Hirosaki Castle is famous all over Japan for its spring cherry blossoms, but it is just as beautiful in winter when its grounds are blanketed in snow. The castle is located in Hirosaki City in Aomori Prefecture and is surrounded by the towering peaks of the Hakkoda Mountains. Lord Tsugaru originally built the castle in 1611, but it was destroyed by lightning in 1627 and rebuilt in 1810 as a three-story tower. From December to February, the castle and its grounds are illuminated at night to create a dramatic winter environment.
The Hirosaki Castle Snow Lantern Festival attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every February. During this festival, the grounds are lit up with bright lanterns hand-crafted by locals as well as a large variety of snow creations.
Hirosaki Station is 30 minutes from Aomori Station by express train. Hirosaki Castle is a short bus ride from Hirosaki Station.