Vegetarian's Japan Guide

The Best Cherry Blossom 14-Day Itinerary in the Tōhoku Region

Because the cherry blossom season in most parts of Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka is usually from late March to the beginning of April, if you can’t travel during that part of the year, that is okay. The season in Northeastern Japan only starts in mid-April and can last until early May, giving you more flexibility to adore the country’s national flower. Plus, the destinations up in the north wouldn’t be as packed as Tokyo’s city center!

Summary of the 14-Day Itinerary

The below travel plan is best for the area’s cherry blossom season between mid to the end of April. That being said, it is also suitable throughout the year. The landscape will give you a different impression depending on which season you visit the Tōhoku region.

DestinationAccommodation inAttractions
Day 1TokyoTokyo
Day 2Sendai/HachinoheSendai/Hachinohe☛ Zuihōden
☛ Murakamiya Mochiten
☛ Gengo Chaya
☛ Sendai Mediatheque
☛ SS30
Day 3Sendai/HachinoheSendai/Hachinohe☛ Sendai Morning Market
☛ International Center Station
☛ Sendai City Tourist Information Center
☛ Hikoichi 
☛ Tamazawa Souhonten
☛ Hachinohe Yataimura Miroku Yokochō
Day 4Hachinohe/AomoriAomori☛ Tatehana Wharf Morning Market
☛ Hasshoku Center
☛ Nebuta Museum WA RASSE
☛ Seikan Train Ferry Memorial Ship Hakkōda-maru
☛ Aomori Prefecture Tourism Information Center ASPAM
☛ A-FACTORY
Day 5HirosakiAomoriHirosaki Castle and Hirosaki Park
☛ Fujita Memorial Garden
☛ Catholic Hirosaki Church
☛ Ōtemon Square – Miniature Structures
☛ Former Tōō Gijuku Missionary Residence and its cafe
Day 6AomoriAomori☛ Gappo Park
☛ Showa Daibutsu
Aomori Museum of Art and Sannai Maruyama Special Historical Site
Day 7MoriokaMorioka☛ Fukuda Pan
☛ Morioka-jō Castle Site Park & Sakurayama Shrine
☛ Ishiwarizakura Cherry Tree
☛ Malios Observatory
☛ Kōgensha 
☛ Morioka Handi-Works Square
☛ Azumaya Honten
Day 8KakunodateMorioka☛ Bukeyashiki Street
☛ Hinokinaigawa Tsutsumi Park
Day 9IchinosekiMorioka☛ Genbikei Gorge
☛ Shōeidō 
☛ Sake Brewery Sekino Ichi
☛ The Former Numata Family Samurai Residence
Day 10MoriokaTokyo☛ Mikoda Morning Market
☛ Hōonji Temple
☛ Konyacho Banya
☛ Kenji Shimizu Water Fountain
☛ PRINTEMPS BLANC by Kagetsudo
☛ Baigetsudō
☛ Gozaku 
☛ LaLa Iwate Morioka
Day 11KawagoeTokyo/Kawagoe
Day 12KawagoeTokyo
Day 13TokyoTokyo
Day 14Tokyo
Summary of the 14-Day Itinerary in the Tōhoku Region

Tip: If you want to dress in Kimono (the traditional costume) during this trip, do it when you visit Kawagoe. And for the itinerary above, make sure your Day 11 or Day 12 is on the 8th, the 18th, or the 28th of the month. These three days of the month are Kawagoe’s Kimono Day. Dressing in Kimono on these three days means you can get special perks or discounts at participating shops, restaurants, and attractions.

Day 1 – Arriving Tokyo

Haneda/Narita Airport ⇒ Tokyo

Depending on when your flight arrives, you may or may not have time for proper sightseeing on the first day. You can either book your accommodation for the first night close to Shinagawa or Tokyo Station. This will make getting to Sendai the next day easier.

If you are unsure how to travel from Haneda/Narita Airport to Tokyo, refer to the below.

If you haven’t already, reserve and purchase a bullet train ticket to Sendai or Hachinohe, depending on where you plan to spend on Day 2.

Day 2 to Day 4 – Sendai and/or Hachinohe

Tokyo ⇒ Sendai/Hachinohe ⇒ Aomori

The trip to Japan’s Northeastern region starts on Day 2. Take a bullet train from either Tokyo or Shinagawa Station, whichever is more convenient for you. After you arrive at Sendai or Hachinohe, drop your bags at the hotel you have booked for Day 2.

If you don’t want to change hotels too many times, you can skip Sendai or Hachinohe. The itinerary has Day 3’s hotel in Hachinohe because we want to visit the Tatehana Wharf Morning Market. Because the market only opens from dawn to around 9 o’clock on Sundays, spending the prior night in Hahinohe is necessary.

If you plan to visit both Sendai and Hachinohe, you can either take a bullet train or highway bus to travel from Sendai to Hachinohe.

What to Do in Sendai

Sendai is Tōhoku region‘s biggest city. Besides Sendai Castle, it is where you can adore one of the area’s most amazingly built temples. The level of details that go into the architecture in Zuihōden Temple is astonishing.

There are also two hot spring towns in Sendai. So, if you love indulging in hot springs, book your stay with one of the ryokans in Akiu Onsen or Sakunami Onsen.

For more information about the attractions in the city, refer to our Sendai article!

Statue-of-Date-Masamune-Sendai-Castle-Sendai-Miyagi-Japan-1
Ⓒ photo-ac.com

If you are Hanyu Yuzuru’s fan, you can also refer to our article on a Pilgrimage to Hanyu Yuzuru’s Hometown!

What to Do in Hachinohe

Hachinohe’s most famous attraction is Tanesashi Coast. Trekking through the 5.2 km Coastal Exploration Trail is a relaxing way to enjoy the stunning coastline. Apart from the sandy beach, it has a natural lawn covering a large part of the Tanesashi Coast!

The city is another spot in Japan where Yatai food stalls are famous. Thus, after spending time at the beach during the day, how about heading to the Yatai district for some local food?

Ashigezaki-Observatory-Tanesashi-Coast-Hachinohe-Aomori-Japan
Ⓒ 青森県観光連盟

For more information, refer to our Hachinohe article!

Towada-City-Government-Office-Street-Spring-Towada-Aomori-Japan
Ⓒ 十和田市

You can also visit Towada from Hachinohe for the cherry blossoms that line the Towada City Government Office Street (十和田市官庁街通り).

On Day 4’s afternoon, take the bullet train to Aomori. We recommend staying close to Aomori Station as getting to other destinations in the prefecture is easier. But you can also stay close to Shin-Aomori Station, where the bullet train arrives and departs from.

If you plan to visit Towada, you can also take Towada Kankou Dentetsu’s bus services to get to Aomori or Shin-Aomori Sation.

Day 5 – Hirosaki

Aomori ⇒ Hirosaki ⇒ Aomori

It takes around 45 minutes to travel from Aomori to Hirosaki by train. Thus, start your day as early as possible.

Hirosaki-Park-Cherry-Blossom-Festival-Aomori-Japan
Ⓒ Aomori Prefecture

Hirosaki Park is the best cherry blossom destination in the Tōhoku region. Although it will be crowded, the cherry blossom scenery there is worth the hassle.

Besides the cherry blossom, you can also explore the city’s historical architecture and cultural properties. The city that produces the most apples in Japan is also renowned for its delicious apple pies.

For more information, refer to our article on Hirosaki.

Day 6 – Aomori

Aomori

The off-the-beaten-path spot in Aomori city for cherry blossom is Gappo Park. Because the 670 cherry trees bloom beautifully from late April to early May, it is one of the Aomori Spring Festival’s venues. You can also visit Namioka Castle Ruins. This spot is in the rural part of the city and is unlikely to be packed.

If you are tired of flower hunting, visit a couple of museums in the city center. Or even the Sannai Maruyama Special Historical Site, a recent addition to the World Heritage list!

For more information, refer to our Aomori article!

Gappo-Park-Aomori-Japan
Ⓒ 青森県観光連盟

Day 7 – Morioka

Aomori ⇒ Morioka

Depending on how much you want to explore Morioka on Day 7, your departing time from Aomori for Morioka differs. Just note it takes around 50 minutes to travel from Shin-Aomori Station to Morioka Station.

It is best to stay close to Morioka Station from Day 7 to Day 9 because you will use it as a base to explore other cities that aren’t too far away.

Morioka, a city famous for wanko soba noodles, also has a couple of cherry blossom spots. If you don’t want to travel too far away from the city center, visit Morioka-jō Castle Site Park (盛岡城跡公園) and Ishiwarizakura Cherry Tree (石割桜).

Yonai-Water-Treatment-Plant-Cherry-Blossom-Morioka-Iwate-Japan
© 一般社団法人東北観光推進機構

For a relaxing visit, you can head to one of the cafes in the city for an afternoon tea between attractions. Then, visit Azumaya Honten for Wanko Soba for dinner. Just note the Wonko Soba restaurants in Morioka don’t provide vegan dipping sauce. If you are strict with your diet, bring your own.

For more information about Morioka, refer to our article on What to Do and See at Iwate’s Capital City!

Day 8 – Kakunodate

Morioka ⇒ Kakunodate ⇒ Morioka

The Hinokinaigawa Tsutsumi Park and the Bukeyashiki Street (武家屋敷通り) in Kakunodate is another famous cherry blossom spot in the Tōhoku region. This is why it is worthwhile to spend around 50 minutes on the bullet train to travel to the town in Akita Prefecture in early spring.

Besides cherry blossoms, you can explore the old samurai residences on Bukeyashiki Street. You can even change into the traditional costume in one of them!

For more information, refer to our article on Kakunodate!

Hinokinaigawa-Tsutsumi-Park-Kakunodate-Akita-Japan-
© Lake Tazawa/Kakunodate Tourism Association

Day 9 Ichinoseki

Morioka ⇒ Ichinoseki ⇒ Morioka

When you are ready to explore on Day 9, take a bullet train to Ichinoseki from Morioka and change for a local train/bus to Genbikei Gorge and Geibikei Gorge. While the two attractions are both natural valleys, their characteristics differ from each other.

Note: It takes 40 minutes to get to Ichinoseki Station from Morioka Station by bullet train.

The promenade at Genbikei Gorge allows you to trek through the gorge. It is also where you can see mochi rice cakes “flying” across the bank. On the other hand, at Geibikei Gorge, a traditional boat will take you to the other end of the deep valley.

Genbikei-Gorge
Ⓒ photo-ac.com/
Geibikei-Gorge-Boat-Ride-Iwate-Japan
Ⓒ photo-ac.com/

The local specialty at Ichinoseki also differs from Morioka. The mochi rice cake cuisine here is a must-try. And the good news is, a few restaurants can cater to the vegan diet!

For more information, refer to our article on Ichinoseki!

Day 10 – Morioka

Morioka ⇒ Tokyo

Day 10 is reserved for Morioka again because the city has many attractions to explore. If you are done with the city in Day 7, take the morning easy at one of the cafes before leaving for Tokyo.

If you are unsure which cafe to visit, refer to our article on The Best Cafés in Morioka.

Day 11 and Day 12 – Kawagoe

Tokyo ⇒ Kawagoe

Known as Little Edo (小江戸), Kawagoe is where you can enjoy both the traditional vibes and conveniences of a modern city! Walking in the town will make you feel like you have traveled back in time to the Edo and the Meiji/Taisho periods. Recognized as Saitama Prefecture’s Historical City, Kawagoe houses many historical and cultural properties.

On top of that, there are many delicious street food shops, cafes, and restaurants that you would want to stop by when you visit the retro district of Kawagoe!

For more information, refer to our article on Kawagoe!

Toki-no-Kane-Kawagoe-Saitama-Japan
Ⓒ photo-ac.com/

If you are interested in modern architecture, visit Kadokawa Musashino Museum close by. You will definitely be amazed by the building’s appearance. And don’t call it a day after seeing the museum’s magnificent exterior. The 8-meter tall hall with all the walls covered by bookshelves is the must-see in the building!

Day 13 – Tokyo

Tokyo

Day 13 is reserved for anything you want to do in Tokyo before departing on Day 14. Leave all the shopping to the end of the trip so you won’t need to drag heavy suitcases around!

If you don’t need to get to the airport until late afternoon or evening on Day 14, you can also visit another destination close to Tokyo on Day 13. Kamakura, Enoshima, Mt. Fuji/Kawaguchiko, and Hakone are all popular places to visit near Tokyo!

Day 14 – Tokyo and Departure

Tokyo ⇒ Haneda/Narita Airport

Depending on when your flight departs, you may or may not have time for proper sightseeing on the last day. If your flight leaves in the morning, staying close to a station with a direct train or near a limousine bus stop to the airport is best.

For example, we usually stay close to Ueno Station if we fly from Narita Airport. Keisei’s Skyliner is a lot cheaper than Narita Express. If you fly from Haneda Airport, consider staying around Shinagawa Station so you can take Keikyu’s airport line.

Planning to Spend More than 14 Days in Japan? Check Out the Itinerary to Other Parts of Japan!

If you have more than 14 days to spend in Japan and are struggling to decide where to visit next, we have a couple more itineraries to other parts of Japan with fascinating attractions!

Please refer to our Japan Itinerary Category for more information!

Miyajimas-Autumn-Foliage-Japan
Click the photo for itineraries to other parts of Japan!

2 thoughts on “The Best Cherry Blossom 14-Day Itinerary in the Tōhoku Region”

  1. Hi,

    I am interested in your “The Best Cherry Blossom 14 day Itinerary in the Tohoku Region”.
    Is there a pass that I can consider for this itinerary?
    I have assumed that this itinerary can be done via public transport as I do not intend to drive.
    My current plan is to fly into Tokyo Narita Airport ETA 9am 17 Apr, and out of Tokyo Narita on 29 Apr ETD 5pm.
    Thank you for your help.

    Rgds,
    seok

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