The Tohoku Area is made up of six prefectures:
Aomori, Akita and Iwate in the north
and Miyagi, Yamagata and Fukushima in the
Tohoku means north-east and the area comprises the north-eastern
part of Honshu, the main island. It offers a wide range of attractions for the
visitor, from skiing and onsen (hot springs) to major festivals
and beautiful scenery.
Perhaps the best time to visit the Tohoku Area in general is during
the summer matsuri (festival) season. The region
is famous for its well-preserved
local culture and this can be best seen in the 'Four Big Tohoku
Festivals' at the beginning of August. In particular, the amazing
illuminated floats of the Aomori Nebuta Festival attract visitors from all
over the world.
The area is largely mountainous and agricultural. It is famous
for having some of the country's finest rice, sake (rice wine) and apples.
Local craft products include traditional
kokeshi dolls and various kinds of lacquerware.
From Tokyo's Haneda Airport, the flight time to Aomori is 1 hour 10
minutes, to Yamagata is 50 minutes. The area is served by the Tohoku
Shinkansen (bullet train), but it only runs as far north as Morioka.
The time from Tokyo to Morioka is just over 3 hours, while it
is 2 hours to Sendai.