Tohoku Travel Guide

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Snowing Tazawako

Snowing Tazawako

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Tohoku is the geographical region of northeastern Honshu, comprising Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata prefectures. The region was initially settled between the seventh and ninth centuries A.D., well after Japanese civilization had been firmly established in southwestern Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku. Today the region remains sparsely populated and therefore has a reputation of being rural and unsophisticated. Consequently, it is one of the few places in Japan where traditional culture has continued to evolve in an environment relatively free of the exploitative effects of tourism and modernization that are ubiquitous in the Kansai and Kanto regions.  Many of it's inhabitants refer to the culture of Tohoku as "the real Japan," an appellation that has ironically become the center of a campaign to promote tourism in the region. However, for the moment the region remains relatively quiet and secluded, with abundant Shinto shrines, breathtaking scenery and rich regional sub-cultures.
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