Suggested itineraries 1. Tokyo - Fukushima - Miyagi - Yamagata

A balanced mix of urban and off-the-beaten-path destinations to make the most of a one-week stay in southern Tohoku.

Highlights

    Landscapes that change with every season
    Feel the atmosphere of early 20th century Japan with a stay in Ginzan Onsen
    Reconnect with nature through the practice of mountain asceticism

How to Get There

From Tokyo: 3 hours

Take the JR Yamagata Shinkansen Tsubasa from JR Tokyo Station to Koriyama Station for (1 hour 20 minutes). Then take the Shin Jyoban Kotsu Bus opposite Koriyama Station to Tsurugajo Bus Stop (1 h our 15 minutes). Tsuruga Castle is a 9 -minutes. walk on foot from the bus stop.

Day 1
Tokyo Skytree

With a height of 634 m., Tokyo Skytree is the tallest structure in Japan. The observation deck offers a stunning panorama of the capital and beyond, including Mount Fuji.

6 minutes

Take the Tobu Skytree Line from Tokyo Skytree to Asakusa (3 min.), and then walk to Kaminarimon Gate (3 min.).

Asakusa

The district of Asakusa, with its temples, shopping alleys and countless restaurants and food stalls is one of the most visited areas of the capital.

45 minutes

Hamarikyu Gardens

Once the property of the Tokugawa family, the park of Hamarikyu Gardens is an oasis of tranquility surrounded by high-rise buildings. It’s also a top spot to observe cherry tree blossoms.

Day 2

3 hours

Take the JR Yamagata Shinkansen Tsubasa from JR Tokyo Station to Koriyama Station for 1 hour 20 minutes. Then take Shin Jyoban Kotsu Bus opposite Koriyama Station to Tsurugajo Bus Stop (1 hour 15 minutes). Tsuruga Castle is 9 minutes on foot from the bus stop.

Tsuruga Castle

Also known as Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle, this fortress offers a deep experience of samurai culture.

35 minutes

From Tsurugajo-iriguchi, take the Aizu Bus "Haikara-san" and get off at Iimoriyama-shita (26min.), then walk (5 min.).

Aizu Sasaedo

The 18th-century Sazaedo Pagoda has a unique architectural structure, with a double-helix wooden ramp.

45 minutes

Walk (5 min.) to Iimoriyama-shita bus station. Take the Aizu Bus "Akabe" and get off at Nanokamachi-ekimae (36 min.).

Nanokamachi Street

Travel back in time with a stroll along Nanokamachi Street, a great location to shop for souvenirs.

Aizu candles

Aizu lacquerware

55 minutes

Take the Aizu Railway train from Aizu-Wakamatsu to Yunokami-Onsen (35 min.).
Take the shared taxi "saruyu-go" and get off at Ouchi-juku-iriguchi (20 min.).

Ouchi-juku

Ouchi-juku was an important post town during the Edo era, famous for the thatched buildings along the main street.

More to Explore
Flower fields in Sannokura Highland

This area offers stunning views of field mustard in spring and sunflowers from summer to autumn.

Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Museum

This museum is dedicated to the life and work of a prominent Japanese bacteriologist.

Day 3

2 hours 25 minutes

Aizu Bus from Wakamatsu-ekimae Terminal to Sendai Station East exit.

Sendai

Sendai is the capital of Miyagi Prefecture and the largest city of the Tohoku region.

Zuihoden Mausoleum

17th-century mausoleum dedicated to Date Masamune, lord of the Sendai domain.

Sendai Clis Road: shops, restaurants and more.

35 minutes

Walk 4 minutes to Sendai Station and take the JR Senseki-Tohoku Line to Takagimachi (23 min.). Then change to the JR Senseki Line and get off at Matsushima-Kaigan. Matsushima Bay is a 2-minute walk from the station.

Matsushima Bay

The pine-covered islands and emerald waters of Matsushima Bay make it one of the top scenic spots in Japan.

A boat excursion is one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery.

Rebuilt in 1604, Godaido Temple overlooks Matsushima Bay.

Day 4
Excursions from Sendai

40 minutes

From Sendai Station, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Shiroishi-Zao (15 min.). Then take a taxi to Zao Fox village (25 min.).

Zao Fox Village

Japan’s largest fox-themed zoo.

40 minutes

From Sendai Station, take the JR Tohoku Main Line to Ogawara (34 min.), then walk (3 min.).

Hitome Senbonzakura Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossoms on the banks of the Shiroishi river

1 hour 30 minutes

Okama Crater

Drive to Okama Crater on Mount Zao

1 hour 40 minutes

From Sendai Station's East Exit, take the Winter special non-stop bus bound for Zao Onsen Bus Terminal (1 hour 40 min.).

Zao Onsen Ski Resort (Yamagata Pref.)

Skiing among “snow monsters” in the hot spring area of Zao Onsen.

Day 5

1 hour

From Sendai Station, take the JR Senzan Line and get off at Yamadera (55 min.), then walk (5 min.).

Risshakuji Temple

Yama-dera (literally “mountain temple”, common name of Risshakuji Temple) in Yamagata Prefecture, where the poet Matsuo Basho composed one of his most famous haiku.

10 minutes

Walk back to Yamadera Station (5 min.), then take a taxi (5 min.).

Picking fruit

Enjoy picking apples, cherries, peaches or grape, depending on the season.

2 hours 40 minutes

From Yamadera Station, take the JR Senzan Line to Uzen Chitose (12 min.). Change to the JR Yamagata Line and get off at Oishida (45 min.). From the station, take the Hanagasa bus and get off at Ginzan Onsen (36 min.).

Ginzan Onsen

Highly scenic hot spring area that served as the setting for a famous historical TV drama.

Day 6

4 hours 35 minutes

From Ginzan Onsen, take the Hanagasa bus and get off at Oishida-eki (36 min.).
Take the JR Yamagata Line to Shinjo (21 min.). Change to the JR Rikuu West Line and get off at Amarume (46 min.). Take the Inaho limited express until Tsuruoka (10 min.). Take the Shonai Kotsu bus and get off at Kamo Suizokukan (35 min.).

Kamo Aquarium

Kamo Aquarium boasts the world’s largest collection of jellyfish.

20 minutes

Farming experience and homestay

A great way to spend the night and learn more about life in the Japanese countryside.

Day 7

60 minutes

From Tsuruoka, ride the bus to Mt. Haguro, which takes approximately 60 minutes.

The Three Mountains of Dewa

A famous pilgrimage site that offers great hiking routes and opportunities to experience mountain asceticism.

Overnight bus from Tsuruoka to Tokyo: 7 hours.

Be deeply touched, Tohoku JAPAN

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