When the Japanese think about Aomori, apple is probably one of the first things that will pop up in their mind. Hirosaki, home to most apple productions in the country, naturally has several orchards which are great for sightseeing purposes.
The Hirosaki Apple Park (弘前市りんご公園), which is around 40 minutes by bus from JR Hirosaki Station (弘前駅), however, offers more than what normal orchards open to its visitors for. The Park is a fantastic place to learn how apple farmers grow their apples! Throughout the year, there is a range of activities such as artificial pollination and getting rid of unwanted flowers and fruit that the Park’s visitors can participate in (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ. Having said that, you can still stroll around the huge park freely!
Obuse, a small town in Nagano prefecture, famous for its chestnut produce and its large variety of chestnut sweets, is a must go for all the sweet tooths!
And among all the sweets shops in Obuse, Obusedō (小布施堂) is probably the most famous sweets maker.
Obusedō was founded in the Meiji era (1868 – 1912). Due to the vast amount of experience in making Japanese sweets with chestnuts, its western chestnuts sweets are so famous, that customers from all around Japan will start queuing from midnight!
Are you a sweet tooth? If yes, then you can’t miss out on the famous sweets maker in Japan, Toraya!
Toraya’s history went way back to the early 16th century’s Kyoto. It was chosen to be a purveyor to the imperial court from the late 1500s. When Japan’s capital transferred to Tokyo, it also successfully established its foothold in the new capital. Now Toraya not only has more than 75 shops in Japan but also a tea room in Paris!
While you can buy Toraya’s Wagashi (Japanese sweets) from most of Japan’s major cities’ department stores, the experience is never the same as dining at Toraya Kōbō!
If you want to experience Japanese culture such as a Tea Ceremony, Japanese sweets making, Japanese Sake, and spending time with Maiko, come to Japanese Culture Experience An (日本文化体験庵) located in Kyoto Gojo!
Apart from all the indoor experiences, they also provide short Kyoto city strolling tours that you’ll learn all the fun facts about Kyoto that only the locals know!
The most exciting experience you can get from Japanese Culture Experience An is probably a half-day Kyoto tour guided by a Maiko (apprentice Japanese entertainers who perform traditional Japanese artforms)! What kind of experience beats exploring Kyoto’s beauty with a well-trained Maiko San? Not to mention there’ll be plenty of photo opportunities with her at Kyoto’s famous destinations!