About Japan



Aomori Prefecture is located at the northern tip of Japan's largest island, Honshu, and is part of the wider Tohoku region. The weather conditions here are similar to the climate of the island of Hokkaido, which lies north of the Sangar Strait. Winters in Aomori are just as snowy, but milder. The capital of Aomori Prefecture bears the same name; it is a small port city located at the intersection of trade routes from Honshu to Hokkaido and from the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Japan. The prefecture is famous for its scallops (hotate), as well as the production of delicious marbled beef.


People have lived in the territory of modern Aomori Prefecture since ancient times, and in the Jomon era (13,000 - 300 BC) the largest settlement of that period, Sannai-Maruyama, was located on the territory of the prefecture. During World War II, the city of Aomori was an important strategic site and as a result of powerful American air raids, the city was destroyed by ninety percent! Since then, memorial events have been held here annually in memory of those events. The city developed largely due to brisk trade with the port of Hakodate in Hokkaido. Aomori Prefecture is the country's breadbasket: it is the main producer of rice, vegetables and fruits in Japan.

Culture, attractions
and entertainment

The main attraction of Aomori Prefecture is the famous Sannai-Maruyama site. It is the most important archaeological site of the Jomon era and is officially recognized as a Special Landmark of Japan. Buildings dating back to 3500–2000 have been reconstructed here. BC: dugouts, barns, as well as the main building of the site - a three-tiered tower-like structure on pillars, which is a symbol of Sannai-Maruyama. It was once a three-story building in the shape of a parallelepiped, which makes it a kind of “skyscraper of antiquity.” Sannai-Maruyama also exhibits examples of Jomon ceramics, with distinctive designs and colors. The site, which contained up to seven hundred buildings during its heyday, is still under archaeological excavation. And not far from this ancient city is the Aomori Art Museum, very original designed: its buildings are dug into the ground, reminiscent of an open archaeological excavation. The museum also exhibits contemporary art, including several paintings by Marc Chagall. And on the shores of the Shimokita Peninsula, in the north of the prefecture, is located a mystical, and, according to many, terrifying place: Mount Osorezan, which literally means “mountain of fear.” The bleak volcanic landscape and sporadic sulfur fumes make this place extremely inhospitable and true to its name. According to Shinto beliefs, Osorezan and Lake Usori, which lies at its foot, represent the gateway to hell, and ghosts can be encountered here. Therefore, it is a place of pilgrimage from all over the country, where people come to communicate with deceased relatives and loved ones. Here, on the shores of the lake, is the Buddhist temple Bodai-ji. The best way to get from Tokyo to Aomori is by plane; the flight time is 1 hour 15 minutes.
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