JR East

Aomori: Hirosaki Castle is one of the most famous cherry blossom spots in Tohoku. It is a three-storey castle tower and its spacious surroundings are filled with 2,500 cherry trees, cherry blossom tunnels, petal filled moats, picnic areas, and rental rowing boats in spring, which makes it a major venue for cherry blossom viewing from April to May every year. Although the castle is currently under reconstruction, you still get a chance to see how Japanese castles are rejuvenated.

Akita: Kakunodate Samurai District—featuring former samurai residences that hold hundreds of years of legacy—is known for its weeping cherry blossoms in spring, but in the autumn, the fall foliage with bright colours will start decorating the symbolic black fences of the area. There are six samurai houses which are open to public while the others in this samurai living quarters are prohibited to visitors. However, you can still take a stroll around the area and enjoy the autumn foliage around the estate.

Yamagata: Spooky snow experience only at Zao Onsen Ski Resort! The famous "snow monsters" usually occur when water droplets in the air blown by strong winds freeze on the leaves and branches of pine trees. These formations are usually seen near the peak of Zao Ski Resort, from end-December to end-February. Be sure to visit and enjoy the Snow Monster Festival held between 26 Dec 2020 to 28 Feb 2021, when you can see the snow monsters before your very eyes!
(NOTE: there will be some changes to JR East rail passes with effect from April this year onwards.
Visit the following page for more details: https://jrtimes.sg/rail-pass-renewal )

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