YAMAGATA, FUKUSHIMA, AKITA AND MORE
Northern Japan, collectively known as the Tohoku region, connects Tokyo in the south-east with the island of Hokkaido in the north. The area itself is coated in forest and mountain with most of the population concentrated within the lowlands. As such, the region features six of Japan's most rural prefectures; from Yamagata to Aomori to the very north of Honshu. Sitting higher on the northern hemisphere, Tohoku experiences cooler summer temperatures but also harsher winters. With the advent of the shinkansen bullet train and a great range of domestic airports, it is simple to travel to all six of Tohoku's prefectures either on land or by air. For example, you can reach Shin-Aomori station from Tokyo station in roughly three hours - a distance of nearly 700km. From there, regional trains and buses reach out across the region, allowing visitors and residents to travel around easily from town to town.
Tohoku was traditionally considered the granary of Japan thanks in part to the city of Sendai being the key supplier of rice to Tokyo markets, where it provided 20 percent of the entire nation's rice. Tourism has since boomed in the region significantly, with visitors travelling towards the area’s several national parks, scenery and beautiful natural hot springs.