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Aomori, Japan

Aomori, Japan, is a small harbor town located on Mutsu Bay, with Mount Hakkoda in the background. Aomori used to be the main port for railway ferries operating between Hokkaido and Honshu but was later replaced by a tunnel. Home to Japan's largest outdoor Buddha, this beautiful port is also known for its cherry blossoms and apple orchards. Aomori produces half of Japan's apple harvest and is home to Japan's premier fire festival, and is known for its unusually heavy snowfall.


Aomori is close to the scenic wonders of Towada Hachimantai National Park and Shirikami-Sanchi beech forest. Popular souvenirs include Tsugaru lacquerware, Koginsashi embroidery, and ceramics. Regional food specialties here include Kenoshiru, a miso soup made from root vegetables, and sea scallops from the mineral-rich waters surrounding the region.


Ship Location

Passenger ships dock at the new passenger cruise ship terminal, Shin-Chuo Wharf, only a ten-minute walk from town.


Getting Around

Aomori is compact, with the city center within walking distance of the port. The main train station is about a 15-minute walk from the port. Taxis are available near the tourist information office.



Aomori and its environs offer visitors many delights ranging from archaeological sites, national parks, and hot springs to beautiful gardens and museums. The Sannai Maruyama Archaeological Site, discovered in the 1990s, is one of the best-preserved sites in Japan of the Jomon Period (13000-300 BCE). Remains include an 18-foot wall, jade, and thousands of pieces of clay pots. Next door, the Aomori Museum of Art displays Chagall's painting of the ballet Aleko. The Nebuta Warasse Museum highlights the annual Aomori Nebuta Festival, showcasing giant floats used in the parade. The Furukawa Fish Market is popular with tourists. Try the "nokke-don" rice bowl with fish. Shop along Shinmachi Street and at ASPAM, the 15-story triangular-shaped Aomori Shopping complex and tourist information center easily visible from the port. For a small fee, head to the ASPAM observation deck for panoramic views of the area. The port area offers sidewalks for scenic strolls along the waterfront.


Ship excursions include Sannai Maruyama archaeological site, the Showa Daibutsu (Big Buddha), and the Nebuta Warasse Museum. Another tour goes 25 miles to Hirosaki Park and castle, known for its some 2600 cherry trees that typically bloom in late April, as well as structures from the Edo period, botanical gardens, and temples.


Staying in Touch

Aomori offers Wi-Fi for foreign tourists for up to fourteen days for free. Obtain cards at various sites in the city, including the Aomori Museum of Art and the Aomori Tourist Information Center.