Road Trip on Aoimori Line (Part 2)

Japan Hour (Synopsis Only)

Japan Hour - Winter in Japan
Road Trip on Aoimori Line

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Japan Hour (Synopsis Only):

Road Trip on Aoimori Line (Part 2)

We continue our two-day trip along the Aoimori Railway Line in Aomori to discover new spots recommended by the locals. On the first day, after dinner, we walk back to our hotel for the night, Tensui. We end the day by taking a relaxing bath before retiring for the night.

On the second day, we indulge in a breakfast buffet featuring lots of seafood. Then we go to Misawa Station. Before boarding the train, we ask some locals to recommend a place worth visiting near the next stop, Kogawara Station. We are told to check out Lake Ogawarako. Later, after reaching Kogawara, we check the train schedule. We have an hour till the next train departs at 10.35am.

We walk for about 10 minutes to Lake Ogawarako. Ogawarako is a well-known landing zone for migratory birds in winter so we notice several waterfowl and wild birds here. The lake has the largest haul of pond smelt and whitebait and also the second-largest catch of Shijimi clam in Japan.

Next, we take the train to Shimizugawa Station, six stops away. The train from here will only leave three hours later at 1.55pm. We find out from some people at the station that there are no restaurants or scenic spots nearby. However, they tell us about the Shimizugawa fishing port facing Mutsu Bay in Hiranai. It has the largest catch of cultivated scallop in Japan. The locals also suggest we visit a scallop processing factory called Kameda Shouten. The company was founded in the Meiji era and it processes about 30 tonnes of scallops every day. After their shells are removed, the scallops are boiled, hand-packed and later sold in Tokyo and Kyushu. We also get to taste some of these sweet and delicious scallops.

We then catch the train and enjoy the beautiful scenery from the window before arriving at Asamushi Onsen, three stations ahead. We have less than two hours before we take the next train at 4pm. We drop by the Kimura Bookstore to gather some information and are told about a local sweet treat called Kujiramochi. It is sold at a confectionery store called Kikuya Mochiten, which has been around since 1905. Kujiramochi is a traditional steamed rice cake using red bean, walnuts and rice.

The residents also recommend we visit a hot spring called Yusa Asamushi near the station. Located on the fifth floor of a roadside station which opened in the year 2000, it commands a nice view of Mutsu Bay.

After soaking in the hot spring, we travel by train to Yadamae, two stations away. We have no luck trying to find a place to visit here so we take the 4.55pm train to the terminal station, Aomori. As the train makes its way to the last station, we notice the scenery outside changing, from rice fields to houses and factories. At Aomori, we visit the 10th and last recommended tourist spot called Warasse. The facility showcases floats from the traditional Aomori Nebuta Festival. This popular event is held every August and attracts at least two million visitors. It can take about three months to make one Nebuta float, which sometimes uses up to 1,000 illuminated lights inside.

Tips:

1) Kujiramochi is a must-try sweet delicacy of Asamushi Onsen
2) If you visit Aomori in August, do check out the famous Nebuta Festival which is held  


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