Aomori is a famous tourist spot, known throughout Japan for its delicious apples, the Tsugaru Straits, and more.
On the other hand, just like other prefectures, Aomori has many spots that are off the beaten path- charming locations that are not well-known throughout the land.
1. Kabushima, in Hachinohe city, where the black-tailed gulls circle
Kabushima, in Aomori prefecture’s Hachinohe city, is known as the breeding ground of the black-tailed gull, and is a nationally designated natural monument. Here one can enjoy watching the rare black-tailed gulls.
Connected to land after reclamation work in 1943, this 1.8 hectare area is home to 40,000 black-tailed gulls that build nests there. The nest construction always starts in spring, so the black-tailed gull is known as a sign of the arrival of spring.
The black-tailed gulls start to arrive on the island in late February, complete their nests and lay their eggs from the middle of April through the end of May, tend to the hatchlings in June and July, and then fly off the island in August. The best season to watch the cute interactions between chicks and their parents is in the beginning of July.
Kabushima is the only location where one can get a close look at the ecology of the black-tailed gull. In May the rapseseed flowers bloom in unison and cover the island in yellow. Kabushima is the perfect spot to enjoy rare birds and nature, so by all means please visit.
2. Aomori Misawa Aviation & Science Museum
At the Aviation and Science Museum in Misawa you’ll learn the part that Aomori played in the history of aviation in Japan. It’s a museum that is enjoyable for both adults and children, and you’ll come into contact with actual airplanes.
Detailed guide plates will inform visitors about the history of aviation, and the museum has cafes and souvenir shops, so it’s an appropriate place to take a rest if you’re using the Misawa Airport. There is an observation deck on-site, so you’ll have the opportunity to view the Misawa Airport from a different angle.
There are also Japanese airplanes and unusual American military planes on display, so children with an interest in airplanes are sure to enjoy this location.
That last spot that I’d like to introduce is Kanranzan, a spot connected to famous Japanese author Osamu Dazai.
Kanranzan is located just a few minutes away from Sotogahama-Machi Kanita Station by taxi, and while enjoying the shops near the station one could even visit this tourist spot on foot.
Formerly the Kanita Plateau, currently one can see a monument and a plateau mark in Kanranzan park.
The view after one passes under the red gate at Kanranzan is very popular with tourists, with an expansive view of the Port of Kanita and the vast ocean. Normally, Kanranzan is not very crowded, so one can enjoy a relaxing walk through the mountains while taking in the scenery in peace and quiet.
This has been a recommendation by a local of three tourist spots that are off the beaten track! There are still many charming tourist spots in Aomori that I didn’t have time to introduce here. I hope that these recommendations will serve as an introduction to the area, and that they’ll lead you to discover new and interesting ways to enjoy Aomori.
This post is also available in: Japanese