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The town of Noheji is located in the deepest part of Mutsu Bay, at the base of the Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture. Around an hour’s drive from the prefectural capital of Aomori City, you will discover the Makado Kanko Hotel, nestled in a peaceful and tranquil forest. You can enjoy a leisurely time here and relax in the indoor and outdoor baths filled with the healing waters of Makado Hot Springs, which have long been known for their therapeutic qualities. The hotel can be easily reached from either of the nearest stations, Noheji Station on the Aoimori Railway Line (10 minutes by car) or Shichinohe-Towada Station on the JR Line (30 minutes by car). A free shuttle bus also runs from both stations, providing guests travelling by train convenient access to the hotel.
Noheji Town, where the hotel is located, prospered during the Edo Period as one of the main ports of call for mostly naval cargo ships that were northbound (Kitamaebune). Joyato Park is about an 11-minute drive from the hotel and was once the gateway to the Japan Sea route during the Edo Period. The stone lantern that is lit up all night (joyato), and which became a landmark for ships entering the port at night, still stands there today. The Kitamaebune cargo ship Michinoku Maru is also located in Joyato Park. It has been restored by ship carpenters in order to pass on ancient Japanese shipbuilding techniques and their history to successive generations. Hoisted onto land and set against the backdrop of Mutsu Bay, the Michinoku Maru creates nostalgic scenery for visitors to experience and enjoy.
Although this area is strongly associated with heavy snowfall in the winter, the town of Noheji is also awash in the colors and scenes of the changing seasons. Atago Park is a scenic spot for viewing around 700 cherry blossom trees that bloom in the spring. The Noheji Gion Matsuri festival in the summer brings excitement and energy to the town with the elegant sounds of festival music (hayashi) and gorgeous floats that parade down the streets. Then with the fall comes the sweeping scenery of exquisite autumn foliage (momiji) of the Eboshidake and Hakkoda mountains. And winter is a time to enjoy snow sports on the slopes that afford majestic and panoramic views of Mutsu Bay. A particular highlight is the town’s main festival the Noheji Gion Matsuri, which runs for four days during the middle of August. The festival features cultural elements brought back to the town by the sailors and merchants aboard the Kitamaebune cargo ships during the Edo Period, and it is also notable for being very similar to Kyoto’s Gion Festival. The festival’s highlights are the Gion hayashi festival music played by local children dressed in vibrant colors, and the gorgeous floats featuring Japanese dolls. Another scene unique to towns that have prospered by the blessings of the sea is the Kaijo Togyo parade of fishing ships with huge banners hoisted to indicate a rich haul. We hope you will make the Makado Kanko Hotel your base as you explore and enjoy the many seasonal attractions of Aomori.
Prices might go up, so book now while rooms are still available.
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