Could a Aomori turn out to be the apple of your eye while you’re vacationing in Japan?
Quite possibly yes if you wish to see lesser-known sides to the country that are overshadowed by the often very bright lights of such cities as Tokyo.
Baxter Media joined the Japan National Tourism Organization and Air Canada in cohosting a Jan. 20 webcast that included a presentation by Torontonian Adam Waxman — who has frequently visited Japan and advises Japanese tourism authorities on how to promote their country — on some intriguing Japanese destinations that tend to have a low profile in this country.
Among them was Aomori, which Waxman reported is home to both dozens of types of apples and an apple pie trail that has numerous variations of that popular dessert.
“The apples are everywhere, even floating in hot springs,” Waxman said.
Waxman told viewers that Japan has a large number of destinations that will appeal to visitors but often fly under the radar in this country. For instance, those touring Hokkaido can explore Otaru, where they can see “romantic canals meandering past cobblestone streets” that recall Venice, and can find distinctive styles of beer and sake, along with a flourishing wine industry.
Waxman noted sake certainly figures prominently elsewhere in Japan, with the alcohol being so common in Niigata that it’s “literally flowing out of vending machines.”
Those spending time in Niigata can truly get the lowdown on sake, among other things learning how to pair it.
“If you like sake, you have to go to Niigata,” Waxman said.
Waxman also declared Japan a great country for outdoors enthusiasts, with the Gunma area for instance having river rafting that ranges from “leisurely to exhilarating to petrifying.”
Tottori, in turn, is home to sand dunes that offer a host of activities, including camel rides in a landscape “where you’d swear you’re in the Sahara.”
Waxman labeled Okinawa a peaceful tropical paradise “that has the best diving in the world,” along with tropical fish and white-sand beaches.
“From top to bottom and everywhere in between, you can find your own unique soft adventures…to make memories that will last a lifetime,” he added of Okinawa.
Meanwhile, Joey-Dean Lanthier, manager of revenue development, Asia-Pacific for Air Canada, told the webcast that familiarizing yourself with a destination online will never be the equal of actually visiting it.
“It’s just not the same,” he said, leaving him to confidently predict that travel will eventually return to pre-coronavirus levels. “We look forward on welcoming you on our flights to Japan very soon.”
Priscilla Portsmouth of the Japan National Tourism Office’s Toronto office noted the japan.travel/en/ca website has a wealth of information, with readers able to get updated on a range of topics, such as cherry blossoms.
The JNTO also publishes a newsletter six times a year, she added.