The capital of the prefecture of the same name, Aomori (pop. 297,000) is a drab modern city, with an active shipping and fishing industry, but little sightseeing.
The city is a good access point for visitors to the Tsugaru Peninsula, Shimokita Peninsula, the town of Hirosaki or Lake Towada, though.
If you happen to be in Aomori, you can have a look at the Aomori Prefectural Folklore Museum, or the Ukiyoe (woodblock paintings) at the Munakata Shiko Memorial Museum.
Nevertheless, Aomori's number one attraction is the Nebuta Matsuri, taking place from 2 to 7 August each year, and is acclaimed as one of the most colourful, vibrant and spectacular festivals in Japan.
How to get there
From Tokyo, shinkansen only go as far as Hachinohe (also in Aomori prefecture). It is a 3-hour ride to Hachinohe (￥9,350), then 1 more hour to Aomori using the JR Limited Express Super Shiratori (￥1,600).
JAL has flights connecting Aomori to Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka (Itami & Kansai airports) and Fukuoka. Aomori Airport is 35 minutes by bus from the city center.