Travel Reports by Aaron Chong view profile of Aaron Chong

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May 1, 2015 - Hanami 2015 Day 5 - Kakunodate and Long Winding Route to Aomori

It is now our fifth day of our quest to experience some of the best sakura spots in the Tohoku region. Yesterday, Alan and I were just in time to see the full bloom of the lonely sakura tree of Koiwai Farm about an hour away by bus from Morioka. The sakura at Koiwai Farm are supposed to bloom during Golden Week, but due to the strange warm weather spreading across the country, the cherry blossoms bloomed a week too early. Unfortunately, since the Koiwai Farm blossoms are some of the last ones to bloom in the Tohoku region, our sakura hanami experience has come to a premature end. Only if we could trade our JR East Passes with the JR Pass so that we could go all the way to Hakodate.

I have booked a hotel in Aomori before the trip in anticipation of the sakura full bloom at Hirosaki that should happen around this time. However, as we have already covered Hirosaki on Day 2 for the full bloom of the late blooming varieties, it's going to be boring taking the ultrafast Hayabusa again to Aomori from Morioka.

A visit to the samurai town of Kakunodate had been a must-see on my itinerary as Alan wanted to experience Japan's samurai culture just like in the Last Samurai and the sakura over there was oh-so pretty. Before the trip, I kept checking Kakunodate's tourism website on an almost daily basis to see the status of the blossoms and to my dismay, the sakura blossomed way too early. It was futile for us to go there in the beginning of the trip and I had no choice but to visit Kakunodate on this day itself since it is conveniently on the way from Morioka to Aomori.

As expected, all the sakura have turned into regular trees with only a few late blooming ones remain when we got there. Alan and I would just have to experience entering the former house of a samurai family, look at some of the local handicrafts and learn more about the town through the historical family relics that were left behind.

We ended the afternoon in Kakunodate with some Inaniwa udon near the train station. As much as we would've liked to see more of the town, our visit had to be cut short as we have booked a nice long train ride along the Sea of Japan coast to Aomori - the Resort Shirakami!

We reserved a booth for just the both of us and it was the perfect time to relax and unwind from the exhausting journey that we've gone through frantically running all over the Tohoku region to see some sakura. The coastline along the Gono train line was very pretty and picturesque, but it was unfortunate that the lighting wasn't good enough for us to take stunning photos that do justice to the views that we've witnessed with our own eyes.

We've finally reached Honshu's northernmost city, Aomori and we ended the day with some yakiniku and some highballs as Alan wanted to eat more of the local beef. This marked the end of our time in the Tohoku region as we need to make our way back to Tokyo on the next day.

For more pictures, please visit my Flickr albums:

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List of Posts:
2019/05/31 - Matsue Horanenya - Koyasan
2019/05/30 - Matsue Horanenya - Horyuji and to Wakayama Prefecture
2019/05/29 - Matsue Horanenya - Uji
2019/05/28 - Matsue Horanenya - Amanohashidate
2019/05/27 - Matsue Horanenya - Tottori Sand Dunes
2019/05/26 - Matsue Horanenya - Kangyosai Ҍ
2019/05/25 - Matsue Horanenya - The World Heritage Sites of Hagi
2019/05/24 - Matsue Horanenya - Akiyoshido and Akiyoshidai
2019/05/23 - Matsue Horanenya - The Beluga Whales of AQUAS
2019/05/22 - Matsue Horanenya - Chunichisai
2019/05/21 - Matsue Horanenya - Matengai Cliff and the Kuniga Coast
2019/05/20 - Matsue Horanenya - Sakaiminato
2019/05/19 - Matsue Horanenya - Izumo Taisha
2019/05/18 - Matsue Horanenya - Togyosai n
2019/05/17 - Matsue Horanenya - Getting to Matsue from KIX
2016/07/15 - Hokkaido Day 14 - End of the Trip and My Top Five Highlights
2016/07/14 - Hokkaido Day 13 - Biei's Patchwork Road and the Blue Pond
2016/07/13 - Hokkaido Day 12 - The Lavender Fields of Furano
2016/07/12 - Hokkaido Day 11 - Usuyukiso Habitat and Peach Rock
2016/07/11 - Hokkaido Day 10 - Rebun's 4-Hour Trekking Course
2016/07/10 - Hokkaido Day 9 - Wakkanai, the Northernmost City of Japan
2016/07/09 - Hokkaido Day 8 - Journey to the North
2016/07/08 - Hokkaido Day 7 - Last Day in Shiretoko
2016/07/07 - Hokkaido Day 6 - Bear Watching Cruise and Rausu
2016/07/06 - Hokkaido Day 5 - Shiretoko Five Lakes
2016/07/05 - Hokkaido Day 4 - Obihiro Butadon and the Kushiro Norokko Train
2016/07/04 - Hokkaido Day 3 - Hell Valley and Heavenly Ramen
2016/07/03 - Hokkaido Day 2 - Yoichi and Otaru
2016/07/02 - Hokkaido Day 1 - Late Night Ramen Dinner
2015/05/02 - Hanami 2015 Day 6 - The Wisterias of Ashikaga Flower Park
2015/05/01 - Hanami 2015 Day 5 - Kakunodate and Long Winding Route to Aomori
2015/04/30 - Hanami 2015 Day 4 - The Lonely Sakura of Koiwai Farm
2015/04/29 - Hanami 2015 Day 3 - Matsushima and the Shiogamazakura
2015/04/28 - Hanami 2015 Day 2 - Hirosaki
2015/04/27 - Hanami 2015 Day 1 - Shibazakura in Chichibu