The Tohoku Region was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 11, 2011.
However, most areas of the Tohoku Region are now safe and welcoming tourists again.
Particularly famous for it's rural backdrop of rice fields, mountains and lakes.
Tohoku is the most northerly region of the main island Honshu.
It consists of 6 prefectures: Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata.
PLACES TO VISIT
With roughly one million inhabitants, Sendai is the largest city in the Tohoku Region
Sendai was the closest major city to the epicenter of the earthquake of March 11, 2011. The tsunami devastated the city's coastal outskirts but did not cause major damage in the city center. Virtually all tourist spots reopened within a few months of the earthquake
Explore the site of Sendai Castle (or Aoba Castle)
or rest and relax in the neighborhood of Mt. Aoba-yama, which has been transformed into a gracious public park
Matsushima Bay (Main Image)
For hundreds of years, Matsushima Bay has been celebrated as one of Japan's three most scenic views
alongside Miyajima and Amanohashidate. The bay is dotted by over 200 small islands covered by pine trees
A good way to enjoy the bay is to get on a cruise boat. Operated by multiple sightseeing cruise companies, there are round trips starting and ending at Matsushima and boats from Matsushima to the nearby city of Shiogama. Longer cruises will get you to the more remote areas of Oku-Matsushima which are less spoiled by industrial and urban development
Kakunodate is enclosed on three sides by mountains and Hinokinai-gawa River that runs to the south
. The town has been developed into a castle town
after the original township arrangement in the early 17th century. The town has a refined miyabi
and elegant iki
atmosphere, as it is called the Little Kyoto of Michinoku.
Many samurai houses remain in Kakunodate
, making it one of the best places to see an example of a Japanese castle town. Today the houses are privately owned by the descendants of the samurai warriors; however, some of the residences such as the Ishiguro, Aoyagi, and Nishinomiya are open to the public
. There remains shrines, temples, and merchants’ storehouses
as well, which are located in the southern part of town. The presence of these historical buildings gives you a feeling that the history of Kakunodate is still alive today.