Tohoku 8 Days Itinerary-A

Summary

  • Start
    Sendai
  • Finish
    Sendai
  • Mileage
    Total 1470km
    180km per day
  • Travel Pace
    Fast
  • Onsen Stay
    Max.4 nights

It is a roundtrip itinerary from Sendai to Sendai. It offers a good balance of nature, culture, and cuisine, and is recommended for first-time travelers to Tohoku. The daily mileage is a little long at about 180km, but it’s a well-balanced course because you’ll stay two consecutive nights in Aomori on the third and fourth nights in the middle of the trip.

If you prefer round trip, please also refer 7 day itinerary.
If you prefer one-way itinerary to Aomori, please refer 4, 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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

 

Aomori – Akita🔒

Start: Aomori (青森)
Finish: Akita (秋田)
Mileage:280km
Travel Pace: Fast

On this day you are heading from Aomori to Akita.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Aomori

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

8:30

The mileage is very long, about 280km, and there is no expressway, so it will be a drive on a general road. For this reason, we recommend that you leave by about 8 o’clock if possible, and at the latest around 9 o’clock.




60 min

2

Tsurunomaihashi Bridge

Parking MAPCODE:

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Tsuru-no-mai Bridge with the majestic view of Mt. Iwaki

9:30

The first destination is the Tsurunomaihashi Bridge, which is the longest triple drum bridge in Japan with a total length of 300 meters. The appearance of Tsuru no Maihashi with Mt. Iwaki in the background is wonderful as it really looks like a crane flying in the sky.




100 min

3

Lake Juniko (Shirakami Sanchi)

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

The most popular blue pond in the Twelve Lakes

12:20

Next is a drive of about 75km, about 1 hour and 40 minutes to [Juniko], which stretches across the prefectural border between Aomori and Akita prefectures. Among them, [Aoike], which looks like flowing blue ink, is especially famous, and the color of the water that changes depending on the position of the sun and the position of the view is fantastic.

World Heritage Site: The beech forests of Shirakami Sanchi

If you walk further back from Aoike, you will find a natural beech forest, which is a World Heritage Site [Shirakami Mountains] with almost no humans changing it. The length of stay at Juniko is about 90 minutes including walking.




120 min

4

Mt. Kanpuzan Observatory

Parking MAPCODE:

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360-degree spectacular view of Mt.Kampu

15:50

Next, you head to [Mt. Kanpuzan Observatory]. It’s a long drive of about 2 hours, but you can drive while enjoying the scenery as you follow the road along the sea.

Since there are no high mountains in the vicinity, you can enjoy a 360-degree view, overlooking the Shinzan and Honzan mountain range on the Oga Peninsula, Cape Nyudo, Akita City, and the surrounding coastline.




60 min

5

Inn in Akita

Parking MAPCODE:

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

秋田のきりたんぽ鍋

17:30

Hotels are concentrated around the west exit around Akita Station where you stay on this day. There are many restaurants in the area, so enjoy local gourmet food such as Kiritanpo and Hinai chicken while strolling after checking in at the hotel. Akita sake is also the best.




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 Akita

On this day, you will stay in Akita city(秋田).
The inns are concentrated on the west side of Akita Station.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Most inns have official parking, but the parking lot fee will be charged separately in addition to the accommodation fee.
  • 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.

 

Akita – Sakata🔒

Start:Akita (秋田)
Finish:Sakata (酒田)
Mileage:
To Sakata: 150km
Travel Pace:Fast

On this day you will head from Akita to Sakata.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Akita

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

9:00
The mileage is about 150km, which is a standard distance.




5 min

2

Akita Citizen’s Market

Parking MAPCODE:

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Fresh sashimi

9:05

First of all, please get up early in the morning and visit [Akita Citizen’s Market]. The restaurants in the market are open early in the morning, so please try the sashimi set meals and other morning set meals that are unique to the market.




90 min

3

Mototaki Waterfall

Parking MAPCODE:

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Mototaki subterranean water is certified as one of the 100 best waters of the Heisei era

11:30

The first destination on this day is [Mototaki Waterfall], which was certified as one of the 100 Selected Waterfalls in Heisei (the Heisei period is 1989-2019). It is a wonderful view with an abundant amount of water that springs from the slope to the surface of the earth.




30 min

4

Mt.Chokai Hokodate Observatory (Chokai Blue Line)

Parking MAPCODE:

🔒Book rental car or hotelWhat is MAPCODE?

山岳道路 鳥海ブルーラインの爽快ドライブ

13:00

Next, you will go to the Chokaisan Hokodate Observatory through the [Chokai Blue Line]. This road is a driving route where you can enjoy the fresh greenery, the remaining snow, the autumn leaves, and the Sea of Japan below while driving. It is closed in winter, but shortly after the opening of spring, you can see high snow corridors on both sides of the road.

Chokaisan Hokodate Observatory at an elevation of 1,000 meters

At the highest point of the Chokai Blue Line, at an altitude of 1,000m, there is the [Hokodate Observatory], and the view of the Sea of Japan and the Shonai Plain from there is amazing.




55 min

5

Sankyo Warehouses

Parking MAPCODE:

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Historic rice warehouse and photo spot, Yamai Warehouse

14:50

The final destination of the day is the historic Sankyo Warehouses. The warehouse is made of dozo (thick mortar walls) and the row of zelkova trees is famous on Instagram. The famous serial TV novel “Oshin” was also filmed here.




35 min

6

Inn in Sakata

Parking MAPCODE:

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

16:30

You will be staying in Sakata on this day.




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 Sakata

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

①Sakata city(酒田)
The inns are concentrated west side of Sakata Station. This area is convenient for dinner and visiting sightseeing spots in the city but no inns offer Onsen.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 2 to 3-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.

②Yunohama Onsen(湯野浜温泉)
This hot spring resort area is located 17km south of Sakata 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 in this area and be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.

 

Sakata – Yamagata🔒

Start:Sakata (酒田)
Finish: Yamagata (山形)
Mileage:
To Sakara: 200km
Travel Pace: Fast

On this day you will head to Yamagata from Sakata.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Sakata

Parking MAPCODE:

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8:30

The mileage is about 200km, which is very long and there are many attractions, so it is recommended to depart by 9 o’clock at the latest. Also, use the expressway as much as possible to reduce travel time.




30 min

2

Kamo Aquarium

Parking MAPCODE:

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Kamo Aquarium, the world’s largest jellyfish aquarium

9:00

The first destination is the Kamo Aquarium, the world’s number one jellyfish aquarium. The appearance of various colorful jellyfish floating in the aquarium is very fascinating.




50 min

3

Dewasanzan (Three Mountains of Dewa)

Parking MAPCODE:

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Entrance to the three mountains of Dewa, Mt.Hagurosan Otorii

10:50

Then head to Dewasanzan (Three Mountains of Dewa). First of all, you go to [Hagurosan Otorii] (MAPCODE: 90 172 677 * 32), which is about 24 meters high at the entrance of Dewa Sanzan. The torii was rebuilt in 2018 and is very large.

The five-story pagoda of Mt. Hagurosan rises amidst a row of giant cedar trees.

There is a parking lot (MAPCODE: 90 146 215) of [Hagurosan Five Story Pagoda] about 3km from the Otorii. From there, walk through the sacred Sugi forest for about 10 minutes and you will arrive at the five-storied pagoda. It is a photo spot where you can take pictures of the giant sequoia and the five-storied pagoda, which is a national treasure. There is a stone staircase leading to Dewa Sanzan Shrine at the end of the five-storied pagoda, but it takes about 2 hours for a round trip, so you will go back to the parking lot and drive to the shrine without walking.

Dewa Sanzan Shrine, which enshrines the three deities of Gassan, Haguro, and Yudono

Dewa Sanzan Shrine
If you drive to the top of the mountain from the parking lot at the foot of Mt. Haguro, you will arrive at [Dewa Sanzan Shrine]. Dewa Sanzan Shrine is a shrine that enshrines the three gods of Dewasanzan, which consists of Mt. Gassan, Mt. Haguro, and Mt. Yudono.




30 min

4

Genso no Mori

Parking MAPCODE:

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Like a fantasy world, a forest of illusion

13:10

Next, stop by [Genso no Mori (Fantasy Forest)]. Although it is not very well known, it is a fantastic space where a mysterious giant tree spreads all over the forest and you jump into the world of movies.




65 min

5

Ginzan Onsen

Parking MAPCODE:

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Ginzan Onsen with a retro atmosphere from the Taisho era (1912-1926)

15:20

Next, please go to [Ginzan Onsen], the last destination of the day. It is a drive of about 60km. This is a hot spring village full of retro atmosphere in the Taisho era (1912-1926) and is often posted on Instagram. We recommend taking a leisurely stroll through the hot spring town along the river to the Shiragane Falls in the back.




80 min

6

Inn in Yamagata

Parking MAPCODE:

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

Yamagata’s stewed sweet potato

18:00

Please use the expressway (E13) to shorten the travel time.

You will be staying around Yamagata Station on this day, but if you want to stay at a hotel with hot springs, the Tendo Onsen area (about 20km north of Yamagata) is a good choice. In Yamagata, please enjoy the famous “Imoni”, “Dongara-jiru”, “Tamakonnyaku”, or “Yonezawa beef”.




The cherry blossoms in Kajo Park are beautiful in the spring season, and the rows of Icho (Ginkgo) trees in the Yamagata Prefectural Sports Park are beautiful in the fall, so we recommend that you include them in your itinerary.

Yamagata Sports Park, lined with Strawberry trees (late October-early November)
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 Yamagata

On this day, you will stay in Yamagata(山形).
Many inns are concentrated in the following two areas.

①Yamagata City(山形)
The inns are concentrated around Yamagata Station. But the east side of the station is more convenient for dinner. 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.

②Zao(蔵王)
It is Onsen village in the middle of Mt.Zao. It is located 20km south of Yamagata city, 30min by car. It is recommended if you prefer better accommodation with Onsen.

  • 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 area is famous for Onsen and most of the inns have one.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are few restaurants in this area and be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.

 

Yamagata – Sendai🔒

Start: Yamagata (山形)
Finish: Sendai (仙台)
Mileage:160km
Travel Pace: Normal

On this day you will head from Yamagata to Sendai, your last destination.

Recommended Itinerary

1

Inn in Yamagata

Parking MAPCODE:

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9:00

The mileage is 160km, which is a standard distance, but there are many things to see, so it is recommended to leave around 8 or 9 o’clock.




40 min

2

Yamadera Temple(Rissyakuji)

Parking MAPCODE:

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A mountain temple (Risshakuji Temple) whose precincts encompass the entire mountain, which is made up of strange rocks and monstrous stones.

9:40

The first destination of the day is the famous [Yamadera Temple (Rissyakuji)]. The entire mountain is the precincts of the temple, and there is wonderful scenery here and there on the way to Okunoin for about an hour. It is also in this place that Basho Matsuo, who is famous for haiku, wrote “The Stillness: A Cicada’s Cry Penetrating The Rock”.




80 min

3

Zao

Parking MAPCODE:

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Zao Echo Line, the best driving course in Tohoku

12:20

Next, take the [Zao Echo Line] to the highlight of the day, Zao. This road offers a spectacular view of the four seasons, with a snow corridor in the spring, fresh greenery in the summer, and autumn leaves in the fall. It’s closed in winter, but a drive along the snow corridor right after the opening in spring is great.

Emerald green crater lake, Mikama, viewed from along the Zao Echo Line

[Okama] in Zao is very famous as an emerald green crater lake, and it is also attractive that you can walk from the parking lot in 2 minutes.

Karitamine Shrine (Okumiya) near Okama in Zao

[Katamine Shrine] is a shrine on the summit of Mt. Zao, and it is very close to the Okama, so please visit it as well. The view from the surrounding area is the best.




80 min

4

Aoba Castle Ruins

Parking MAPCODE:

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Statue of Date Masamune mounted at Aoba Castle

15:00

Next, move to Sendai and go to [Aoba Castle Ruins]. Use the expressway (E4) to reduce travel time.

Aoba Castle is the site of Sendai Castle built by Date Masamune, and the horse-riding statue of Date Masamune is a recommended photo spot.




40 min

5

Inn in Sendai

Parking MAPCODE:

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16:50

This is the end of the drive trip. Please refuel and return the car to the car rental company branch.
For those who use Sendai Airport, the airport is about 20km from Sendai Station, about 30 minutes away.
Please use the MAPCODE of the nearest car rental store on the drive map.

In Sendai, try the famous beef tongue and zunda mochi. If you don’t have time, you can easily eat zunda mochi at the shop on the way from the parking lot of Aoba Castle to the statue of Masamune Date.




[Hitome Senbonzakura (Funaoka Castle Park]] is recommended during the spring cherry blossom season. It is definitely recommended if you visit during the cherry blossom season.

SENBON cherry blossoms blooming along Shiraishi River (early April-mid April)
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 Sendai

On this day, you will stay in Sendai.
Many inns are concentrated in the following two areas.

①Sendai City(仙台)
Sendai is the biggest city in the Tohoku area and the gateway of Tohoku travel. It is 20km and takes 40min to Sendai Airport. The inns are concentrated west side of Sendai Station. This area is convenient for dinner but a few inns offer Onsen.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 5-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
    Most inns don’t provide Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

②Matsushima(松島)
Matsushima is one of the most famous tourists attraction in Tohoku region. It is located 25km northeast of Sendai city, 40min 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. You can enjoy open-air Onsen with the amazing Matsushima view. Highly recommended.
  • 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.

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
  • 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 the Tohoku area.
    Most car rental shops are located around Sendai Station which is also Shinkansen stop.
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
    You can rent at Airport and return to Sendai City, and vice versa. Normally, the one-way charge is free of charge.
  • 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.
/ 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.
/ stay in Akita
Recommended Inn

Hotel Metropolitan Akita

On this day, you will stay in Akita city(秋田).
The inns are concentrated on the west side of Akita Station.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 4-star western-style hotels.
  • Parking
    Most inns have official parking, but the parking lot fee will be charged separately in addition to the accommodation fee.
  • 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.
/ stay in Sakata
Recommended Inn

Umibe no Oyado Ikkyu

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

①Sakata city(酒田)
The inns are concentrated west side of Sakata Station. This area is convenient for dinner and visiting sightseeing spots in the city but no inns offer Onsen.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 2 to 3-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.

②Yunohama Onsen(湯野浜温泉)
This hot spring resort area is located 17km south of Sakata 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 in this area and be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.
/ stay in Yamagata
Recommended Inn

Zao Plaza Hotel

On this day, you will stay in Yamagata(山形).
Many inns are concentrated in the following two areas.

①Yamagata City(山形)
The inns are concentrated around Yamagata Station. But the east side of the station is more convenient for dinner. 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.

②Zao(蔵王)
It is Onsen village in the middle of Mt.Zao. It is located 20km south of Yamagata city, 30min by car. It is recommended if you prefer better accommodation with Onsen.

  • 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 area is famous for Onsen and most of the inns have one.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    There are few restaurants in this area and be sure to make a reservation with a plan that includes dinner and breakfast.
/ stay in Sendai
Recommended Inn

ANA Holiday Inn Sendai

On this day, you will stay in Sendai.
Many inns are concentrated in the following two areas.

①Sendai City(仙台)
Sendai is the biggest city in the Tohoku area and the gateway of Tohoku travel. It is 20km and takes 40min to Sendai Airport. The inns are concentrated west side of Sendai Station. This area is convenient for dinner but a few inns offer Onsen.

  • Inn Type
    Most of these inns are 3 to 5-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
    Most inns don’t provide Onsens.
  • Meal Plan Reservations
    As many restaurants are open till midnight, it is recommended to book your inns with breakfast only or without meals.

②Matsushima(松島)
Matsushima is one of the most famous tourists attraction in Tohoku region. It is located 25km northeast of Sendai city, 40min 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. You can enjoy open-air Onsen with the amazing Matsushima view. Highly recommended.
  • 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.

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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