We’ve compiled the best of the best in Tohoku - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Chuson-ji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Founded in AD 850, this temple's highlight is its Konjikido (Golden Hall), which was completed in 1124. The first Ou Fujiwara lord, Kiyohara...Read More

  • 2. Ginzan

    Historic District/Site

    Ginzan Onsen is known for its unique landscape and distinguished Taisho period (1912–26) architectural design. A flood once destroyed the village...Read More

  • 3. Ginzan Onsen

    Hot Spring

    Ginzan is another relaxing hot spring close to both Yamagata and Sendai, but this one is more isolated than Sakunami. It's about two to three...Read More

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  • 4. Ho-Onji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    On the outskirts of Mt. Atagoyama is a temple district where a dozen temples are clustered. This one houses 499 statues of Buddha's disciples...Read More

  • 5. Osore-zan

    Scenic Drive

    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...Read More

  • 6. Risshaku-ji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Yamadera is like something conjured out of the ethereal mists of an ancient Japanese charcoal painting. Built in the year AD 860, Yamadera's...Read More

  • 7. Shirakami Sanchi


    South of Mt. Iwaki are the Shirakami Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to the world's largest virgin beech forest. The area...Read More

  • 8. Towada-Hachimantai National Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    For walking among the splendid and vast virgin beech, pine, and cedar forests deep in the heart of Tohoku, you could not pick a better destination...Read More

  • 9. Zuihoden

    Aoba-ku | Memorial/Monument/Tomb

    The grand mausoleum of Masamune Date, the most revered daimyo of ancient Sendai, was made in the style of the Momoyama Period (16th century...Read More

  • 10. Akita City Folklore and Performing Arts Center


    If you are not in town for Akita's famous Kanto Festival, this museum is the next best thing. Try balancing one of the poles topped with paper...Read More

  • 11. Akita Museum of Art


    One of the best reasons to visit this new museum is the building, designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando. The museum's highlight is the enormous...Read More

  • 12. Ando House

    Notable Building

    A visit to this miso and soy sauce business, still located in the historic home of the Ando merchant family, is a treat for both the eyes and...Read More

  • 13. Aomori Kenritsu Bijutsukan


    This contemporary arts museum houses a collection of works by Munakata Shiko (1903–75), Nara Yoshitomo (1959–), and Terayama Shuji (1935–83...Read More

  • 14. Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum

    Araya-omotemachi | Notable Building

    Several well-preserved samurai houses date from the founding of Kakunodate. The most renowned is Aoyagi-ke, which functions as a museum and...Read More

  • 15. Auga


    Fish, shellfish, preserved seaweed, and fish eggs—in short, all manner of marine organisms—are hawked by hundreds of vendors in this seafood...Read More

  • 16. Chosho-ji

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Thirty-three of the Soto Sect's Zen temples line up along Zenrin-gai (Zen Forest Street), at the end of which Chosho-ji temple stands with great...Read More

  • 17. Fuku-ura Jima


    From the Godaido Temple it's a short walk across a pedestrian bridge to the islet of Fuku-ura Jima. For the ¥200 toll you can break away from...Read More

  • 18. Gas-san

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Buses leave JR Tsuruoka Station at 6, 7, 10:15 and 12:46 in summer for the nearly two-hour trip (¥1,560) to the Gas-san Hachigo-me stop. From...Read More

  • 19. Geibikei Funa-kudari

    Higashiyama-cho | Other Attraction

    The surreal Geibikei Gorge is a slightly decrepit, definitely kitschy tourist attraction. You board a gondola at the local river, and your gondolier...Read More

  • 20. Godaido

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Just to the right of the ferry pier in Matsu-shima is this small temple constructed in 1609 at the behest of daimyo Masamune Date. The temple...Read More

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