The Tohoku region of Japan comprises six prefectures – Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Yamagata, Miyagi, and Fukushima – and the area is home to some stunning natural scenery, snowy winters, and excellent hot springs destinations. There are also plenty of unique places to stay if you're planning a visit to this part of the country, and this guide covers five of them.
Located in Fukushima, British Hills offers a slice of the United Kingdom right here in Japan. All of the materials and furnishings for the venue were imported from England (right down to the bricks and mortar!), to provide a truly authentic experience. The grounds themselves are designed to emulate a British village, and there's even an on-site tea room and pub if you want to grab a bite to eat.
Shibakusa-1-8 Tarao, Tenei, Iwase District, Fukushima 962-0622
Hotel El Faro
Miyagi Prefecture's Hotel El Faro is a group of mobile homes turned into hotel rooms, but it's the moving story behind the accommodation spot that makes it unique. El Faro means lighthouse in Spanish, and the hotel here was built in the wake of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that heavily impacted the region. The opening of the accommodation here in 2012 served as a beacon of light that the area would rebuild.
2-chome−1−2 Onagawa, Oshika District, Miyagi 986-2265
Fishing Inn Chojayashiki
A fun accommodation option in Yamagata Prefecture is Fishing Inn Chojayashiki, where you can literally go fishing directly from certain rooms. You can explore the full range of lodging options here, but do note that some rooms are geared towards advanced fishers. An extra selling point of staying here is that some rooms are dog friendly, meaning you can bring your canine companion along when you visit.
4402-28 Miyauchi, Nanyō, Yamagata 992-0472
If you've ever dreamed of a vacation where you could fully switch off and disconnect, Aomori's Aoni Onsen is a destination to pop on your bucket list. This accommodation option foregoes electricity (except for cooking and emergency exit lighting) for a truly step-back-in-time experience, with oil lanterns used for illumination after dark.
Aonisawatakinoue-1-7 Okiura, Kuroishi, Aomori 036-0402
Aomori Winery Hotel
Situated in the hot springs town of Owani, the Aomori Winery Hotel is said to be one of only several accommodation options in Japan with a winery on-site. It's possible to take part in wine tastings at the venue, and there are numerous onsen facilities where you can relax and unwind – one of them is even filled with apples, one of the prefecture's specialties.
100-9 Takinosawa, Shimada, Owani-machi, Minamitsugaru-gun, Aomori 038-0223