Tohoku: Japan's best-kept secret

posted on February 13, 2016

The northern segment of Japan's Honshu island - known as Tohoku - beckons nature lovers, shutterbugs and those looking to escape the stress of city life. This is thanks to its rugged mountains, dramatic coastlines, picturesque lakes and valleys, and numerous hot springs.

And it all depends on the season you are there. In spring in the valley of Mount Hachimantai, the Matsukawa onsen attracts visitors from as far as Germany and the United States. The resort offers a choice of indoor and outdoor pools.

A short drive away from the onsen is the alpine mountain plateau of Hachimantai. There, spring is heralded by cherry blossoms while in summer, daylilies, alpine orchids and thistles add vibrant yellow, mauve and pink splashes to nature's canvas; even dogtooth violets colour its swamps.

You can also enjoy the onsen at the winter wonderland of Mount Zao. Zao Onsen is a resort town popular for its ski slopes and hot springs.

Further towards the north Pacific coast is the postcard-perfect Oirase Gorge. In spring, its numerous waterfalls and river are mesmerising, with abundant wildflowers, edible ferns, whitewater rapids and white wasabi blooms. The river leads to the Towada Lake where one can kayak and fish for cherry salmon, rainbow trout and carp.

source by star2
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