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Virtual tours to Japan

A first-person dive into four great sightseeing spots in the Tohoku Region

We are very excited to present our latest project, putting together four new videos of exciting destinations in the Tohoku area and introducing them directly to our viewers in the form of special livestream events.

With the majority of people around the world still unable to travel, we wanted as closely as possible to capture the experience of being there - exploring at a relaxed pace and from a first-person point of view. An entirely new challenge for the japan-guide.com team, the livestream aspect also brought with it a range of possibilities, allowing us to share our thoughts and interact directly with our viewers.

Aomori Fish Market

Kicking off the series, Raina made her way to Aomori City for an look at the Furukawa Fish Market, a popular culinary spot in a prefecture known for its delicious seafood.

As she explored the 30 or so stalls that make up the market, Raina introduced a wide range of mouth-watering local delicacies before creating her own nokkedon, a rice bowl with her own choice of fresh seafood toppings.

Access: from Tokyo, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Shin-Aomori Station and transfer to a local train for the short ride to Aomori Station. The entire journey takes about 3.5 hours. From Aomori Station, the market can be reached in a five minute walk.

Yamadera

For the second video, Matt took viewers on a scenic climb up the steep grounds of Yamadera, a beautiful temple perched on a mountaintop in rural Yamagata Prefecture. Known for its atmospheric, even otherworldly location, the temple has drawn pilgrims for centuries, notably the renowned haiku poet Matsuo Basho.

Starting from the quiet town at the foot of the mountain, we made our way through a serene forest of tall trees dotted with stone carvings before arriving at the upper precinct. After taking a look at some of the temple's historic buildings, we ended the trip with a stunning view of the valley from the Godaido Hall.

Access: from Tokyo, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Sendai (around 90 minutes) and change to the JR Senzan Line to Yamadera Station (around 60 minutes). The temple can be reached in a five minute walk from the station.

Fukushima Sake Brewery

In the third video, our viewers joined Raina for a tour of the historic Suehiro Sake Brewery in the castle town of Aizu-Wakamatsu in the western mountains of Fukushima Prefecture, well known for producing some of Japan's best sake.

We explored the brand's unique heritage and tried shedding some light on the complex brewing process before enjoying some innovative sake-related desserts at the brewery's atmospheric cafe.

Access: from Tokyo, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Koriyama (around 80 minutes) and change to the JR Ban-Etsusai Line to Aizu-Wakamatsu (around 70 minutes). The sake brewery is a 20 minute walk from Aizu-Wakamatsu Station.

Kakunodate

For our final tour, Matt took a stroll around the former samurai district in the town of Kakunodate in Akita Prefecture, one of the nicest samurai districts in the country.

We explored two beautifully preserved samurai houses with a wealth of samurai armor and other treasures on display before rounding off the trip with a visit to a miso shop in the nearby former merchant district which has been run by the same family since the end of the feudal era.

Access: from Tokyo, Kakunodate can be reached by direct Komachi trains along the Tohoku/Akita Shinkansen in about three hours. From Kakunodate Station, it is a 15 minute walk to the former samurai district.

JR EAST PASS (Tohoku Area)

For anyone keen to visit this fascinating part of the country, the JR EAST PASS (Tohoku Area) represents exceptional value for money, offering five days of unlimited travel on all JR lines in the Greater Tokyo and Tohoku regions for just 20,000 yen, which already pays off for a single round trip between Tokyo and Sendai.

The pass can be used only by holders of non-Japanese passports. It can be purchased online or at ticket counters of major train stations in eastern Japan or at ticket machines equipped with passport readers. The passes are also on sale at the JAPAN RAIL CAFE inside Tokyo Station, where in addition to ticket services, visitors can get travel information, purchase souvenirs or enjoy a coffee break and light meals.

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