Aomori

Restaurant Guide in Aomori

Aomori prefecture is at the northern tip of Honshu (main island). Beyond the Tsugaru Channel on the north edge of the prefecture, one can see Hokkaido, and with the prefecture’s east side facing the Pacific Ocean and the west side facing the Sea of Japan, Aomori is surrounded by the ocean on three sides. The prefectural regions are divided into the Tsugaru r

egion in the west and the Nanbu region in the east. Tsugaru region is famous for its apples and as much as over 50 percent of all apples grown in Japan are produced here. In addition to apples, rice, garlic, and yams are also grown in Aomori, and livestock farming is thriving as well. Large amount of mackerel and squid are caught at the Hachinohe fishing port, which is known for having one of the largest catches in Japan. The operation of Tohoku Shinkansen between Morioka and Hachinoe initiated in 2002 and between Hachinohe and Shin-Aomori in 2010 made it possible to travel to Aomori from Tokyo in as little as 3 hours and 20 minutes one way. On the prefectural boarder with Akita, there are the Shirakami-Sanchi Mountains that were added to the world heritage list in 1993, and the scenic areas of Lake Towada and Oirase River valley in the Towada-Hachimantai National Park are popular among tourists. Mount Osore, known as a sacred site, is in the Shimokita Peninsula. Aomori is also known for its festivals. In particular, many tourists both from Japan and abroad come to see the festivals of Nebuta in Aomori city and Neputa in Hirosaki city held in August. Nebuta features tall, vertical floats while fan-shaped, horizontal lantern floats are seen at Neputa. Nebuta is more famous, and since some floats can be as tall as 10 meters, they can be quite dynamic. As for the food culture, since the winter weather is quite harsh in Aomori, local dishes feature preserved foods or soups that use local products without wasting any parts of them. Kenojiru soup with its variety of vegetables is a representative local food in the Tsugaru region. In the Nan-bu area where wheat and soba were mainly consumed, people ate senbei-jiru, and in the coastal area, ichigoni using generous amount of sea urchins and abalones has been commonly eaten.

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