Aomori

“They slipped 10,000-yen bills into rice balls” — Bizarre election corruption in Aomori revealed

It’s so bad that the region is now slang for “corrupt election.”

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Japanese news crew “faking” visuals for on-site report gets caught by local, laughed at online

Public broadcaster NHK chose a strange way to show the “waist-deep snow” of this hot spring town in northern Japan.
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Crazy cosplay team dresses up as Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train for an important reason【Videos】

Shrinking town wants its unique cosplayers to help put it on travelers’ maps.

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Japanese town’s beautiful rice paddy art salutes Osamu Tezuka anime characters, Audrey Hepburn

Photos show rural Aomori town’s continuing tradition of artistic agriculture with convenient access for travelers.

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Japanese man wins fight against bear that attacked him by punching it right in the face

Never bring a bear to an opposable thumb fight.

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Centuries-old book of ninja secrets discovered at public library in Japan’s Aomori Prefecture

Shinobi training manual covers ingredients to make sleeping potions and smoke bombs, as well as magic incantations.

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2018 Tohoku Kizuna Festival aims to unite the people of northern Japan

This “Festival of Tohoku Bonds” continues to pay homage to six of northern Japan’s most important annual festivals all at one time and one place.

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7 reasons why you should visit Aomori Prefecture

There’s much more to the main island’s northernmost prefecture than just delicious apples.

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Triumph lingerie company creates sake underwear using fabric made with Japanese rice wine

Finally! Wearable sake!

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Aomori mascot shows no fear in front of legendary X Japan drummer Yoshiki【Video】

Nyango Star must have apple-cat nerves of steel as he absolutely kills a performance of X Japan songs in front of a discerning audience.

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Japanese mascot from Aomori absolutely kills it on the drums

Have you ever seen a mascot play drums? I bet you’d never expect one to be this awesome at it.

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Beautiful blue apple jam is taking the Japanese internet’s breath away!

What’s blue and sweet and perfect with toast or yogurt? It’s blue apple jam from Aomori Prefecture!

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It’s almost time for Japan’s “flower rafts,” one of the most beautiful parts of sakura season

Even when their brief time comes to a close, the cherry blossoms continue to be breathtakingly beautiful.

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Aomori volunteer firefighter arrested for starting fires so he could fight them

In the small town of Inakadate, Shota Kawasaki was both employed at a straw-crafts workshop and a member of his local volunteer fire department. However, this village of 8,000 people was far more famous for its rice paddy art than fires breaking out, and while making straw art is charming in its own way, it can get to be a drag day in and day out.

That’s why Aomori prefectural police are suspecting Kawasaki of starting a series of fires over the past six months; so that he could allegedly feel the rush of putting them out.

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Roadside Station Ranking for 2015 is in, find out where you will be driving to in Japan

When traveling in Japan, there are a number of quick and easy ways to see the whole country. You can take the Shinkansen, Japan’s bullet train that excels at speed and comfort. There are also a number of budget airlines including Peach, Air Asia, and Skymark Airlines that can make your trip quicker, but force you to sacrifice some amenities for a lower cost.

But if you have the time, there is no better way to travel around Japan than by hitting the open roads. Just like the US, there are many quirky best-kept secrets accessible only by car that are worth visiting. Some of the best places that really connect you with the locals are the roadside rest stops called Michi no Eki (literally “roadside stations“) that are perfect for taking a toilet or sleeping break, but are also hubs for local food, crafts and history.

Want to find the best roadside stations to visit? The travel website Trip Advisor has assembled a list of the best Michi no Eki for 2015, so gas up the car, it’s time for a road trip.

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Is Japan itself dying of old age? Premium city real estate auctioned off for next to nothing

It’s no secret that Japan’s elderly population is on the rise while the younger population is on decline. Though everyone from the government to economists is trying to figure out what the ramifications of such a top-heavy population will be, Japan is already feeling some of the consequences.

No place is this more apparent than in Japan’s northern prefecture of Aomori. What was once a thriving area a few decades ago is now by all accounts a snowy ghost town.

The most recent event to highlight just how bad things have become is Aomori City practically give away prime real estate. Why has this happened and just how bad are things in Aomori? Read on to find out!

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Google Street View now lets you tour the glowing samurai, dragons of the Nebuta Matsuri festival

Just about every community in Japan puts on a local festival in the summer, but few are as spectacular as Aomori City’s Nebuta Matsuri. For almost a solid week, gigantic floats topped by lanterns shaped like samurai and dragons are paraded through the streets, accompanied by dancers and musicians.

But while Aomori is one of the largest cities in the largely rural Tohoku region of Japan, its relatively remote location in the northeastern corner of the country’s main island of Honshu means not everyone can make it out to see the festivities in-person. As long as you’ve got an Internet connection, though, you can get a taste of the fun with Google’s awesome Nebuta Matsuri Street View that lets you see the amazing floats even closer-up than spectators standing on the sidewalks the towering works of art are carried by.

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Starbucks in Aomori is the hot topic in Japan right now because of its beautiful…architecture?!

After opening in April, a Starbucks location in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, has received quite a bit of attention online for its surprisingly beautiful architecture and design. Yes, we’re serious, the hot topic in Japan right now is this Starbucks location!

But, wait, before you scoff, you seriously need to see the place. One of our Japanese reporters headed to Aomori recently and his photos of the coffee shop will definitely make you say, “Wow, that is a beautiful Starbucks location!” for the first time in your life!

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The Force is with the famous Nebuta Festival this year, as Star Wars floats make an appearance

Every year from August 2 to 7, giant illuminated floats of Japanese warriors are paraded through the streets of Aomori City, in the northern-most prefecture on Japan’s main island of Honshu, for the famous Nebuta Festival. Counted as one of the three biggest festivals in Japan, it attracts up to three million visitors each year, but this year, some new, out-of-this-world warriors made an appearance at the festival.

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Rice field art: Star of Ted 2 appears in Japanese rice field this summer

Summer in Japan means festivals, fireworks and a host of annual events designed to bring people together despite the searing heat. And as the sun beats down on fields across the nation, there’s one special rice paddy that’s slowly taking shape, transforming into a very unique piece of art ready to greet crowds of adoring admirers over the next two months.

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