From Aomori To Akita
Picture a Japanese train in your mind and you’ll likely see a shinkansen bullet train, the racing rail-gliding marvel. But in Tohoku, there’s joy to be had in the slow lane as well. The Resort Shirakami train leisurely threads its way between the shore and the Shirakami mountains (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The huge windows, gentle pace, on-board musicians, and timely stops for scenic photo ops are all designed to make the journey the destination.
A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Sushi Breakfast
There’s no pre-train pre-game breakfast spot anywhere in the world quite like the Furukawa Fish Market in Aomori. It’s a working market, but if you head to a booth near the entrance, they’ll sell you tickets that you can trade for a bowl of hot rice before you wander the aisles and choose your own hyper-fresh seafood to put on top. Get a few tongues of uni in one aisle, seared salmon tataki in the next, and finish it off with some giant prawns from yet another vendor. Before you know it, you’ll have assembled a one-of-a-kind morning donburi.
The Core Of Apple Country
Even before you step on to the train, you’ll see that the shops at Aomori Station are obsessed with apples. There are apple chips, apple sake, apple cakes, apple fruit leather and more. That’s because the Resort Shirakami train spends the first half of its journey cutting straight through the apple orchards that make this part of Tohoku famous. It’s the classic Tohoku marriage of tourism and seasonal ingredients.
Hours of staggering coastal views taken in from the comfort of the train will leave most travelers anxious to dip a toe into the water. That’s where Furofushi Onsen in Aomori comes into play: perched directly in front of the Sea of Japan, this is one of Japan's most surreal hot springs. While you soak in the ruddy, iron-rich waters, listen to the sound of the crashing waves and appreciate whatever good decisions brought you to this special corner of the world.
Akita And The Yakitori Master
This coastal city knows how to turn up when the sun goes down. The things you’ll eat and drink, from yakitori to high-end sake, will most likely have come from the surrounding countryside. But the energy is all about the people who live and eat here. Join in their slipstream and crawl from bite to bite, sip to sip, for the true Akita hospitality experience.