle town.
To come into Aomori Prefecture, domestic flight or shinknansen is convenience.
Aomori airport is located about 12 km south-southwest of Aomori city.
It has the flights from Haneda (Tokyo), Itami (Osaka), Chubu (Nagoya) and Shin-Chitose (Sapporo).
Additionally, it has also the international flights from Seoul in South Korea 4 times a week.
By Shinkansen, it takes about 3.5 hours from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori.
|Average value 1981-2010||JAN||FEB||MAR||APR||MAY||JUN||JUL||AUG||SEP||OCT||NOV||DEC|
|Highest Temperature (deg C)||1.6||2.3||5.3||13.5||18.4||21.7||25.4||27.7||24.0||18.0||10.9||4.6|
|Lowest Temperature (deg C)||-3.9||-3.7||-1.3||3.7||8.9||13.5||18.0||19.8||15.1||8.6||3.0||-1.4|
|Mean monthly rainfall (mm)||145||111||70||63||81||76||117||123||123||104||138||151|
San'nai-Maruyama site /2/
Hakkoda mountains /4/
Sukayu hot spring resort /5/
Lake Towada /6/
Oirase stream /7/
Hirosaki city /10/
Mount Iwaki /11/
Fukaura town /12/
Enburi is the festival to pray for a good harvest, and it
is held around Hachinohe city, which is an eastern main city in Aomori
Some groups with more than a dozen dancers perform dance to flute and drum music in the city.
Each dancer wear a colorful cap modelled a head of horse, and perform the dance of a story from planting seeds of rice to harvesting.
From late April to early May, the cherry blossoms are in
full bloom in Aomori prefecture. Particularly Hirosaki city is
well-known as one of the major cherry blossom-viewing spots in Japan.
The main spot is Hirosaki Park which is on the site of Hirosaki Castle.
There is about 2,600 cherry trees in the not-so-large park, so in this season cherry blossoms cover the park.
Because the latter half of the period overlaps the "Golden Week" which has 4 national holidays in a week, many tourists visit from all over the country.
Nebuta or Neputa is the festival which is held in summer
at many cities and towns in Aomori Prefecture.
Many floats are paraded with many shouting citizens through the streets in the evening. A big paper lantern in the shape of a warrior is on each float, and the lights inside the lantern create a fantasic sight.
The festivals of Aomori city and Hirosaki city are large-scale and famous.
Generally this festival is called "Nebuta", but at Hirosaki and some surrounding towns it is called "Neputa".
Apple is the most popular agricultural product in Aomori
Prefecture, and the amount of production accounts for half of Japan's
The apples are cultivated mainly in western part of Aomori Prefecture around Hirosaki.
The apples from Aomori are imported to Taiwan, China and some other countries. Especially it is said that Taiwan people values highly Japanese apples.
Jappa-jiru is a fish stew cooked in miso soup.
Jappa means "remain" in Aomori dialect, then main ingredients are the head, guts, fishbone and other parts of fish except the fillet. In short, the parts of fish which are normally thrown away are used.
Generally a codfish is used.
The parts of a codfish are cut into chunks, and are stewed with a few kind of vegitables such as daikon (Japaanese radish), hakusai (Chinese cabbage) and negi (green onion) in miso soup.
Ichigo means "strawberry". But ichigo-ni is not the
dish of strawberry.
This is a local dish around Pacific Ocean coastline in eastern Aomori Prefecture.
It is a clear soup with uni (sea urchin) and abalone, and the seasoning is only small amount of salt and shoyu (soy sauce). Commonly chopped green perilla (Japanese basil) is added for flavoring.
Uni and abalone are very expensive, but this dish has been cooked using unsalable ones by fishermen.
A gracious man said that the orange uni looks like wild strawberries in the morning haze, then it is said that this dish got the name.