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Tohoku Travel Guide

  • Photo: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Plan Your Tohoku Vacation

Tohoku translates as "east–north," and it is a path less traveled by foreign tourists. Though the recent addition of bullet trains has made getting up here easier, Tohoku is still a world away from the crowded south. The mountain villages are more remote, the forests more untamed, and the people more reserved and wary of outsiders. But don't be fooled, they are quite friendly if you

show them you appreciate the pace, look, and feel of things.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Summer festivals Tohoku hosts a number of raucous, tumultuous, and exciting festivals every summer, the Tanabata Matsuri being the top draw.
  2. Coastal beauty Matsushima Bay's 250 islands near Sendai are beautiful, but the coast is postcard-pretty virtually anywhere.
  3. Seafood and vegetables The freshest seafood you'll ever eat is presented in many ways, all of them tasty. Sansai (wild mountain vegetables) are a specialty of the region.
  4. Country life Tohoku claims some of the cleanest water in the country, which helps produce high-quality rice, noodles, apples, cherries, and beef and dairy cattle.
  5. Mountain adventures The many fine mountain playgrounds are made all the more appealing by the relative absence of people using them.

When To Go

When to Go to Tohoku

The north and west have Japan's fiercest winters; transportation slows down significantly, even grinding to a halt during prolonged sieges of snowfa...

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