“Green Forest” Aomori

Where nature inspires art, and art inspires people

Soulful music. Dramatic festivals. Intricate woodcrafts. Defined art in unusual places. This is Aomori, where one can experience Japan in all its authenticity. With a civilization that traces back to at least 5500 BC, Aomori has successfully protected and maintained its arts and culture for thousands of years.

In fact, this inimitable area in Tohoku region is where arts of all kinds converge, no doubt influenced by its rich history. Bright sculptures light up narrow streets during the three-hundred-year-old Nebuta Festival, each float delicately crafted from colorful paper. The Tsugaru shamisen originated here, and is played with articulate striking and snapping, its lilting notes performed throughout Japan.

In this northernmost area of Honshu, the surrounding natural environment serves as inspiration to artists. To honor over two thousand years of farming, rice fields are handcrafted into works of art by cultivating different strains of rice, turning rippling fields into great canvases. Exclusive woodcrafts are fashioned from Aomori’s enormous reserve of beech wood through unique bending and coiling techniques.

The diverse art created here with special materials is inspired by the landscape and the history of the area. The art, in turn, continues to inspire all who visit Aomori.

—Haley Alt

  • Aomori Nebuta Matsuri literally “Aomori float festival,” this early-August event includes lit-up warrior figures crafted from paper that are paraded through the streets of Aomori, accompanied by dancers and fireworks.
  • Bunako a unique woodcraft made from thin strips of raw beech wood that are coiled and rolled into various creative woodwork products.
  • Tsugaru Shamisen both the Japanese genre of music that originates from the Tsugaru Peninsula (present-day Aomori prefecture) and a China-introduced string instrument. The Tsugaru shamisen is distinguished by a thicker neck and strings, and when played, the body is struck.
The surrounding natural environment serves as inspiration to artists

Plan a visit to Aomori

Taste real Japan

Nature acts as its canvas, and hospitality warms the people during frigid winters. Aomori’s isolated location on the northernmost point of Honshu resulted in the preservation of timeworn customs, where art in all forms thrives. However, because the capital was rebuilt after 1945, Aomori stands at a convergence of the traditional and the modern.

Taste real Japan in this untouched part of the country. Pick farm-fresh food with natives and then devour its; enjoy hidden bars and delectable sushi spots; meet a sword craftsman preserving ancient culture; walk hiking paths through mossy forests and alongside gushing waterfalls and endless blue waters.

All these glimpses into a world waiting to be discovered. Contact for more details on exploring the great Tsugaru Peninsula on your next trip.