22 days in Tohoku Itinerary

22 days in Tohoku Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Tohoku travel route builder

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Make it your trip
Fly
1
Aomori
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Hirosaki
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Towada
— 3 nights
Train
4
Semboku
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Hiraizumi-cho
— 1 night
Drive
6
Tsuruoka
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Aizuwakamatsu
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Sendai
— 4 nights
+2
Train to Hamamatsucho, Tram to Tokyo Haneda, Fly to Sydney

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Aomori

— 3 nights
Facing Mutsu Bay on the northernmost tip of Honshu, Aomori is a bustling regional capital known for its fresh seafood and modern architecture.
Venture out of the city with trips to Goshogawara (Ashino Park & Shayokan). There's much more to do: explore the ancient world of Sannai-Maruyama Site, admire the verdant scenery at Tashirotai Heights, explore the world behind art at Aomori Museum of Art, and see the interesting displays at Seikan Ferry Memorial Ship Hakkodamaru.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Aomori trip itinerary builder app.

Sydney, Australia to Aomori is an approximately 17-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Sydney to Aomori. In September, daily temperatures in Aomori can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can go by car to Hirosaki.

Things to do in Aomori

Museums · Parks · Nature · Baths

Side Trips

Hirosaki

— 3 nights
A center of political power during the feudal era, Hirosaki today stands as a hub of culture and history in the north of the island.
Step out of Hirosaki with an excursion to Tsugaru Dam in Nishimeya-mura--about 48 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: take in the awesome beauty at Shirakami Sanchi, take in the spiritual surroundings of Iwakiyama Shrine, indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at Dake Onsenkyo, and admire the natural beauty at Fujita Memorial Japanese Garden.

To find reviews, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Hirosaki trip builder site.

You can drive from Aomori to Hirosaki in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a train. September in Hirosaki sees daily highs of 25°C and lows of 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Fri) so you can take a train to Towada.

Things to do in Hirosaki

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Baths

Side Trips

Towada

— 3 nights
Tucked away among the foothills of the Hakkoda mountain range, Towada tourism revolves around its eponymous lake and the surrounding national park.
Venture out of the city with trips to Aguri no Sato Oirase (in Oirase-cho) and Misawa (Misawa Aviation & Science Museum & Sky Plaza MISAWA). There's still lots to do: explore the activities along Oirase Gorge, take in the dramatic scenery at Choshi Otaki Waterfall, soak in some Japanese tradition at some of the top local onsens, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Towada Shrine.

For ratings, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read our Towada online trip builder.

You can take a train from Hirosaki to Towada in 2 hours. Another option is to drive. Traveling from Hirosaki in October, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Towada, with lows of 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) to allow time to take a train to Semboku.

Things to do in Towada

Nature · Parks · Museums · Outdoors

Side Trips

Semboku

— 2 nights
Established in 2005 by the merging of several towns and villages, Semboku boasts an Old Japan atmosphere, punctuated by traditional onsen resorts, old samurai houses, and weeping cherry trees.
On the 5th (Tue), explore the activities along Lake Tazawa, browse the exhibits of Ishiguro Samurai House, wander the streets of Samurai District, then get engrossed in the history at Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum, and finally steep yourself in history at Iwahashi Samurai House. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 6th (Wed): stop by Morioka Handi-Works Square, admire the landmark architecture of Koiwai Farm, then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Akita Komagatake, and finally indulge in Japan's hot spring tradition at some of the top local onsens.

To see where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Semboku trip maker.

Traveling by train from Towada to Semboku takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Traveling from Towada in October, plan for slightly colder nights in Semboku, with lows around 11°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Hiraizumi-cho.

Things to do in Semboku

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Museums

Side Trips

Hiraizumi-cho

— 1 night
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Thu): take in the spiritual surroundings of Motsu-ji Temple, take an in-depth tour of Hiraizumi Cultural Heritage Center, see the interesting displays at Sankozo, take in the spiritual surroundings of Chuson-ji Temple, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Chuson-ji Konjiki-do, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Hakusan Shrine.

For other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Hiraizumi-cho attractions planner.

You can drive from Semboku to Hiraizumi-cho in 2 hours. In October in Hiraizumi-cho, expect temperatures between 20°C during the day and 12°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) so you can travel to Tsuruoka.

Things to do in Hiraizumi-cho

Historic Sites · Museums

Tsuruoka

— 2 nights
Tsuruoka, famous for its scenic surroundings, attracts tourists due to its proximity to the Dewa Sanzan, sacred mountains revered by the Shugendo religion.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Fri): appreciate the extensive heritage of Mt.Haguro- Cedat Trees along the Approach, steep yourself in history at Hagurosan Five-Story Pagoda, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Ideha Shrine, then take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Haguro, and finally steep yourself in history at Mt.Haguro- Dewasanzan Sanjin Gosaiden. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Gassan, take in the spiritual surroundings of Yudonosan Shrine, then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Tsuruoka City Kamo Aquarium, and finally make a trip to Sankyo Soko Storehouse.

To see ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Tsuruoka trip builder website.

Traveling by car from Hiraizumi-cho to Tsuruoka takes 3.5 hours. In October, plan for daily highs up to 21°C, and evening lows to 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) so you can drive to Aizuwakamatsu.

Things to do in Tsuruoka

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Aizuwakamatsu

— 3 nights
Rich in culture and history, Aizuwakamatsu has retained much of its traditional character from its days as a feudal capital.
Change things up with these side-trips from Aizuwakamatsu: Bandai Kogen (in Inawashiro-machi), Kashio Onsen (in Nishigo-mura) and Kitashiobara-mura (Goshikinuma Lake, Morohashi Museum of Modern Art, &more). There's lots more to do: explore the historical opulence of Tsuruga jo Castle, steep yourself in history at Aizu Old Samurai Residences, get great views at Mt Iimori Slope Conveyor, and make a trip to Sazaedo.

For traveler tips, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Aizuwakamatsu travel itinerary planner.

Getting from Tsuruoka to Aizuwakamatsu by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. October in Aizuwakamatsu sees daily highs of 20°C and lows of 13°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Sendai.

Things to do in Aizuwakamatsu

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Museums

Side Trips

Sendai

— 4 nights
Human history and nature combine seamlessly in Sendai, with the influence of each never far away in this green and storied city.
Venture out of the city with trips to Umanose (in Rifu-cho), Matsushima-machi (Zuiganji, Matsushima Bay, &more) and Yamagata (Yamadera Senju-in Temple, Risshaku-ji Temple, &more). The adventure continues: make a trip to Sendai Station, appreciate the history behind Zuihoden, get engrossed in the history at Aoba Castle Museum, and step into the grandiose world of Sendaijo Ato.

To see reviews, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Sendai visit planner.

You can drive from Aizuwakamatsu to Sendai in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a train. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Aizuwakamatsu in October since evenings lows in Sendai dip to 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Sendai

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Tohoku travel guide

4.1
Sacred & Religious Sites · Landmarks · Historic Sites
Long a poor rural area known for its harsh climate, Tohoku remained off the tourist radar for most of modern Japanese history. Today, tourism in Tohoku remains refreshingly subdued, offering the chance to discover some of the country's finest natural scenery without the crowds. The area encompasses many scenic hot springs, developed ski areas, picturesque lakes, and historic castles and former samurai residences. Tohoku also serves as an ideal spot for that quintessential Japanese activity, the cherry blossom viewing: the trees bloom later here than elsewhere in the country, making the region a great alternative if you arrive a bit late in the season.