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Tuesday, 5th January 2016
In Japan Travel News,

Rough Guides: Tohoku is top region to visit in Japan in 2016

Rough Guides has announced Tohoku as its top region to visit in Japan this year, showing the area’s amazing recovery following the devastating 2011 earthquake. 

Tohoku is praised for its high-quality festivals such as the Nebuta parade and Yokote’s Kamakura, which is an igloo festival devoted to the country’s water deity. As well as this, there are ski slopes, outdoor onsens on breathtaking mountains and a host of other natural wonders. 

Here are some of the must-see attractions in Tohoku:

Sanriku Fukko National Park 

Following the earthquake, the Sanriku Fukko National Park was developed, covering the Sanriku Coast of Japan. The site was created in 2013 and includes the Rikuchu Kaigan National Park and Tanesashi Kaigan Hashikamidake Prefectural Natural Park. It has also recently been expanded to feature Kesennuma Prefectural Natural Park, Kenj?san Mangokuura Prefectural Natural Park and Matsushima Prefectural Natural Park. 

As well as this, there is the Chuson-ji Temple, where travellers can enjoy some breathtaking sights and gain an insight into the country’s extraordinary culture. Konjikido Hall is one of the truly unmissable attractions in the area and is entirely covered in gold. It has been standing since 1124 and is an unbelievable part of Japanese history. However, you will need to put your cameras down in the hall as photography is not allowed. 

Dense forest surrounds the temple and makes for some fantastic walks once you have sampled all of the history inside the area. 

Yamagata Zao Onsen Ski Resort  

The Yamagata Zao Onsen Ski Resort is the biggest ski resort in Tohoku and a great place to visit for anyone interested in winter sports and there are a variety of different slopes for different abilities, ranging from beginners to experts. The area is surrounded by snow monsters, which are tree formations that resemble mythic beasts!

As well as the sports facilities available on the resort, there are some excellent trekking routes in the summer months that provide some outstanding views of the Yamagata mountains so, no matter what time of year you’re travelling, there is always plenty to do.

Zuihoden Mausoleum

The Zuihoden Mausoleum is the entombment site of the Date Massamune, an historic feudal lord from the Edo Period. This era (1603-1868) was when the country was under the power of the Tokugawa shogunate. The building is decorated in the distinguished style of the Momoyama period and includes stunning artefacts dating back centuries. 

Surrounded by beautiful cedar trees, the attraction is both peaceful and visually magnificent. There is also a museum close to the Zuihoden Mausoleum where tourists can take a look at artefacts from the Date family. 

The Miyagi Museum of Art 

The Miyagi Museum of Art is situated ten minutes away from Sendai centre and features exceptional exhibits from the Meiji Period (1868-1912) in Japanese history. These include paintings, prints and sculptures, many of which have a close connection with the Tohoku region. 

As well as presenting exhibitions, the museum prides itself on interactivity, with a number of workshops available for visitors. These range from drawing and painting lessons to woodwork and clay tutorials. Therefore, if you want to visit a museum offering a little bit extra, this could be a great option.