Tohoku where you can eat in Japan - outstanding experience

 OCCUPYING the northern tip of Honshu, the Tohoku region’s six prefectures – Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata – encompass soaring mountains, tranquil lakes and breathtaking coastlines. The region is steeped in history, with the charming towns of KAKUNODATE in Akita Prefecture and AIZU-WAKAMATSU in Fukushima Prefecture evocative of a time when they were samurai strongholds, and OUCHIJUKU, the former post town along the SHIMOTSUKE KAIDO route, hinting at life in the storied Edo Period. The temple of YAMADERA in Yamagata Prefecture is another touchstone of the area’s past glories: founded in 860, its picturesque grounds stretch up a steep mountainside, painted in rich shades of red and orange in autumn, to the GODAIDO HALL at the top of the mountain, which affords breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. 

The LUXURY o f EXPERIENCE • Two of the country’s most spectacular summer festivals can be witnessed in Tohoku: the NEBUTA FESTIVAL in Aomori City boasts enormous intricately constructed lantern floats, while the AKITA KANTO FESTIVAL’s nightly parade of paper lanterns balanced high on bamboo poles and illuminated with real flames is mesmerising. • Standing among the primeval virgin beech forests of SHIRAKAMI SANCHI in Aomori and Akita Prefectures is to know what it’s truly like to be enveloped by nature; the origins of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed forest, which is resplendent with lakes, waterfalls and even roaming black bears, 

date back 8000 years. • A farm stay in the rural town of ODATE in Akita Prefecture is a charmingly authentic experience, helping to pick apples and tend to rice fields during the day (depending on the season) and feasting on home-cooked regional cuisine that you’ve helped to create at night with your generous hosts

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