Home
Back

Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Note that this thread has not been updated in a long time, and its content might not be up-to-date anymore.

Reccomended stops on a 6 day Tohoku Trip? 2020/10/8 11:27
Hi everyone,

After hearing about this new rail pass in the JR East region, I'm considering a 6 day tohoku trip at the end of December/early January. What 1-2 highlights can you reccomend geared towards food, hiking, and traditional towns? This will be my first time in a snowy region of Japan, so anything that is still accesible or improved by all the snowfall is appreciated!

Thanks!

トビン
by tobinsan  

Re: Reccomended stops on a 6 day Tohoku Trip? 2020/10/8 16:13
The pass is only for 3 days.
by h (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Reccomended stops on a 6 day Tohoku Trip? 2020/10/9 09:08
May I ask if the pass you mention is new and also covers the residents of Japan?
by Bizarre Journeys rate this post as useful

Re: Reccomended stops on a 6 day Tohoku Trip? 2020/10/9 10:02
"JR EAST Welcome Rail Pass 2020 is a special limited discount pass available only to foreign passport holders (regardless of visa status). It allows unlimited travel on all JR East trains in the areas of Tokyo, Tohoku, Nagano, and Niigata, inclusive of the Shinkansen, for 3 consecutive days. It is a great way to explore the eastern region of Japan this fall/winter"
https://www.eastjapanrailway.com/pass/wrp.html
by ... (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Reccomended stops on a 6 day Tohoku Trip? 2020/10/9 10:26
This is a newly announced pass that covers visa holders living in Japan as well. I'm planning to buy two if possible to stack the covered days.
by tobinsan rate this post as useful

Re: Reccomended stops on a 6 day Tohoku Trip? 2020/10/9 10:33
by tobinsan rate this post as useful

Re: Reccomended stops on a 6 day Tohoku Trip? 2020/10/9 12:37
Aizu-Wakamatsu may not be classified as a “traditional town” but it is definitely worth going while visiting the region of Tohoku. A good side trip from Aizu-Wakamatsu is the traditional village of Ouchijuku which looks beautiful under snow. And if the trip can be pushed back to February you can take in the Aizu Painted Candle Festival of Tsuruga-jo in Aizu-Wakamatsu and the Snow Festival of Ouchijuku.

Not serious hiking but we found the walk up Yamadera to be quite strenuous. Yamadera can be done as an easy day trip from either Yamagata or Sendai.

by William5 rate this post as useful

Re: Reccomended stops on a 6 day Tohoku Trip? 2020/10/9 12:50
Thank you, very helpful. I wish it was a bit for longer term though, like five days.
by Bizarre Journeys rate this post as useful

Re: Reccomended stops on a 6 day Tohoku Trip? 2020/10/9 16:05
Tobinsan, I could not find into on whether it is possible to buy two passes and be used by the same person (remember it was possible for non-resident JR Rail pass). Can you kindly update the forum if you find out?
by Bizarre Journeys rate this post as useful

Re: Reccomended stops on a 6 day Tohoku Trip? 2020/10/9 17:02
Will do, BizarreJourneys!
by tobinsan rate this post as useful

Re: Reccomended stops on a 6 day Tohoku Trip? 2020/10/9 18:56
Regarding nice places to visit in Tohoku in winter...
Well, I havent been in Tohoku in winter... so I can only guess from my summer/autumn experience. I woud say
Zao snowmonsters (and being in an onsen in the middle of the snow)
Yamadera
Kakunodate
Hiraizumi
Nikko

In autumn I also went to Tono valley and liked it a lot, but I am not sure how nice it would be in winter. Just all the landscape white... There is a nice open air museum though. The village of Tono itself is not extremly nice.

I would guess that Hachimantai in winter is pretty much inaccessible and wouldnt be covered by the rail pass anyway.

Enjoy planning your trip!

by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: Reccomended stops on a 6 day Tohoku Trip? 2020/10/11 12:00
Getting 2 passes would be 24,000 yen, which may or may not save you anything.
If you want something like 6 days, look at the JR East Tohoku Area Pass.
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2361_tohoku.html
Note however that this is not for foreign residents in Japan, so you might not qualify.
The area has loads to see, like Sendai, Matsushima, Tashirojima (Cat Island), Yamadera, Hirosaki, Hiraizumi, Oyasukyo Gorge, and Shimokita.
And while for a lot of places, I'd say summer is more enjoyable, one of the best in the whole region is Geibikei.
https://youtu.be/NNsGoa4wWOo
That said, there are many great hot spring places like Ginzan and Nyuto, and wintertime has a special appeal.
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Reccomended stops on a 6 day Tohoku Trip? 2020/10/12 02:00
Another thought... if you want to start in Aizu-Wakamatsu, you can get there by taking the train from Nikko and then start a JR Pass when you leave Aizu-Wakamatsu.

The best onsen in Zao is closed in the Winter. There are still some lovely places open, but the very best rotemboro is only open from April to late November. I have been to Shinzaemon no Yu and it is quite nice, so if you want to try to see snow monsters or ski it might still be a good option. Zao also has direct buses from Sendai in the Winter which I think is a definite plus.

I went to Kakunodate in March on my very first trip to Japan in 1999. It was cold, snowy and most things were closed. You can see here how many things are closed. https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3602.html If you're interested in walking around the town without tourists though and seeing snow, I guess it is a good idea?


I would personally go to Matsushima. The islands are said to look particularly stunning in the snow.

I would not go to the Shimokita Peninsula, because Osorezan is closed from November to April.

If you go late enough in the Season this bus to Towadako is probably lovely:
https://www.gltjp.com/en/directory/item/lake-towada-winter-shuttle-bus... or if you spend enough money and stay at the fancy hotel near Towadako they will pick you up and drop you off at train station. I've not been in the Winter but I've heard there are some lovely snow shoe walks. It will be cold!

I would just make sure to check opening dates for anywhere you are considering.

Good luck
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Reccomended stops on a 6 day Tohoku Trip? 2020/10/14 12:12
Thank you all for the usefull reccomendations! I'm considering on holding off on a tohoku trip until this spring when the weather's a bit warmer, and will keep all these in mind. I'll have a nother chunk of time to work with then. I may pivot to a Kyushu trip for december instead :P
by tobinsan rate this post as useful

Re: Reccomended stops on a 6 day Tohoku Trip? 2020/10/21 12:37
Just to add new information/confirmation, same person can buy more than one pass during the validity period. The pass does not cover JR buses along the route.
by Bizarre Journeys rate this post as useful

reply to this thread