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Aomori

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Aomori (青森) [1], the capital of Aomori prefecture, Japan, is located on Mutsu Bay, at the northern tip of Honshu.

Get in

By air

Aomori's airport is served by Japan Airlines. JAL flights arrive from Tokyo Haneda Airport, Nagoya Centrair Airport, Osaka Itami and Kansai Airports, Sapporo Chitose Airport, and Fukuoka Airport. Buses connect the airport to the main train station for ¥560. The bus ride lasts 35 minutes.

By train

From Tokyo, the fastest method of reaching Aomori is by taking the Tohoku Shinkansen Hayate (はやて) train to Hachinohe, then transfer to a limited express train for the run to Aomori. Connections in Hachinohe are excellent, but at a price of about ¥17000, it makes sense to purchase a Japan Rail Pass or a JR East Pass beforehand. The one-way ride takes just over 4 hours.

JR Hakucho and Super Hakucho limited express trains make ten daily round-trips from Hakodate (2 hours, ¥3150).

While just about all long-distance overnight trains which run toward Sapporo (on the northernmost island of Hokkaido) stop only in Aomori to change direction, and not to discharge passengers, some other overnight services actually start/terminate in Aomori. Here are the most convenient trains:

Shin-Aomori station is a four minute ride from Aomori station on the Ou line, and services are pretty infrequent at the moment. However, Shin-Aomori station will take on a major role starting on December 4, 2010, when the Tohoku Shinkansen is extended north from Hachinohe to Shin-Aomori. This will cut the travel time between Tokyo and Aomori to 3 hours and 20 minutes. Tokyo-Aomori travel times will be reduced further by the end of 2012, thanks to the introduction of newer and faster bullet trains that will be called Hayabusa (はやぶさ), traveling at an all-time high speed of 320 km/h (200 mph).

By bus

Several overnight bus services run between Tokyo and Aomori, taking 9 1/2 hours to complete. JR's "La Foret" service runs twice nightly and costs ¥10000 one-way. Several other operators run cheaper services periodically; these can be booked through travel agents or websites such as Rakuten or 123bus[2] in English.

By boat

Seikan Ferry [3] and Tsugaru Kaikyo Ferry [4] operate ferry services from Aomori to the port of Hakodate with multiple departures daily. One way fares are cheapest on the Seikan Ferry at ¥1500 for a carpet space. The Tsugaru Kaikyo ferries are more expensive: one way fares are ¥2700 for second class (carpet space), ¥5000 for first class and ¥6000 for special class. Note that first and special classes are only offered on specific departures and offer better amenities, such as a room with bed. Travel time on all services is approximately 3 hours, 45 minutes.

Get around

Taxis are always available from the train station.

Buses exist in Aomori, but it can be confusing without at least an intermediate Japanese ability.

Anywhere on or around the downtown main street is easily accessible by foot.

See

As with most outlying prefectural capitals, there isn't much to see in the city itself if you go in without knowing what to look for.

Do

Aomori is famous for the Nebuta Matsuri [6] festival, held yearly in August.

Buy

For loading up on regional souvenirs, head to ASPAM, the unusual-looking triangular building located just behind the bridge on the harbor. It contains an exhibition hall for promoting tourism and local products.

Eat

Drink


Sleep

Numerous hotels dot the shin-machi, the main street that stretches out from the train station. These hotels generally increase in price the closer you get to the train station.

Contact

The city tourist information center is located next to the bus stop on the left as you exit the train station; they have good brochures and maps in English. You can pick up the free Northern Tohoku Welcome Card [7] here, which gets you discounts on transport and attractions.

Get out

Related Information



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A list of contributors is available at the original article on Wikitravel. Additional modifications may have been made by users at TRAVEL.COM [8].

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.

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