We are huge fans of Japan and all things Japanese so when we were asked to write about a specific region of Japan outside of Tokyo we had plenty to share with you! Japan is a country I always recommend to anyone who loves to travel and is firmly in the number 1 spot on my all time favourite destinations. Tokyo Metro Gov have asked us to share some of our thoughts on one remarkable region that should definitely be included in your itinerary when you visit Japan.
Why go to Tohoku?
Tohoku literally means North-East and covers a number of provinces with both east and west coast on the largest island of Japan, Honshu. Its an easy region to get to thanks to the amazingly fast Shinkansen or “Bullet trains” that run like clockwork. Its a region that boasts some of the best landscape you will ever see in Japan, with the mountain range running north-south down the centre of the island. While Japan is famed for its trains, once you’re in Tohoku region I recommend a different mode of transport!
Travelling by boat in Tohoku
Boats are a fantastic way to enjoy the scenery whether you’re in an urban area our out in the wilderness. In urban landscapes Japan is a densely populated country so escaping to the river offers a panoramic view that carves its way through cities, unlike the bullet trains, boats are slow and steady so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the views. As with almost everything in Japan, city cruising boats are very well equipped and ultra-modern too. But its out in the countryside where the humble boat is without doubt the best way to get around. In Tohoku region you must visit the Geibikei gorge which you’ll find in the Iwate prefecture. You can take to the water on the elegant kotatsu boats and tour the gorge between December and February each year. Its a world away from the Japanese city life and a great experience to get back to nature.
Check out this 360 view of boat journeys in Tohoku
The best of Japanese cuisine in Tohoku
Japanese food is without doubt my favourite in the world and it never ceases to amaze me too with such unique flavours and delicately presented masterpieces. The Tohoku region is famed for some tasty traditional dishes that you should definitely look out for. Imoni is a well-loved vegetable soup found mostly in Yamagata prefecture and perfect for the colder months. Sasakamaboko is a perfect snack you’ll find in Miyagi Prefecture with sweet rice and tasty fish paste. You’ll find sushi bars and cute little restaurants in every city and town throughout the region and I speak from experience when I say its really worth taking risks and trying new things, you will not be disappointed in Japan.
There’s something for everyone in Japanese cuisine as the variety of flavours, textures and ingredients is quite staggering. You’ll often find small cafes that specialise in one dish, often family run and have been there for generations. These are usually the best places to eat some of the finest and most traditional dishes. Don’t let the language barrier scare you, there’s often visual representations of food as the Japanese love wax models of restaurant dishes, I always say if it looks good it’ll probably taste good too!
This post has been sponsored by Tokyo Metro Gov, all opinions are my own. Check out our others posts on Japan for my advice and tips for your ultimate Japanese trip.