Greet spri and hunt for cherry blossoms - travel smarter with JR EAST PASSOpen Japan's winter doors and let the snow in - travel better with JR EAST PASSOpen Japan's winter doors
and let the snow in - travel better with
JR EAST
PASS

Journey beyond the beaten path and see eastern Japan for lessEnjoy unlimited travel in eastern
Japan at an excellent price

Book online and receive around a 1,000 JPY discount

Route 1 Aomori・Akita

Modern art, a Samurai city and an island shrine to the gods

  • AomoriAomori

    ①Aomori PrefectureIsland shrines, seabirds and wildflowers

    With its rugged coastline, wide, verdant lawns and abundance of colourful flowers, Kabushima Island is a perfect spring destination. Following the coastal walks around the island’s cliffs, accompanied by the friendly nesting umineko gulls, you’re rewarded with magnificent views around the coast. The gulls and their white wings, thought to be messengers of the Goddess Benzaiten, add drama to the red torii gates guarding the deity’s shrine.

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  • AomoriAomori

    ②Aomori PrefectureTaste the Aomori culture in the smallest food street

    In downtown Hachinohe City, Miroku Yokocho is a paradise for visitors keen to sample the local culture and produce of far-north Honshu. This narrow lane is lined with tiny eateries, each seating just 10 diners. Spring sees the winter walls of these small food stalls disappear creating an alfresco dining experience. Sit and enjoy a true sense of community brought about by good food and friendly ambience.

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  • AomoriAomori

    ③Aomori PrefectureImmerse yourself in Towada’s city-wide art scene

    Never knowing what artistic curiosity is round the next corner makes Towada City a great place to explore. At its heart is Towada Art Center, a museum of modern art filled with exclusive pieces by artists like Yoko Ono, Ron Muek and Nara Yoshitomo.Situated on one of Japan’s 100 Best Streets, the Art Center extends its cultural reach down this avenue lined with spring cherry blossoms.

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  • AomoriAomori

    ④Aomori PrefectureCherry blossoms, ancient castles and picnic festivals

    From April each year, Hirosaki Park in Aomori Prefecture erupts into constellations of pink and white flowers from the thousands of cherry blossom trees surrounding its moats. The grandest cherry blossom site in Japan, Hirosaki Park celebrates the national flower with a fortnight of festivals from April 23. The white walls and dark roofs of the historic castle in the park’s grounds create a striking contrast to the delicate petals of the trees.

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  • AkitaAkita

    ⑤Akita PrefectureGodzilla’s greatest conquest: the westering sun in spring

    Ever since 1954, when Japan brought Godzilla to our screens, we’ve been obsessed with this fabled radioactive monster. Standing on the rocky coastline of the Shiosezaki Cape, Akita, Godzilla’s silhouette looms up against the springtime sunset of northwestern Japan. At a certain time, it even looks like this unusual rock formation is eating the sun!

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  • AkitaAkita

    ⑥Akita PrefectureSamurai and cherry blossoms in the springtime

    Trailing fronds of delicate pink and white flowers highlighted by the dark boughs and branches holding them, cherry blossom trees are an iconic symbol of Japan’s springtime. Equally iconic are the Samurai of legend and history. The two come together in Kakunodate’s Samurai District, where these elegant trees bloom in spring against the contrast of the wealthy houses of the military elite of Old Japan.

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    The northern reaches of Honshu - the ‘mainland’ of Japan - is a wealth of heritage, culture and natural beauty. It’s also one of the last places in Japan to experience the glory of the spring cherry blossoms. But as well seeing the cherry blossoms, travel to Aomori and Akita rewards you with fascinating art museums, a city street of tiny restaurants and shogun castles amidst these delicate flowers.

    Discount Pass

    JR EAST PASS(Tohoku area)
    JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)
    • Adult : 19,350yen
    • Child : 9,670yen

    JR EAST PASS is valid for a total of 5 selected days (which must be used within 14 days after activation), and provides unlimited travel on any trains within the designated JR EAST PASS area, inclusive of Shinkansen bullet trains within the JR EAST PASS. It is a great way to travel through Tohoku this spring!

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    Tohoku Route1

    Route 2 Iwate・Miyagi

    Heritage, grandeur and onsen fit for an emperor

    • MiyagiMiyagi

      ⑤Miyagi PrefectureCherry blossoms on the riverbanks and snow on the mountaintops

      Not many places give you cherry blossoms - the very icons of spring - and snow at the same time. But 35 minutes south of Sendai by train, an 8km stretch of the Shiraishi River has just that. Behind the glorious line of 1,200 cherry trees stands the Zao Mountain range, which keeps its snow cap on well into summer. Perch on a rickshaw or boat down the river for the best views.

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    • MiyagiMiyagi

      ④Miyagi PrefectureWitness history - the Sendai street parade that began in 1600s

      For two days in mid-May, the city of Sendai blossoms with the incredible spectacle of the Aoba Festival. This enormous carnival goes back 350 years and celebrates the founding of the city that once ruled the Tohoku region. Throughout the city’s tree-lined avenues samurai do battle, paper lanterns float through the air, yamaboko floats fill the streets and 2,000 dancers step in time to the traditional Sendai Suzume Odori dance.

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    • MiyagiMiyagi

      ①Miyagi PrefectureDramatic waterfalls, ancient onsen and the romance of nature in spring

      One of Japan’s finest waterfalls, Akiu Otaki Falls plunges 55 metres into Rairaikyo Gorge amidst the lush greenery of springtime Sendai. Joining the Natori River that runs through the hot spring town of Akiu Onsen, these falls add to the remarkable natural beauty of this area. Akiu Onsen has an incredible heritage, and was a favourite of Emperor Kinmei, Japan’s 29th emperor, who ruled almost 1500 years ago.

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    • IwateIwate

      ⑥Iwate PrefectureExplore the mochi culture of Iwate

      Mochi - a pounded rice cake- is one of the oldest delicacies in Japan and a favourite snack. But in the northern prefecture of Iwate, mochi is a way of life. In fact Ichinoseki City, the home of mochi, serves a mochi banquet. This multi-dish mochi meal comes with a spectrum of toppings, from tiny shrimp to red bean paste all served in traditional tiny black lacquered bowls.

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    • IwateIwate

      ②Iwate PrefectureA ticket back in time to the age of Kenji Miyazawa and his mystical steam engine

      This magical train running through the Iwate countryside rolls straight from Miyazawa’s 1927 novel ‘Night on the Galactic Railroad’. This reconditioned steam engine is a moving museum to the Tohoku author and his celebrated works. There’s even a planetarium on board this lovingly restored locomotive, bringing back to its 1920s glory - with a touch of Miyazawa surrealism of course.

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    • IwateIwatte

      ③Iwate PrefectureEnter another world and explore the heart of the mountain

      Deep beneath the surface and far from the spring sunshine, the caves of Mount Ureira are intricate, mysterious and never-ending. Walkways take you through underground passages along a sparkling subterranean river that feeds into lakes so clear you can see to the bottom. Elegant limestone stalactites and stalagmites, growing centimetres a century, create shapes in the caverns while the darkness stretches out before you, 5,000 metres into the mountainside.

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      Journey to Honshu’s northeastern realms and experience the unsung wonders of the Tohoku region. Mighty waterfalls and historic hot springs, cherry blossoms and mountainous backdrops, deep delving caves and bottomless crystal lakes, peculiar cuisine, magical steam engines and immortalised carnivals to the beginnings of empires. The prefectures of Iwate and Miyagi hold a wealth of wonder for you to collect.

      Discount Pass

      JR EAST PASS(Tohoku area)
      JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)
      • Adult : 19,350yen
      • Child : 9,670yen

      JR EAST PASS is valid for a total of 5 selected days (which must be used within 14 days after activation), and provides unlimited travel on any trains within the designated JR EAST PASS area, inclusive of Shinkansen bullet trains within the JR EAST PASS. It is a great way to travel through Tohoku this spring!

      BUY A PASS
      Tohoku Route2

      Route 3 Fukushima・Yamagata

      Blossoms by night, sacred sites and the search for Japan’s best cherries

      • FukushimaFukushima

        ①Fukushima PrefectureDiscover the magic behind Fukushima’s Red Cow

        Revered by locals for over 400 years, Akabeko - ‘red cow’ in the Fukushima dialect - is a remarkable part of the prefecture’s history and an essential part of its culture. People travel from far and wide to the Aizu Yanaizu area to have a hand-crafted Akabeko of their own, its bobbling head bringing happiness to all. First created for eminent shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Akabeko is a talisman for strength, health and perseverance.

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      • FukushimaFukushima

        ②Fukushima PrefectureEat soba like a prince… from 400 years ago

        Fukushima Prefecture is famous for its buckwheat soba noodles, but in the isolated post town of Ouchi-Juku, tucked away in the Iide Mountains, they do things a little differently. Started by a prince from the Edo Period, negi-soba is eaten with a large spring onion instead of chopsticks. The long green stem of the onion also adds flavour to the dish, acting as both cutlery and condiment.

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      • YamagataYamagata

        ③Yamagata PrefectureGlory of cherry blossoms by day and by night

        On a hill overlooking the Yonezawa Plateau, Eboshiyama Park boasts one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in the country. With over 1,000 blooming trees, the park is filled with their exquisite pink and white flowers around mid-spring, and at night lanterns bring a new dimension to the beauty of this park, shimmering within the delicate clouds of flowers and shining out from the hillside.

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      • YamagataYamagata

        ④Yamagata PrefecturePut a cherry on top of your Japanese trip

        Producing 70% of Japan’s cherries, Yamagata in mid to late spring is the place to be. Visit the region’s beautiful orchards to pick your own or enjoy one of Yamagata’s lauded cherry parfaits, made with the region’s special sato nishi cherries, loved for their sweetness and juiciness. Yamagata’s first fruit of the season is given as the most revered of gifts.

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      • YamagataYamagata

        ⑤Yamagata PrefectureGames come to life beneath blossoming cherry trees

        In the city of Tendo, the ancient game of shogi shifts from board game to battlefield. People take the place of pieces to play in front of crowds 50,000 strong under breath-taking clouds of cherry blossoms. Although similar to Chess, Shogi originated in Yamagata and is based on samurai wars from the Sengoku Period. After witnessing the tension of this game, the perfect way to relax is in one of Tendo’s beautiful onsen.

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      • YamagataYamagata

        ⑥Yamagata PrefectureSea-bound blessings from stone monks

        Near the peaceful harbour of Nishihama, the serene faces of 22 Buddhist monks watch the waves. These enormous visages, carved into the cliffs, have guarded the coast for over 150 years, praying for the safety of sailors and mourning those lost at sea. Perhaps the inspiration behind America’s Mount Rushmore, these figures, known as Juroku Rakan Iwa, are an impressive sight and give comfort to those sailing the coast of Yuza.

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        Create your own exclusive itinerary in the Southern Tohoku Region to experience some of the most beautiful parts of Japan. Home to many of the best cherry blossom locations, but also to noodle dishes unique to one hidden little town, festivals for Japanese chess on a giant scale and handmade icons of magical cows, this is springtime in Tohoku.

        Discount Pass

        JR EAST PASS(Tohoku area)
        JR EAST PASS (Tohoku area)
        • Adult : 19,350yen
        • Child : 9,670yen

        JR EAST PASS is valid for a total of 5 selected days (which must be used within 14 days after activation), and provides unlimited travel on any trains within the designated JR EAST PASS area, inclusive of Shinkansen bullet trains within the JR EAST PASS. It is a great way to travel through Tohoku this spring!

        BUY A PASS
        Tohoku Route3

        Route 4 Nagano・Niigata

        Paragliding, rafting and spring alpine adventures

        • NaganoNagano

          ①Nagano PrefectureExplore the remote forgotten paradise of the Kamikochi Alps in spring

          Find peace away from the crowds and enjoy the splendour of the pristine air and waters of this alpine region - the very essence of nature and springtime in Japan. Well-maintained hiking trails through the mountains offer glorious views of Nagano’s highlands, with crystal rivers running through valleys and glimpses of the fresh spring greenery.

          Book a JR EAST PASS(Nagano,Niigata area)
        • NaganoNagano

          ②Nagano PrefectureCoast like a bird through the bright spring air

          Imagine soaring silently over the majestic Japanese Alps with incredible views of Hakuba and the Honshu highlands in the midst of cherry blossom season below you. Hakuba is the capital for paragliding in Japan because of its dramatic landscapes and is a venue for the Paragliding World Cup. Try a tandem flight so all you have to do is sit comfortably beneath the broad sail-wing above you while your pilot flies.

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        • NiigataNiigata

          ③Niigata PrefectureExperience the most beautiful Cherry Blossoms

          Takada Park is one of the top three places in Japan for seeing the magical springtime cherry blossoms at night. Illuminated by traditional bonbori lanterns, the 4,000 trees and their glorious blooms make everlasting memories. Scenes of the cherry blossom tunnels - a broad pathway where the trees reach over to touch above you - or Takada Castle surrounded by these flowers will make you wish spring would stay forever.

          Book a JR EAST PASS(Nagano,Niigata area)
        • NaganoNagano

          ④Nagano PrefectureRelish the bright yellow of spring in the mountains

          Celebrating the height of spring, the Iiyama Nanohana Festival turns the mountainous city of Iiyama yellow. The festival’s food, music and parades reflect the bright yellow nanohana blooms that appear every May in the region’s broad meadows, parks and farmlands. Bike rides and hikes into the nearby Sekida Mountains provide a different perspective with a white flash of snow still high on its peaks against the fields of yellow down below.

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        • NaganoNagano

          ⑤Nagano PrefectureDiscover the real Japan on Oykot - One of the Joyful trains -

          Spelling Tokyo backwards, the Oykot train runs through the stunning countryside, and the greenery and grandeur of the Chikuma River, the surrounding mountains and serene farmlands. The Oykot takes you back to a time before commuter train travel, with snack trolleys on board and friendly welcomes at every station. This is truly a celebration of train travel and the perfect antidote to the rush of the city.

          Book a JR EAST PASS(Nagano,Niigata area)
        • NiigataNiigata

          ⑥Niigata PrefectureSurrounded by Cherry Blossoms on the river

          Japan’s longest river, the Shinano, runs for 267km and offers a wonderful range of options for rafting enthusiasts. From Niigata’s Tokamachi City, board rubber boats for relaxing sightseeing trips down quieter stretches or hang on to a raft for high-octane white-water rides over rapids and rocks. Whichever your preference, make sure to take in the stunning scenery of spring cherry blossoms lining the riverbank.

          Book a JR EAST PASS(Nagano,Niigata area)
        • NiigataNiigata

          ⑦Niigata PrefectureFeel Spirited Away to Sado Island in your own washtub boat

          Off the coast of Niigata City, the island of Sado is famous for its unique washtub boats called taraibune. They get their name from their unusual rotund, flat-bottomed appearance, making them look like an old-fashioned wooden bath. Steered with just one oar, they were used by local fishermen in the Meiji Period. These days, they’re fun to ride around Sado Island from the water.

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          Springtime is the perfect season for exploring Japan. Whether you want to hike in the mountains or paddle down the rivers, there are so many aspects to this beautiful country. Parades and celebrations of the glorious flowering spring will take you on a happy journey to be met at the end by the very best cherry blossoms in the world.

          Discount Pass

          JR EAST PASS(Niigataarea)
          JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area)
          • Adult : 17,310yen
          • Child : 8,650yen

          JR EAST PASS is valid for a total of 5 selected days (which must be used within 14 days after activation), and provides unlimited travel on any trains within the designated JR EAST PASS area, inclusive of Shinkansen bullet trains within the JR EAST PASS. It is a great way to travel through Nagano and Niigata this spring!

          BUY A PASS
          Tohoku Route4

          What's JR EAST PASS

          The JR EAST PASS is a special discounted pass available only to international travellers to Japan (with a short-term visa no longer than 90 days) and holding a foreign passport.
          It allows unlimited rides on all JR East train lines in the JR EAST PASS designated area. For example, you can start your journey by taking an express train from Narita Airport or Haneda Airport to Tokyo, explore Tokyo, and maybe hop aboard the Shinkansen to Tohoku area or Nagano, Niigata area.
          * There are several types of passes, and the areas you can travel to depends on the pass type.

          JR EAST Pass
          The JR EAST PASS is a special discounted pass available only to international travellers to Japan (with a short-term visa no longer than 90 days) and holding a foreign passport.
          It allows unlimited rides on all JR East train lines in the JR EAST PASS designated area. For example, you can start your journey by taking an express train from Narita Airport or Haneda Airport to Tokyo, explore Tokyo, and maybe hop aboard the Shinkansen to Tohoku area or Nagano, Niigata area.
          * There are several types of passes, and the areas you can travel to depends on the pass type.
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          BUY A PASS

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