If you have a car, a day trip to the uppermost "hook" of the Mutsu/Shimokita Peninsula is highly recommended. A 30-minute drive north of Mutsu takes you to Osore-zan, which literally means "Scary Mountain." On the ash-gray shores of the Lake Usori caldera an otherplanetary landscape awaits, with boardwalks that lead over sulfur pools and past shrines to the dead. There's even an enclosed onsen where you can shuck your clothes and bathe in the stinky water. At certain times
of the year, itako (blind female shamans) open stalls to tell your fortune and communicate with your deceased loved ones. It's a memorable day at the end of the world.
Mutsu, Aomori-ken, Japan