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Tohoku

Aomori Bay at dawn
Aomori Bay Aomori Bay at dawn

Aomori Bay

Aomori is mainly known for producing apples, and inevitably, the area offers all kinds of apple-based culinary delights: warm apple juice, apple mousse and apple pies to name just a few. But I love the refurbished port area, which now offers the opportunity for beautiful walks by the water.

The Nangaku-ji Temple

The Nangaku-ji Temple

Scattered throughout Yamagata Prefecture, there are over two dozen mummified Japanese monks known as Sokushinbutsu. The process of self-mummification was mainly practiced by monks in Northern Japan between the 11th and 19th century. Today we walk down to the Buddhist mummy of Nangakuji Temple in Tsuruoka that holds the remains of Tetsuryou-kai, mummified at the age of 44, in a meditating pose, to understand what drove these monks towards this self inflicted, painful death.

Watchtower at Sannai Maruyama Ruins
Ruins of Sannai-Maruyama Watchtower at Sannai Maruyama Ruins

Ruins of Sannai-Maruyama

We step back in time to the Jōmon period at the Sannai-Maruyama Ruins. The ruins in the southwest of Aomori is the largest ruins of a Jōmon-period village in Japan. Most of the excavated items have been reburied for preservation, but a few excavation sites and artifacts are on display along with reconstructed dwellings, giving us a sense of the daily life of ancient times.

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