Hirosaki City: an all-round journey in the fusion of eastern and western traditions

Arrival at Hirosaki station scheduled for 9:30am (it’s also possible to rent a bicycle).

  1. Hirosaki Museum of Contemporary Art: This contemporary art museum collects and exhibits contemporary works that face the history and culture of Hirosaki and the Tohoku region.

2. Saishōin Temple Five-Storied Pagoda: In this temple it’s possible to see the five-storied pagoda built about 350 years ago and 31.2 meters tall, considered one of the most beautiful in northern Japan.


3. Teishōji Temple: This temple was built in the late Muromachi period (1558-1570) and features the relaxing Ichimonji no Niwa garden dating back to the early Edo period (1603-1868).


4. Hirosaki Kogin Institute: At the Kogin Institute, it is possible to buy various products made using the embroidery technique typical of the Tsugaru region, the Kogin-Sashi.


6. Chōshōji Temple Hondō: Recognized as a nationally designated important cultural asset, it is one of the oldest temples in the city, built in 1528 in Tanesato and moved in 1610 to the city of Hirosaki following the expansion of the Tsugaru clan. It served as a registry office for priests of Soto Zen Buddhism. Inside, there are several structures that can be visited such as the main hall, the temple kitchen, the Sanmon portal and the Mieido hall, and it is possible to see the Sanzonbutsu (three Buddhist deities) and its Zushi-do (miniature shrine).


7. Fujita Memorial Garden: This garden was built in 1919 as a country house by financier Kenichi Fujita, a native of Hirosaki. It is an example of a garden using the shakkei landscaping technique, in which the surrounding natural scenery is incorporated as background.     


8. Hirosaki Catholic Church: It is a wooden structure built during the Meiji period. It features a Gothic-style altar dating from 1866 and inherited from St. Thomas Church in the Netherlands. It is an interesting example of a western building within an eastern context.


9. Tsugaru-han Neputa Village: In this village, it is possible to experience the various traditions of the Tsugaru region, starting with the room dedicated to the Neputa Festival, an event that involves all citizens during the summer evenings in August. It is possible to play traditional drums while being accompanied by the sound of the flute and traditional percussion cymbals. In addition, you can watch the wonderful performance of the Shamisen. Inside the village there is also a canteen where the visitors can eat traditional dishes and a shop where they can buy typical products, such as apple pies, several food’s goods and also souvenirs.


10. Boulangerie Four: Visitors can take a snack break at this bakery where apple pies and other typical sweets are made.


11. Hirosaki Castle Yonnomaru North Gate: From here visitors enter to visit Hirosaki Park and its castle, the last stop on the tour where it’s possible to walk and relax in the midst of nature.


12. Creative Local Cuisine Kikufuji Main Store: Dinner around 6:00 pm at Kikufuji restaurant where there are dishes from the typical cuisine and have many offerings while being immersed in the Tsugaru atmosphere.

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