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Best of Aomori
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Enjoy a comprehensive tour of the Aomori Prefecture, taking in landmarks that include a castle, a museum of parade floats, a district devoted to Zen temples and a beloved garden.
Settle in for a scenic drive to Hirosaki Castle, a fortification that Lord Tsugaru built when he governed this region in the early 17th century. It is a magnificent seemingly impenetrable structure, as it sits atop a sloped stone wall surrounded by fortified moats. The original castle grounds are now a sprawling park dotted with thousands of cherry trees that bloom in the spring.
Nearby, you will find Tsugara Nebuta Village, a museum devoted to the Nebuta summer festival in Hirosaki, during which enormous floats depicting Japanese gods, historical figures and mythological beings are paraded through the streets. The museum also includes exhibits of cultural items such as three-string shamisen musical instruments, local handicrafts and antique toys. Browsing the museum will be a visually delightful experience that you will not soon forget.
Following lunch, you visit Zenringai, a district of Soto Zen temples. Incredibly, nearly three dozen of them line one street. The region’s 17th-century lord ordered the bulk of them to be moved here to help fortify the area.
Another stop during your day is Siebien, a garden created in 1902 in the Bugaku style that combines formal and semi-formal plantings. Don’t miss the yew tree pruned in the shape of a revered god.
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Scenic & City Tours
Tours with this activity level involve a considerable amount of physical activity such as substantial walking over cobblestone streets, uneven or steep terrain, climbing stairs, or extended periods of standing. Not recommended for guests with physical limitations. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended.
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