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Seasons of Towada

Seasons of Towada

The area around the Towada region is blessed by the four charming seasons of Japan with all their distinct tones, colors and essences.

Hachimantai

hachimantai_national_park

Fall colours from Hachimantai! It was too cloudy so couldn’t capture it well. Photo: gayatriisingh

The 1613m volcanic plateau Hachimantai and Lake Towada in Aomori make up Towada-Hachimantai National Park. The area boasts meandering walking routes alongside various lagoons and hot springs. Hachimantai is beautiful throughout all the four seasons. Particularly, from late September to mid-October, the autumn is breathtaking with leaves transforming the mountains with a red and gold palette.

Towada Lake

Towada Lake is part of Towada-Hachimantai National Park and the largest volcanic crater on Honshu Island, the main island of Japan. Straddling the borders of Akita and Aomori prefectures, the area is famous for its autumn colors and particularly the surroundings of Oirase Spring, one of the best known sites of autumn admiration of Japan.

Kakunodate

kakunodate

Photo by shenguyu

Kakunodate is a town of castles and ancient samurai fortresses in the present Akita Prefecture. While the old Kakunodate Castle was destroyed, the town has not been substantially changed since its foundation in 1620, including two separate quarters for samurais and merchants. Once a quarter of 80 households, the samurai quarter still boasts quintessential houses of this class in Japan.
Kakunodate is also known to be the most recognizable cherry blossom quarter in Tohoku region. Around late April and early May, legions of watchers flock here to admire the spectacular mingling between cherry blossoms and historical houses of Kakunodate.

Aspite Line

Aspite Line is a 27-kilometer sightseeing route that runs through Towada-Hachimantai National Park and stretches up to Iwate and Akita. With only one house left on the top, it’s a fine sightseeing location, particularly in the autumn when you can take a panoramic view of colorful oak and pine trees. Aspite Line is closed in the winter due to heavy snow; however in April, the line is reopened in a striking manner with high walls of snow flanking the way, some of which can reach up to 6 meters in several areas, so sharp and precipitous as if they were cut with knives right at the very start of their formation. Experiencing both winter and spring on the Aspite Line by driving through the snow corridor which leads to cherry blossom trees in full bloom in Kakunodate is unforgettable

Shirakami Mountains

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Photo: rainyafternoonx

Shirakami Sanchi is a wide mountain range stretching between Aomori and Akita in the north of Tohoku region in Japan. The core of Shirakami Sanchi was formed out of the last primordial oak forests in Japan, which was altogether registered as one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Japan in 1993

The main attraction of Shirakami Sanchi lies in walking routes of different distances that lead through forests to waterfalls, mountain peaks and lakes. The most popular walking route leads to Anmon Falls in the northeast of Shirakami Sanchi.

Anmon Falls are three waterfalls situated about 90 minutes’ walking distance to the valley from the forest entrance, and are inaccessible from late November to late April.

Nishiki Katakuri

Nishiki Katakuri Colony is unique because its total area is one of the largest flower colonies in Japan, four times larger than the Tokyo Dome (200,000sqm). Although eight years to bear blossoms and prove quite sensitive to different climate conditions, Katakuri trees are extensive in the Colony thanks to their favorable conditions, fertile soil and the abundant sunlight that fades away as reflected from the upper part of the forest. It’s the reason why it is a large habitat of violets. Also in the autumn, the Colony is famous for Saimyo-ji Guri,the largest chestnut species in Japan whose seeds are larger than a child’s hand.

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Yokote Castle

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Photo by hkm350

Yokote Castle was constructed by the Onodera clan in the 16th century. Onodera daimyos ruled until the outburst of Sekigahara Battle in 1600. After Sekigahara Battle, Onodera daimyos were sent to Shimane Prefecture and replaced by Satake daimyos of Mito. Yokote Castle was an important landmark of the southern territories of Satake. In the Edo era, the rule of the castle was handed over from Satake to Date, Suda and Tomura until Meiji Era. In 1868, the castle was reduced to ashes in a battle of Boshin War.