You’ll Want to Visit in Summer! 5 Recommended Spots in Tohoku to Feel Nature’s Grandeur
Why not check out cool spots like quiet forests, waterfalls, or limestone caves in the middle of the hot summer? Here are 5 recommended spots in Tohoku where you can experience nature's grandeur and cool down in the summer.
Ryusendo, a national natural monument that is considered one of Japan's top three limestone caves, is at the eastern foot of Mt. Ureira in Iwaizumi, Iwate. It's still being explored so there are many areas that are unknown, but the parts that are known are about 3,600m long, and it's believed that the whole cave is more than 5,000m long. The public area is about 700m, and it has a temperature of about 10-11℃ all year round so you can enjoy a cool atmosphere when you're there. The Gekkyuden is a space lit by 5 colors of LED lights and it's very popular because of its mystical atmosphere. Also, there are three underground lakes that glitter with blue water, and their beauty have given the cave the nickname of "dragon blue." (The "ryu" in "Ryusendo" means dragon.) After you finish exploring the cave, you can enjoy water from Ryusendo, which is considered one of Japan's top 100 waters.
2. Akiu Great Falls
Akiu Onsen, in Sendai, Miyagi, has been loved since ancient times as one of Japan's top three baths. If you head to the west along the Natori River away from the hot spring area, you'll reach the Akiu Great Falls inside the Zao Quasi-National Park. It's considered one of Japan's top 3 waterfalls and has a width of 6m and a height of 55m, and as long as you walk along the path along the river, you can enjoy the impressive sight while basking in the comfortable breeze. You can get near the basin and look up, or you can look down from the observation deck on top of the waterfall. Please gaze at the waterfall from your favorite spot. Also, there's the Akiu Otaki Shokubutsuen Botanical Gardens, where you can see flora from the Mt. Zao region, so please stop by. After you have gotten your fill of nature, why not stop by the famous Akiu Onsen to cleanse yourself from the day's sweat?
3. Lake Towada
Towada-Hachimantai National Park is a park that straddles the Aomori and Akita border. One of the most famous scenic spots in the park is Lake Towada, a caldera that was formed by volcanic activity that started 200,000 years ago. It has a diameter of about 46km and a depth of about 327m, and thus it is Japan's 12th largest and 3rd deepest lake. It's known for its beautiful indigo color. You can take a pleasure boat, or participate in any of the other leisure activities such as canoe tours or taking a boat adventure. For people who want to enjoy a forested ravine, check out the walking course around Oirase Keiryu. The ravine is about 14km long, and is full of forest and waterfalls so you can enjoy it to your heart's content. There's also hot springs nearby, so it would be nice to stop by on your way home.
4. Shirakami Sanchi
This is a huge mountain terrain of about 130,000ha that ranges from the southwestern part of Aomori to the northwestern part of Akita. Inside the area is a Japanese beech forest that was Japan's first natural World Heritage Site and is one of the world's largest primeval beech forests. There are so many different types of flora and fauna existing here that it seems like a natural museum. The World Heritage Site is the heart of the area, and to reach it you must follow the procedures to enter the mountain. Climbing the mountain is also difficult, but you can enjoy the untouched nature of the area. It's a great area for experienced mountain climbers.
*Image is of Shirakami Sanchi's Aoike
This is a canyon in Iwate that stretches from Mt. Kurikoma to Ichinoseki, made by erosion from the Iwai River. It's about 2km long, and the contrast between the jagged rock wall and the emerald green surface is beautiful. It is registered as a national Special Place of Scenic Beauty and Natural Monuments. The famous product from the area is the "cuckoo dango," dumplings from the shop on one of the cliffs overlooking the canyon. There is a basket hanging from a rope above the river, and there you insert your order and money before using a wooden mallet to ring the bell. The basket will be pulled up, and then you will receive the dumplings when it comes back down. They're also known as "flying dumplings," and it's become popular thanks to the whimsical way of ordering.
Why not relax in scenic areas enjoying the cool air of the Tohoku region? Please use this information when you're planning your summer travels.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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