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Journey Along the Michinoku Route: Connecting Castles and Shrines in Tohoku
The Michinoku Route spans over 1,000km and connects various historical castles and shrines throughout the Tohoku region of Japan. This scenic route takes travelers through coastal towns, mountainous regions, and rustic rural landscapes. The journey along the Michinoku Route is not only a way to explore the rich history and culture of the region but also provides a glimpse of the stunning natural beauty of Tohoku.
Starting Point – Hirosaki Castle
The journey along the Michinoku Route begins at Hirosaki Castle, located in Aomori Prefecture. This 17th-century castle, famous for its beautiful cherry blossoms, was built by samurai lord Tsugaru Tamenobu. Visitors can explore the castle tower and surrounding gardens before heading off on their journey.
Along the route lies Morioka Castle, the symbolic center of Morioka City. Although the castle itself no longer exists, the ruins have been turned into a park that offers stunning views of the surrounding area. The park also boasts cherry blossoms and autumn foliage, making it a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.
Hiraizumi and Chusonji Temple
Next stop on the Michinoku Route is Hiraizumi and the Chusonji Temple. Hiraizumi was once a thriving cultural center and a rival to Kyoto, but unfortunately, much of the city was destroyed. However, Chusonji is still standing and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its magnificent golden hall, stunning gardens, and tranquil atmosphere, Chusonji is a must-visit for anyone traveling along the Michinoku Route.
After passing through several other small towns and scenic areas, the Michinoku Route eventually arrives at Sendai Castle in Sendai City. This castle was established by samurai lord Date Masamune in the early 17th century and was one of the largest castles in Japan. Today, visitors can explore the replica of the castle tower and the surrounding park, which offers a stunning view of Sendai City.
The Michinoku Route offers a unique and immersive way to explore the rich history and culture of Tohoku. Whether you’re interested in visiting castles, temples, or scenic natural areas, the Michinoku Route has something to offer for everyone. So why not pack your bags and embark on this unforgettable journey?