During the Edo Period (1603-1868), Hirosaki (弘前) was the political and cultural capital of the Tsugaru Region, the western section of present day Aomori Prefecture. The city remains one of the culturally richest cities in the northern Tohoku Region.

Hirosaki developed around Hirosaki Castle. Thousands of cherry trees are planted around the castle grounds, turning them into one of Japan's most spectacular cherry blossom spots typically from late April to early May. The city is also famous for the Tsugaru-jamisen, a local version of the shamisen. The music instrument can be seen in action at some restaurants that offer live performances.

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