Tohoku 4 Days Itinerary-A

Summary

  • Start
    Sendai
  • Finish
    Aomori
  • Mileage
    Total 680km
    170km per day
  • Travel Pace
    Normal
  • Onsen Stay
    Max.2 nights
  • Recommended Seasons
    All year round

It is a one-way itinerary from Sendai to Aomori. It offers a good balance of nature, culture, and cuisine, and is recommended for first-time travelers to Tohoku. The daily mileage is about 170km which is shorter than other Tohoku itineraries.

If you prefer round trip, please also refer 7 and 8 day itineraries.
If you prefer one-way itinerary to Aomori, please also refer 5 and 6 day itineraries.

 

Sendai – Morioka

Start: Sendai (仙台)
Finish: Morioka (盛岡)
Mileage:230km
Travel Pace: Fast

On this day you will head from Sendai to Morioka via Matsushima.

Recommended Itinerary(Sample)

1

Inn in Sendai Airport or Sendai Station

Parking MAPCODE:

21 172 754*20What is MAPCODE?

Sendai Airport, the gateway to Tohoku

9:00

The trip to Tohoku begins at Sendai Airport, the gateway to Tohoku. First of all, please register at the rental car counter at the airport.

The mileage is relatively long at 230km, so it is recommended to leave by 9 o’clock at the latest. Also, use the expressway as much as possible to reduce travel time.




35 min

2

Matsushima

Parking MAPCODE:

110 443 066What is MAPCODE?

The islands of Matsushima, one of Japan’s three most scenic spots

9:35

The first destination is [Matsushima], one of the three most scenic spots in Japan. Please use the expressway (E6) to shorten the travel time.

The scenery of Matsushima Bay, which is dotted with more than 260 islands, is especially famous. In addition, Zuiganji Temple, which is known as the Family Temple of Date Masamune, and the Godaido are also highlights worth visiting.




75 min

3

Genbikei Gorge

Parking MAPCODE:

142 066 786*68What is MAPCODE?

Genbikei Gorge, showing various valley beauties

12:20

Next, you will go to [Genbikei Gorge], which is famous for the beauty of the valley. It is about 85km from Matsushima, and it takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes by using the expressway (E4). It is a place where you can enjoy the beauty of the valley where the river erodes the huge rocks and shows various expressions.




10 min

4

Motsujiteien Garden

Parking MAPCODE:

142 223 879*17What is MAPCODE?

Motsuji Garden, World Heritage Site in Hiraizumi

13:35

Next to Genbikei Gorge, please head to the World Heritage [Motsujiteien Garden]. Motsuji Temple is a representative temple of Hiraizumi along with Chusonji Temple, and its garden is a representative work of the Pure Land Garden, which was created during the time of Oshu (Northern) Fujiwara in the late Heian period (12th century).




5 min

5

Chusonji Temple

Parking MAPCODE:

142 283 370*38 What is MAPCODE?

Chuson-ji, a World Heritage Site in Hiraizumi

14:40

There is [Chusonji Temple] in the immediate vicinity of Motsuji. Hiraizumi prospered as a gold-producing region during the time of Oshu (Northern) Fujiwara, and the Chusonji Konjikido (Golden Pavilion), which used that gold, is too famous. The precincts are also wonderful, and you can feel the appearance of each season.




80 min

6

Iwayama Observatory

Parking MAPCODE:

81 712 674What is MAPCODE?

Iwayama Observatory overlooking Mt. Iwate and Morioka City

17:00

Next, go directly to today’s final destination, Morioka, and go to the Iwayama Observatory, which overlooks the city of Morioka. It is about 85km, about 1 hour and 20 minutes drive using the expressway (E4).

From here, you can see not only the city area but also the Ou Mountains including Mt. Iwate, Hachimantai, and the Kitakami Mountains, which is a powerful sight.




20 min

7

Inn in Morioka

Parking MAPCODE:

Please head to the hotel you reserved.What is MAPCODE?

Morioka cold noodles (Korean style)

17:50

There are two options for staying on this day. If you choose for convenience, we recommend the city around Morioka Station, and if you want to relax at a hot spring inn, we recommend the inn around Goshoko (about 15km from Morioka Station). There are many restaurants on the east side of the station, so please enjoy local gourmet food such as “Wanko soba” and “Morioka Reimen” while taking a walk after checking in at the hotel. You may want to walk to the Morioka Castle Ruins or Morioka Hachimangu Shrine.




Driving Map For This Day(Sample)

The driving map will show additional 10-20 spots for the day! You will travel only to your favorite spots.
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

[Drive Map]Sendai-Morioka – Google マイマップ
Sendai-Morioka

Where to stay in Morioka

On this day, you will stay in Morioka(盛岡) city.
Many inns are concentrated in the following two areas.

①Morioka City
The inns are concentrated east side of Morioka Station. This area is convenient for dinner but no inns offer Onsen.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Most inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

②Tsunagi Onsen
This hot spring resort is located beside Lake Gosyoko. It is located15km west of Morioka city, 20min by car. It is recommended if you prefer better accommodation with Onsen.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 4-star Japanese-style Ryokans with Onsen facilities.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    This area is famous for Onsen and most of the inns have one.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are a few restaurants in this area and be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.

 

Morioka – Lake Towada🔒

Start: Morioka (盛岡)
Finish: Lake Towada (十和田湖)
Mileage:160km
Travel Pace: Normal

On this day you will head from Morioka to Lake Towada.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Morioka

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

9:00

The mileage is about 160km, which is a standard distance, but if you want to take your time to enjoy Hachimantai, we recommend that you start early.




35 min

2

Yakehashiri Lava Flow

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Yakiori lava flow created by the eruption of Mt.Iwate

9:35

The first destination is [Yakehashiri Lava Flow] at the foot of Mt. Iwate. Here, lava from the eruption of Mt. Iwate in 1719 flowed and solidified over a wide area. Plants have not grown in the surrounding area yet, and you can feel a little different world there.




40 min

3

Hachimantai

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Kagami-numa (Dragon Eye) on the walking trail in Hachimantai

10:40

Next, you go to [Hachimantai] through [Hachimantai Aspite Line]. Hachimantai is located on the prefectural border between Iwate and Akita prefectures, but you are going up from the Iwate prefecture side. The view will get better and better, so let’s enjoy an exhilarating drive while stopping by the observatories on the way.

Please park in the large parking lot of Hachimantai Mountaintop Rest House just near the mountaintop and enjoy a 90-minute walking course around [Hachimannuma Pond] and [Kagaminuma Pond (Dragon Eye)].




70 min

4

Kosaka Town

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

日本三大銅山であった小坂町にある康楽館

14:15

After enjoying Hachimantai, you will go down the Hachimantai Aspiteline on the Akita prefecture side and head for [Kosaka Town], which was one of Japan’s three largest copper mines during the Meiji and Taisho eras. There are many modern industrial heritage sites here, such as the Kosaka Mine Office, Korakukan, and Kosaka Railroad Rail Park.




30 min

5

Hakka Pass Observatory

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Hakkadai Pass Observatory where you can see the entire lake Towada

13:45

Finally, before going to the shore of Lake Towada, please stop by the Hakka Pass Observatory, which overlooks Lake Towada. Access is convenient because it is located along Route 103 on the way to Lake Towada. On a clear day, you can see Lake Towada, which is said to be “Lake Towada Blue”, which is really beautiful.




10 min

6

Inn in Lake Towada

Parking MAPCODE:

Please head to the hotel you reserved.What is MAPCODE?

十和田湖畔にある乙女の像

16:30

On this day you are staying at the shore of Lake Towada.

  • Parking
    You can park in the hotel’s free parking lot.
  • Onsen
    Most hotels in Gero are hot spring inns.
  • Meal
    Many restaurants close early. It is recommended to make a reservation with a plan that includes one night and two meals.

Also, if you are staying at a hotel near the Towada Visitor Center, we recommend that you take a walk along the shores of Lake Towada, aiming for the Towada Shrine and the statue of the maiden after check-in.




The [Hachimantai Aspiteline], which is scheduled to pass on this day, allows you to drive comfortably while feeling the nature of Hachimantai, such as the fresh green in early summer and the colored leaves of the mountains in autumn. It is closed in winter, but shortly after the opening of spring, you can see a few meters of snow corridors on either side of the road.

Snow Corridor of the Hachimantai Aspite Line

Driving Map For the Day🔒

The driving map will show additional 10-20 sightseeing spots and local restaurants for the day!
You can travel freely, choosing only the spots you like!
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

Where to stay in Lake Towada

On this day, you will stay at Lake Towada(十和田湖). Many Onsen Ryokans are concentrated on the south side of the lake.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star Japanese-style Ryokans with Onsen facilities.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    This town is famous for Onsen and most of the inns have one. You can enjoy an open-air Onsen with lake view.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are a few restaurants in this area and be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.

 

Lake Towada – Aomori🔒

Start:Lake Towada (十和田湖)
Finish:Aomori (青森)
Mileage:90km
Travel Pace: Relaxed

On this day you will head from Lake Towada to Aomori.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Lake Towada

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

10:00

The mileage is as short as about 90km, so you can travel comfortably.




15 min

2

Oirase Stream

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Choshi Great Falls in Oirase Keiryuu

10:15

The first destination is [Oirase Stream], which is known as one of the three major mountain stream beauty in Japan. It is convenient because the road and the mountain stream are parallel, and you can stop at the point you like. However, since the road is narrow, please be careful not to block the passage of other vehicles when the vehicle is stopped. The MAPCODE of the recommended points is as follows.

Choshi Otaki (MC: 612 549 226*63)
Ishigedo Rest Area (MC: 612 732 534*76)
The flow of Ashura (MC: 612 702 226*0)
Kumoi no Taki (MC: 612 672 152*33)




30 min

3

Suiren Pond

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Water lily swamp that can be easily approached

12:15

Next, please stop by [Suiren pond], which is easy to reach. In the summer, beautiful white water lily flowers bloom on the surface of the pond. From Suiren pond, you can see the mountains of the Hakkoda mountain range and enjoy the autumn leaves in the fall.




10 min

4

Mt.Hakkoda Ropeway

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Walking in the air on the Hakkouda Ropeway

After Suiren pond, head to [Mt. Hakkoda Ropeway]. From Mt.Hakkoda Ropeway Sancho Koen Station at the mountain top, you can see the Hakkoda Mountain Range, Aomori City, Mutsu Bay, Tsugaru Peninsula, Shimokita Peninsula, and Mt. Iwaki. The fresh green of early summer, the autumn leaves, and the snowy landscape of winter are all beautiful.

Tamoshibarahara Observatory at the top of the Hakkouda Ropeway.

13:00

From Mt.Hakkoda Ropeway Sancho Koen Station, you can reach [Tamoyachi Marsh Observatory] by following the walking path. Many ponds and swamps are scattered around, and the surrounding area is a great treasure trove of alpine plants. A 30-minute walk is sufficient.




35 min

5

Seiryuji Temple(Showa Great Buddha)

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

15:00

Next, move to today’s final destination, Aomori, and go to [Seiryuji Temple (Showa Great Buddha)]. Showa Great Buddha is the largest bronze sitting Buddha in Japan, with a height of 21.35m, which is larger than the Buddhas of Nara and Kamakura.




25 min

6

Inn in Aomori

Parking MAPCODE:

Please head to the hotel you reserved.What is MAPCODE?

Ichigo-ni (sea urchin and abalone soup), a local dish of the Hachinohe area of Aomori Prefecture

16:30

We recommend that you stay at a hotel near the east exit of Aomori Station on this day. There are many restaurants on the east side of the station, so enjoy local gourmet food such as seafood, senbei soup, shellfish miso, and ichigoni while strolling after checking in at the hotel. Also, since Nebuta House Wa Rasse and A FACTORY are located on the Aomori Waterfront within walking distance, you may try walking in that direction.




The Oirase Stream, Suiren Pond, and Hakkoda Mountains that you go to on this day will allow you to enjoy even more wonderful scenery during the fall foliage season.

Driving Map For the Day🔒

The driving map will show additional 10-20 sightseeing spots and local restaurants for the day!
You can travel freely, choosing only the spots you like!
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

Where to stay in Aomori

On this day, you will stay in Aomori.
It is recommended to stay in the following two areas.

①Aomori city(青森)
The inns are concentrated east side of Aomori Station. It is recommended to stay inn located walking distance to [Nebuta house Warasse] and [Aomori Gyosai Center].

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Most inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

②Asamushi Onsen(浅虫温泉)
This hot spring resort area is located 17km east of Aomori city, 30min by car. It is recommended if you prefer better accommodation with Onsen.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 4 to 5-star Japanese-style Ryokans with Onsen facilities.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    This area is famous for Onsen and most of the inns have one.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are a few restaurants for dinner and be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.

 

Aomori – Aomori🔒

Start: Aomori (青森)
Finish: Aomori (青森)
Mileage:200km
Travel Pace: Fast

This day is the day when you stay in Aomori for consecutive nights following yesterday. You can drive to any place you like based in Aomori, but we recommend driving to Hachinohe.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Aomori

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

9:00

Since the mileage is as long as 200km, we recommend that you leave at the latest by 9 o’clock. Also, use the expressway as much as possible to reduce travel time.




135 min

2

Ashigezaki Observatory

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Reeded peak like an old castle in the West.

11:15

The first destination is [Ashigezaki Observatory] in the east of Hachinohe City. It is a 2 hour and 15 minute drive on the expressway (E4A) for about 100 km to travel to the Pacific Ocean side.

It has the atmosphere of an old western castle and is a wonderful viewing spot with a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.

Short break at a cafe

Next, please stop by the nearby [Cafe & Gallery Umine] (MAPCODE: 346 743 525 * 48). This cafe is located on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and the seats by the window are especially recommended.




5 min

3

Kabushima Shrine

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Breeding ground for petrels, Kabura-shima Shrine

12:50

After taking a break at the cafe, please go to [Kabushima Shrine], which has a mysterious atmosphere with countless birds. Here, you can see many black-tailed gulls from early February to early August every year. The number of birds is like a scene from Hitchcock’s suspense film “Birds” and is a must-see.




30 min

4

Hasshoku Center

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

Huge Hasshoku center for fresh seafood

14:00

Please stop by the large market [Hachishoku Center] where you can find fresh seafood caught in Hachinohe. You can eat seafood dishes, eat local dishes, and buy souvenirs at the huge market.




115 min

If you couldn’t go to tourist spots yesterday, you may try again on your way back to Aomori.

5

Inn in Aomori

Parking MAPCODE:

Please head to the hotel you reserved.What is MAPCODE?

Nebuta House Wa Rasse in Aomori Waterfront Area

17:00

Your stay on this day is the same as the day before in Aomori. If you are heading directly to Aomori, use the expressway (E4A) to shorten your travel time.

After returning to the hotel, enjoy local gourmet food at a restaurant on the east side of the station, or enjoy a walk in the direction of Aomori Waterfront.




During the cherry blossom season in spring, we definitely recommend [Hirosaki Castle] in the opposite direction of Hachinohe. These are cherry blossoms you want to see at least once in your life.

Cherry blossoms at Hirosaki Castle (late April-early May)

Driving Map For the Day🔒

The driving map will show additional 10-20 sightseeing spots and local restaurants for the day!
You can travel freely, choosing only the spots you like!
Check pin color and MAPCODE usage.

Where to stay in Aomori

On this day, you will stay in Aomori.
It is recommended to stay in the following two areas.

①Aomori city(青森)
The inns are concentrated east side of Aomori Station. It is recommended to stay inn located walking distance to [Nebuta house Warasse] and [Aomori Gyosai Center].

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Most inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

②Asamushi Onsen(浅虫温泉)
This hot spring resort area is located 17km east of Aomori city, 30min by car. It is recommended if you prefer better accommodation with Onsen.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 4 to 5-star Japanese-style Ryokans with Onsen facilities.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    This area is famous for Onsen and most of the inns have one.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are a few restaurants for dinner and be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.

Process

  1. Book hotels or rental cars from the links below.
  2. Submit the “Map Request Form” at the bottom after bookings.
  3. We will send you day-by-day Driving Maps with MAPCODE of the itinerary you choose!
    Enjoy your trip without the hassle of finding parking!

 

Rental Car Booking

Please rent a car with below “Rentalcars.com” link.

  • The abundant number of rental cars
  • Price comparisons with several major car rental companies
  • Free cancellation
*Please change the location and date by yourself
Pick-up & Drop-off Location Guide
  • Pick-up
    • Sendai Airport
      The main international airport in Miyagi prefecture, Tohoku. Recommended for Pick-up.
      If you arrive afternoon, consider moving to Sendai City, staying overnight, and departing the next morning.
      It takes 40min to the Sendai station by train.
    • Sendai City
      The biggest city in Tohoku area.
      Most car rental shops are located around Sendai Station which is also Shinkansen stop.
  • Drop-off
    • Aomori city
      The capital of Aomori prefecture. Rental car shops are located near the two stations below. The two stations are 5 minutes only by train.
      • Aomori Station
        For those who stay in Aomori City. Most shops are located downtown, east of the station
      • Shin-Aomori Station
        For those who return the car and take the Shinkansen directly.
    • Aomori Airport
      For those who take domestic flight. It is about 45min by bus.
Important reminder for renting a car
  • GPS(Car Navigation System)
    MAPCODE from Drive Japan navigates you precisely to the parking lot. GPS from major car rental companies(Nippon, ORIX, Nissan, Times) are always MAPCODE compatible. However, if you are renting a car from another company, we recommend that you check with the rental company after making a reservation, just to be sure.
  • One-way Rental
    Please note that one-way charge from Sendai to Aomori is about JPY30,000 per car.
  • Child Seat
    In Japan, the use of a child safety seat or baby seat is mandatory for children under 5 years old.
    Be sure to request one from “Extras”.
  • Snow Tire
    If you travel from the beginning of Nov to the beginning of April, you must book a car with snow tires. It should be installed without requests from rental car companies in Tohoku, but if you are concerned, you can double-check with them after making a reservation.

Hotel Booking

You can book any hotels for this itinerary from the links below, however we will suggest a recommended mid range
hotel or inn that has:
・Parking
・A convenient location
・A rate of about JPY8,000-15,000/person/night

Start Date

/ stay in Morioka
Recommended Inn

Hotel Royal Morioka

On this day, you will stay in Morioka(盛岡) city.
Many inns are concentrated in the following two areas.

①Morioka City
The inns are concentrated east side of Morioka Station. This area is convenient for dinner but no inns offer Onsen.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Most inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

②Tsunagi Onsen
This hot spring resort is located beside Lake Gosyoko. It is located15km west of Morioka city, 20min by car. It is recommended if you prefer better accommodation with Onsen.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 4-star Japanese-style Ryokans with Onsen facilities.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    This area is famous for Onsen and most of the inns have one.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are a few restaurants in this area and be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.
/ stay in Towadako
Recommended Inn

Towadako Lake View Hotel

On this day, you will stay at Lake Towada(十和田湖). Many Onsen Ryokans are concentrated on the south side of the lake.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star Japanese-style Ryokans with Onsen facilities.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    This town is famous for Onsen and most of the inns have one. You can enjoy an open-air Onsen with lake view.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are a few restaurants in this area and be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.
/ stay in Aomori
Recommended Inn

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Aomori

On this day, you will stay in Aomori.
It is recommended to stay in the following two areas.

①Aomori city(青森)
The inns are concentrated east side of Aomori Station. It is recommended to stay inn located walking distance to [Nebuta house Warasse] and [Aomori Gyosai Center].

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Most inns have official parking but in addition to the accommodation fee, the parking lot fee will be charged separately.
  • Onsen
    There is no Onsen in this town and no inns have Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

②Asamushi Onsen(浅虫温泉)
This hot spring resort area is located 17km east of Aomori city, 30min by car. It is recommended if you prefer better accommodation with Onsen.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 4 to 5-star Japanese-style Ryokans with Onsen facilities.
  • Parking
    Most inns will offer free parking.
  • Onsen
    This area is famous for Onsen and most of the inns have one.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are a few restaurants for dinner and be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.

Map Request Form

Please send us the form once you book hotels or a rental car, and we will send you day-by-day Driving Maps.







Thank you very much! We will send you driving maps with MAPCODE within 4 working days.
Drive Japan team hopes you will experience a fantastic road trip and make unforgettable memory!

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