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Japan’s northeastern Tohoku region was once thought of as remote, faraway. Long ago, it was called the Deep North. When the haiku poet Matsuo Basho walked through Tohoku in the late 17th century, he worried that he might never make it home from the hard journey. To Basho, who wrote about the trip in his masterpiece Oku no Hosomichi (The Narrow Road to a Far Province), Tohoku was the edge of the Earth; if you were there you were nowhere. Today the region’s six prefectures – Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata and Fukushima – are no longer so unknown or inaccessible: The high-speed Shinkansen from Tokyo will get you there in a few hours. But the region has retained the charm of a place yet to be discovered.

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Asia Japan Tohoku Chiho