Traditionally one of the poorest and remotest areas of Japan, Tsugaru is best known as the birthplace of writer Osamu Dazai, who wrote the mordant travelogue Return to Tsugaru (ISBN 0870118412) about his travels around the peninsula, and for the Tsugaru-jamisen, a distinctive local version of the Japanese string instrument shamisen.
Tsugaru is separated from Hokkaido by the Tsugaru Strait. There are trains from Aomori through Tsugaru and across via the Seikan Tunnel to Hakodate. Okutsugaru Imabetsu st. in Imabetsu, interchange with Buses can go to Nakadomari and Sotogahama.
To Kanagi (for the Shayōkan and the Shamisen Hall) and Tsugaru Nakazato, take the Tsugaru Railway from Goshogawara. To Yomogita, Imabetsu and Sotogahama (Cape Tappi and Kanita port) take Tsugaru line from Aomori or Okutsugaru Imabetsu.
- 1 [dead link] Takayama Inari Shrine (高山稲荷神社), Washinosawa-147-2 Ushigatacho, Tsugaru City, Aomori Prefecture 038-3305 (Tsugaru City), ☏ . 08:00-17:00. Hundreds of red torii gates snake through a garden at this picturesque shrine near the Sea of Japan. Free.
- 2 Iwakiyama Shrine (岩木山神社), 〒036-1343青森県弘前市大字百沢字寺沢２７ (about half an hour from central Hirosaki). A peaceful mountain shrine partway up Mt. Iwaki. You'll need to climb some stairs to get to the shrine itself. Stop into one of the neighborhood onsen baths for a soul-soothing day trip from the city.
- 3 Cape Tappi (Tappizaki; 竜飛崎), Minnmaya, Sotogahama Town. The scenic northernmost point of the peninsula. Panoramic views of the Tsugaru Strait, Sea of Japan, and mountains of Hokkaido and Shimokita. There are some souvenir shops and restaurants near the lookout point, along with some monuments and an interesting dragon bridge. Route 339 briefly turns into a pedestrian path here. The hydrangeas, which are abundant, usually bloom in July.
- 4 Rice Paddy Art (田舎館村田んぼアート) (20 minutes from Hirosaki; 1 hour from Aomori City). The rice field murals in Inakadate Village have made news around the world. See them for yourself from June to early October. There are two murals, one viewable from the tower at the village office, and the other from a tower near roadside plaza Yayoi no Sato (道の駅弥生の里). There's a shuttle between the two sites.
- 5 Seikan Tunnel Museum (青函トンネル記念館), 99 Minnmaya Tatsuhama, Sotogahama Town, ☏ . If you hope see the tunnel, take Funicular can go to tunnel level. Museum ¥400 -, Funicular ¥1,000 -.
- 1 Mori no Naka no Kajuen (Orchard in the Forest) (森の中の果樹園), 〒036-1202 Aomori Prefecture, Hirosaki, Totsurazawa, Kutsuwa−426 (about 1 hour from central Hirosaki), ☏ . 09:00-17:00. Admission gets you a knife, a basket, and permission to eat as much fruit as you want straight from the orchards. It's an additional cost to take fruit home. They grow raspberries, peaches, cherries, plums, strawberries, grapes, pears, walnuts, and others.... but no apples. The fruits in season are posted on the website. Adults ¥1500 (April–May), ¥1200 (June–October); Elementary school students ¥1000/¥800..
- 2 Tsugaru Kanayamayaki (津軽金山焼), 〒037-0011 Aomori Prefecture, Goshogawara, Kaneyama, Chiyozuru−5−79, ☏ . Gallery 09:00-17:00. Shop and learn about pottery made from local Kanayama mountain clay. Check out the sculptures (outside and upstairs) made by visiting artists and take a peek at the kilns. The gallery staff insists beer and even water taste better served in kanayamayaki cups. You can make your own pottery too, but it takes several months to fire. The restaurant serves everything on kanyamayaki dishes, 10:00 to 16:00 (last order is 15:00), ¥700-1150.
- 3 [formerly dead link] Naqua Shirakami Resort, 〒038-2712青森県西津軽郡鰺ヶ沢町大字長平町字西岩木山75 (1 hour from central Hirosaki), ☏ . Ski resort in Ajigasawa Town. Golf in the summer.
- 4 [dead link] Tairadate beach (平舘海水浴場), Sotogahama, Tairadate Tanosawa, ☏ . Near Tairadate light house.
- Ezo scallop (Hotate-gai, 帆立貝) - Ezo scallops farmed in Mutsu bay.
- Japanese basket clams (Yamato Shijimi, 大和蜆) - also called simply Shijimi (蜆), sourced from lake Jusan (十三湖).
- Yakiboshi (焼干し) - made with local fish such as Japanese anchovy, Japanese horse mackerel etc; the fish are also added to stock (dashi, 出汁).
- 1 [dead link] Odaiba Auto village (おだいばオートビレッジ), 67-1 Tairadate Tanosawa, Sotogahama, ☏ . Check-in: camping 11:00, cottage 15:00, check-out: 10:00. Auto campingspace and cottages. camping ¥1,500 -, cottage ¥16,000 -.
- Tsugaru Peninsula Sightseeing attendant (津軽半島観光アテンダント), ☏ .
- 3 [dead link] Tappizaki Tourist Information (龍飛崎観光案内所), 59-12 Minmaya Tatsuhama, Sotogahama, ☏ . daily 09:00-16:00.
- 4 Roadstation Imabetsu (道の駅いまべつ), 87-16 Okawadai aza Kiyokawa, Imabetsu, ☏ . 09:00-17:00. near Okutsugaru Imabetsu st.
- 5 Kodomari Sightseeing Association (小泊観光協会), 1080-1 Kodomari aza Sunayama, Nakadomari, ☏ . 09:00-16:00.
|Routes through Tsugaru Peninsula|
|Hakodate ←||N S||→ Shin Aomori|
|END ←||N S||→ Yomogita → Aomori|
|END ←||N S||→ Tsuruta → Itayanagi → Hirosaki|