42 days in Tohoku & Yamagata Prefecture Itinerary

42 days in Tohoku & Yamagata Prefecture Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Japan trip itinerary builder

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Make it your trip
Fly to Sendai Airport, Drive to Inawashiro-machi
1
Inawashiro-machi
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Yamagata
— 8 nights
Drive
3
Tsuruoka
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Oga
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Hirosaki
— 5 nights
Drive
6
Mutsu
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Hachimantai
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Semboku
— 5 nights
Drive
9
Hiraizumi-cho
— 5 nights
Drive to Sendai Airport, Fly to Melbourne International Airport

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Inawashiro-machi

— 3 nights
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Noguchi Hideyo Memorial and Coal & Fossil Museum. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Hanitsu Shrine and Shingu Kumano Shrine Nagatoko. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Inawashiro-machi: Tamura (Abukumado Limestone Cave & Irimizu Limestone Cave), Fukushima (Azuma Kofuji & Fudosawa Bridge / Tsubakurodani) and Jiyuminken Hiroba (in Miharu-machi).

To see ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Inawashiro-machi attractions planner.

Melbourne, Australia to Inawashiro-machi is an approximately 18.5-hour combination of flight and car. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Melbourne to Inawashiro-machi. Expect much colder temperatures when traveling from Melbourne in December; daily highs in Inawashiro-machi reach 7°C and lows reach 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Yamagata.

Things to do in Inawashiro-machi

Parks · Nature · Museums · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Yamagata

— 8 nights
The town of Yamagata and its surrounding prefecture have a wealth of attractions, both man-made and natural.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Risshaku-ji Temple. Get some cultural insight at Rinnoji Temple and Sendai City Museum. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Yamagata Museum of Art and Rairaikyo Gorge. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Yamagata: Fukuurajima (in Matsushima-machi), Shiogama Shrine (in Shiogama) and Yonezawa (Denkoku No Mori Yonezawa City Uesugi Museum & Toko no Sakagura). There's still lots to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Takekoma Shrine, take an in-depth tour of Yamadera Basho Memorial Hall, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Mt. Katta, and admire the landmark architecture of Yamagata Kyodokan.

To find reviews, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Yamagata trip planning website.

You can drive from Inawashiro-machi to Yamagata in 2.5 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 4°C, and evening lows to 0°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) so you can drive to Tsuruoka.

Things to do in Yamagata

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Tsuruoka

— 5 nights
Tsuruoka, famous for its scenic surroundings, attracts tourists due to its proximity to the Dewa Sanzan, sacred mountains revered by the Shugendo religion.
Escape the urban bustle at Kawarage Oyutaki Falls and Mototakifukuryusui. Visit Mt.Haguro- Dewasanzan Sanjin Gosaiden and Ideha Shrine for their historical value. Explore Tsuruoka's surroundings by going to Mt. Gassan (in Shonai-machi), Nakajimadai Shishigahana Marsh (in Nikaho) and Sakata (Ken Domon Museum of Photography, Shotoku-ji Temple, &more). There's still lots to do: get engrossed in the history at Fujiswa Shuhei Memorial Museum, get to know the fascinating history of Mt.Haguro- Cedat Trees along the Approach, don't miss a visit to Tsuruoka Roman Catholic Church, and explore the striking landscape at Midagahara Wetlands.

For maps, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Tsuruoka trip maker tool.

Getting from Yamagata to Tsuruoka by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 7°C in December, and nighttime lows around 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can travel to Oga.

Things to do in Tsuruoka

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Museums

Side Trips

Oga

— 2 nights
Oga is a city located in Akita Prefecture, Japan.As of May 2015, the city has an estimated population of 29,318, and a population density of 122 persons per km2. Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): appreciate the extensive heritage of Nanohana Road, take in the dramatic natural features at Itaba no Dai, take in the awesome beauty at Mt. Kampu, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Shinzan Shrine, then see the interesting displays at Ogashinzan Traditional Museum, and finally don't miss a visit to Unsho-ji Temple. On the 24th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Oga Aquarium Gao, then identify plant and animal life at Ogata Prairie Wildlife Sanctuary, then admire the landmark architecture of Kaneyu, and finally get all the information you need at Tenno Green Land /Michi-no-Eki Tenno.

To find reviews, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Oga road trip planning website.

Getting from Tsuruoka to Oga by car takes about 3 hours. While traveling from Tsuruoka, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Oga, ranging from highs of 3°C to lows of 0°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Hirosaki.

Things to do in Oga

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

Hirosaki

— 5 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.
Western Style Architecture and Iwakiyama Shrine are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Take a break from the city and head to Mt. Iwaki Lifts and Oirase River. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Hirosaki: Ajigasawa-machi (Aomori Spring Ski Resort & Shirakami no Mori Trail), Tsurunomai Bridge (in Tsuruta-machi) and Aomori (Jogakura Bridge, Jomon Jiyukan, &more). There's lots more to do: walk around Hirosaki Apple Park, take in the spiritual surroundings of Choshoji Temple, steep yourself in history at Former Fifty-Ninth Bank Aomori Bank Museum, and head outdoors with Tsuta Numa.

For more things to do, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Hirosaki trip planner.

You can drive from Oga to Hirosaki in 3 hours. In December in Hirosaki, expect temperatures between 1°C during the day and -2°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Mutsu.

Things to do in Hirosaki

Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Mutsu

— 4 nights
Mutsu is a city located in Aomori Prefecture, Japan., the city had an estimated population of 59,807, and a population density of 69.2 persons per km², in 29,304 households. Appreciate the collections at Shuji Terayama Museum and Misawa Aviation & Science Museum. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Hotokegaura and Mt. Osore Sai no Kawara. Explore Mutsu's surroundings by going to Former Shibusawa Residence (in Misawa), Kandachi Horses and Their Habitats (in Higashidori-mura) and Lake Ogawara (in Tohoku-machi). There's lots more to do: enjoy breathtaking views from Kamafuseyama Observatory, get outside with Kamafuseyama Ski, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mt. Osore Bodaiji Temple, and identify plant and animal life at Mutsu City Wakinozawa Wild Monkeys Park.

To see where to stay, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Mutsu travel planning site.

Drive from Hirosaki to Mutsu in 3 hours. In December, daily temperatures in Mutsu can reach 1°C, while at night they dip to -1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Hachimantai.

Things to do in Mutsu

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Museums

Side Trips

Hachimantai

— 3 nights
Hōon-ji Temple and Towada Shrine will appeal to history buffs. Visiting Hachimantai Resort Shimokura Ski Area and Hachimantai Asupite line will get you outdoors. Change things up with these side-trips from Hachimantai: Mt. Hayachine (in Hanamaki), Historic Site Osarizawa Mine (in Kazuno) and Mt. Iwate (in Shizukuishi-cho).

To see maps, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Hachimantai trip maker tool.

Getting from Mutsu to Hachimantai by car takes about 3.5 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 1°C, and evening lows to -5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Semboku.

Things to do in Hachimantai

Parks · Outdoors · Winter Sports · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Semboku

— 5 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.
Escape the urban bustle at Tazawako Ski Resort and Tamagawa Onsen Nature Study Paths. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Iwate Museum of Art and Katakurikan. Change things up with these side-trips from Semboku: Onsen Resorts (in Hanamaki) and Akita (Akita city Minzoku Geinou Densho-kan, Mining Museum of Akita University, &more). And it doesn't end there: contemplate the long history of Omoide no Katabunko, examine the collection at Kakunodate Birch Textile Museum, take in the pleasant sights at Hinokinaigawa Kasen Ryokuchi, and admire the striking features of Ishiguro Samurai House.

To see ratings, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read Semboku trip planner.

Getting from Hachimantai to Semboku by car takes about 1.5 hours. In January in Semboku, expect temperatures between 1°C during the day and -3°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Hiraizumi-cho.

Things to do in Semboku

Parks · Nature · Museums · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Hiraizumi-cho

— 5 nights
Visit Takkoku no Iwaya and Ishinomori Shotaro's Residence for their historical value. You'll explore and learn at Hiraizumi Cultural Heritage Center and Toyoma Education Museum (Old Toyoma Elementary School). Get out of town with these interesting Hiraizumi-cho side-trips: Tono (Tono Municipal Museum & Tono Furusatomura), Rokando (in Sumita-cho) and Kurihara (Mt. Kurikoma & Izunuma and Uchinuma Swamp).

To find where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Hiraizumi-cho online trip itinerary builder.

You can drive from Semboku to Hiraizumi-cho in 2 hours. January in Hiraizumi-cho sees daily highs of 1°C and lows of -5°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Hiraizumi-cho

Museums · Nature · Parks · Historic Sites

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.

Yamagata Prefecture travel guide

3.9
Sacred & Religious Sites · Historic Sites · Landmarks
Yamagata Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Tōhoku region on Honshu island. Its capital is Yamagata.HistoryThe aboriginal Ezo people once inhabited the area now known as Yamagata. Yamagata and Akita Prefecture were known as Dewa Province until the Meiji Restoration.During the Heian Period (794–1185), the family ruled the area. Yamagata City flourished during the Edo Period (1603–1867) due to its status as a castle town and post station, famous for beni (red safflower dye used in the production of handspun silk). In 1689, the famous haiku poet, Matsuo Bashō visited Yamagata during his five-month trip to the northern regions of Japan.GeographyYamagata Prefecture is located in the southwest corner of Tōhoku, facing the Sea of Japan. It borders Niigata Prefecture and Fukushima Prefecture on the south, Miyagi Prefecture on the east, and Akita Prefecture on the north. All of these boundaries are marked by mountains, with most of the population residing in a limited central plain.

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