Archive for the Hirosaki-city Category

Cafe Cembalo, a comfortable cafe for foreigners in Hirosaki-City

Posted in Hirosaki-city with tags , , on May 28, 2011 by Yuko

Many foreign tourists visit Hirosaki-City for Hirosaki Park to view the beautiful cherry blossom and the castle. I often get asked about the free wi-fi spots and the eateries with English menu from foreigners. I’m introducing a cafe located along the Dotemachi street where foreigners would feel comfortable to try out. 

The name of the cafe is “Cafe and Gallery Cembalo”. You can’t find the signboard “Cembalo” in English, but the following image will help you find the building. 

Many food images are hung on the wall. They will help (or tempt) you to know what you can have in this cafe.

I saw some people coming by themselves, so don’t have to hesitate to go alone. 

I like getting the table along the wall :)

Here are the menus…with no English. Don’t worry, all food and drinks have the images and you don’t have to be nervous while waiting for something you ordered you actually didn’t understand…. 

♥ Cake Set ♥ Cheesecake, Chiffon cake, Ice cream and Fuit with Tea or Coffee

♥ Waffle Set ♥ Homemade waffles, Ice cream, Fruit with Tea or Coffee

My iced coffee tasted pretty good.

Pretty interior

Small and cute selling items were displayed on this shelf

 “Free Wi-Fi” is available in this cafe. That’s another reaon I said foreigners(who tend to depend on getting information from internet) would feel comfortable in this cafe. 

There are also many other cozy cafe, nice restaurants and shops along the Dotemachi street. Please enjoy strollong around the street and find yourown favorite place :)


Cafe Cembalo

Address:                     41 Dotemachi, Hirosaki-City

Closed:                        Wednesday (open when Wednesday is a national holiday)

Opening Hours :      10:30am – 19:00(sometimes close earlier)  

Parking:                       Paid Parking available nearby the cafe



Posted in Aomori-city, Goshogawara-city, Hachinohe-city, Hirosaki-city, Mutsu-city, Shichinohe-town, Towada-city with tags , , on May 23, 2011 by Yuko

This is my first post since the massive earthquake and tsunami hit northern Japan in March 11, 2011. 

Although it’s a part of my job to promote Aomori tourism, honestly I couldn’t really write “Come to Aomori for sightseeing!” while suffering from thousands of tremors in these 2 months. Finally, the earth seems to be calm down and I am glad to resume this blog.

Japan is trying really hard to have our normal lives back. Here is one encouraging example of quick and great restorations! East Japan Railway repaired the seriously damaged facilities and equipment of Tohoku Shinkansen line, and full Shinkansen service between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori has been restored from April 29. 

Now I can introduce this unbelievably reasonable offer for foreign tourists! JR East Pass Special valid until June 30, 2011 allows you to travel throughout East Japan on the JR East Shinkansen trains for 3 days. The price is only 13,000 yen!  FYI, usually I can’t even buy the one way Shinkansen ticket from Shin-Aomori to Tokyo with only 13,000 yen as Japanese….I wish I could be a foreigner until the expiry date of this pass!  Please check the detailed info by clicking the following image.


Once you stepped on a ground of Aomori Prefecture, please don’t fail to present your JR East Pass of JR East Pass Special at the designated Tourist Centers to receive nice gifts (for details pls click the following image). Only the first 50 – 500 visitors would be eligible to receive  those gifts. Hope you can make it.

The weather is getting nicer in Aomori, and Japanese tourists start visitng Lake Towada, Lake Juniko and Mt. Hakkoda to  experience lush greenery and fresh air.

I’m currently working at the 8th floor of ASPAM, where you can receive (B)Apple Lanyard at the desk of Aomori Prefecture Tourist Information Center located on the 1st floor of the building. If you ever come to ASPAM, please feel free to visit me :)

Stop by for dessert in Hirosaki

Posted in Hirosaki-city with tags , , , on May 27, 2010 by Zack

Hirosaki City might very well be the gourmet capital of Aomori Prefecture. Known for its chic and historical image, numerous French and Italian bistros, cake and pastry shops, Hirosaki also boasts many well-established traditional Japanese sweet shops and fine eateries. But with so much to eat, there is always a restaurant I want to try and check off my list. Today I want to introduce the rather popular crepe and dessert cafe, Dessert House.

Dessert House has a clean, bright, and inviting wooden exterior as well as interior.

Tomato, ham, and egg crepe. As you can see, crepes are their speciality.

Salmon & cream crepe.

Delicious assorted fruit parfait with custard pudding.

Of course they also have Japanese fusion dishes, like this one, a beautiful matcha green tea crepe with azuki bean paste and kuromitsu sauce. Dessert House also has a bakery with a fine assortment of cakes, donuts, and other delights. If you are in Hirosaki and have time for desert, please stop by Dessert House!

Dessert House

3-10-3 Waseda, Hirosaki City

Open all week from 10:30 am t0 8:30 pm (last order is at 7:30 pm)

Closed on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month

Five-Storied Pagoda in Hirosaki

Posted in Hirosaki-city with tags , , , on May 18, 2010 by Yuko

Speaking about Hirosaki-city, tourists always give first choice to visit Hirosaki Castle.  If you had time after visiting Hirosaki Park,  or if you kinda missed the best days for viewing cherry blossoms,  I recommend  to stop at Five-storied Pagoda which is located to the southeast of the castle park.  It will take about 15 minutes on foot from the castle.   When I visited this pagoda last weekend, there were no clouds in the blue sky and enjoyed the quiet, calm atmosphere and the late-blossoming cherry blossoms. 

This pagoda, 31.2 meters high, was build in 1667 for the repose of the soul of fallen soldiers. It is installed in the precinct of Saisho-in Temple.




You can occasionally find a purification font with a dragon. Water is flowing from a dragon’s mouth and you have to purify your hands and mouth with this water in preparation for approaching the sacred presence.  The shape of dragon varies by the temples and shrines, so it can be interesting to see the difference of the dragons if you are visiting many temples and shrines.  I thought this dragon was very decorative.     

Four ogres were supporting the roof of the font.(These are two of them)



  Saisho-in Temple is one of my favorite temples in Aomori-Prefecture.  



Just walking around the precinct of the temple made me feel better. It was probably because of the nice weather,  pretty cherry blossoms, tidiness and the sacred atmosphere.



You can ring the bell by offering 100yen.  Hitting the bell was interesting, and also hearing the resonance of the bell made me feel more relaxed and at peace.


A blooming Magnolia


I could enjoy the final cherry blossom viewing of this year in this temple.  There are also maple trees in this temple, and I would also recommend to visit this temple in autumn to appreciate the pagoda and colored maple leaves.

Saisho-in Temple(Five-Storied Pagoda)

63 Doyacho Hirosaki-City

Car Parking Available

100yen  ” Tamenobu ” loop bus is available from JR Hirosaki Station. Get off at the “Hirosaki Koukou Mae” bus stop.  You can see the top of the pagoda from the bus stop, walk about 3 minutes toward it and you will arrive at the temple.

Cherishing Cherry Blossoms at Night

Posted in Hirosaki-city with tags , , , , on May 6, 2010 by Yuko

In recent years, cherry blossoms in full bloom in Aomori haven’t met  the consecutive national holidays called “Golden Week”.  But this year they did and helped many visitors to enjoy viewing beautiful cherry blossoms in Hirosaki Park, and drew about 430,000 people in a day, on May 3.

Please enjoy the excuisite photos of Hirosaki cherry blossoms taken by Zack in the daytime which you can see in his previous post.  Cherry blossoms are always beautiful against a blue sky, but my all-time favorite cherry blossom viewing in Hirosaki is at night, with light-up.

I believe this captivating atmosphere is only in Hirosaki Park.   My pictures are never the best to tell its amazingness, but I wanted to share some pictures with you.

I always get totally intoxicated with the atmosphere, which is never the same without these cherry blossoms.  I don’t know why, but everytime I visit Hirosaki Park, I feel cherry blossoms in the area of Honmaru – Hirosaki Castle are particularly enchanting.











During this season both joy and sadness cross my mind – cherry blossoms are the messenger which tells us the end of  long and severe winter. They are vibrant but too ephemeral pleasure  like a short dream.  That’s why Hirosaki cherry blossoms are special and very precious to local people, and that’s why we want you to come and experience this ephemeral beauty at night by yourselves.   

Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival

Hirosaki Park – approx 25 minutes walk from JR Hirosaki Station (taxi, buses are also available)

April 23 – May5 

Light-up;  from sunset to 11:00pm (this year the light-up and the open-air stall inside the park are postponed until May 9)