Check It Out

No.188 (5/27/11)

What Can We Do Now?

By Nao H. Kauffman
Chief Editor

After the Tohoku Region's natural disaster on March 11th, we all know Japan is facing hard times. Many of the tourist destinations suffered extensive damage and lost their luster, but also the false reports affected the whole nation. For example, Japan was becoming a popular vacation destination for travelers from other southeastern Asian countries. However, Japan is currently handling large cancellations by foreign tourists although there are still many great and attractive places and events available. Many Japanese people also voluntarily refrained from going out and attending activities during the long weekend for Golden Week at the beginning of this month. There are so many one day trips available from Misawa.

Matsushima in Miyagi
Matsuhshima has about 260 tiny islands covered in pine trees .The Japanese Haiku poet, Bashou Matsuo, admired its beauty and wrote a famous poem about these islands. The islands are ranked as one of the most beautiful sights in Japan. The bay views from the mountains or cruises are outstanding. Some of the gifts shops may not be open. However, many hotels and a few bay cruise companies are offering their services around Golden Week. You can print the discount coupon for one of their bay cruise companies.

Yagiyayama Benyland in Sendai
One of the largest attraction theme parks is now available in Sendai. From April 25th through December 25th, they are offering 50% off discounts for admission and park pass tickets as indicated below.
Admission for adult: 500 yen, for 3-12 years old and senior over 65 years old: 250 yen
Park pass including admission for adult: 3,200 yen, for 3-12 years old and senior over 65 years old: 2,950 yen
Directions to the park: Take Tohoku Express Way to Miyagi, Sendai Minami I.C. and go to Route 286. Turn right at Mishi Taga intersection where there is a crossover bridge to Yagiyama. No pets are allowed.

Chuson-ji in Hiraizumi, Iwate
Chuson-ji (中尊寺) is a Buddhist temple in Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. It is the head temple of the Tendai sect in Tohoku (northeastern Japan). The Tendai sect claims that the temple was founded in 850 by Ennin, the third chief abbot of the sect, but most scholars believe that Chuson-ji was founded by Fujiwara no Kiyohira in about 1100. There is no archaeological or historical record of Buddhist activity in this area before 1100.
The Konjiki-do (金色堂) or 'Golden Hall' is a mausoleum containing the mummified remains of the leaders of the Northern Fujiwara clan who ruled much of northern Japan in the 12th century. It is one of two buildings that survived from the original Chuson-ji temple complex, the other being a sutra repository. The building has held its candidacy as a member of the world's heritage group since 2000. You can feel the atmosphere of Little Kyoto in Tohoku areas.

Koiwai Farm
Take the Tohoku Express Way to Morioka I.C. and go onto Route 46 toward Kakunodate, the big farm park is a great place to enjoy your summer. Fresh dairy products and farm animals reminds you of the American farm and ranch.

Morioka Tezukuri Mura
This location is introduced as Morioka Handi-Works Square in Morioka, it's also near Route 46. This place offers a variety of handmade craft workshops (1,300 yen - 3,000 yen per work shop.) You can challenge yourself and create some of the authentic Japanese handmade works such as porcelains, dying, weaving, and bamboo crafts etc.

Appi and Hachimantai Highland Parks
These parks are not only a winter sports resort, but the mountains' beauty definitely fills your day in the summer. Camping on the grounds and hiking are available. The sky lounge from the Hachimantai Royal Hotel is such a breathtaking view. They also offer a special lunch and onsen pack for visitors.

Disney Live Show in August at Aomori Civic Center
On August 16th and the 17th, the Disney Musical Live Show will take place at the Aomori Civic Center. The vendor is currently selling tickets online. (JP only)
S seat: 5, 000 yen
A seat: 4, 500 yen
3 years and younger lap child is free per one adult.
Disney characters from Toy Story and other Princess characters will perform live with Mickey and Minnie to funky dances and music. The attendance for this event will support Japan and its people.

Gambaro Tohoku!

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