Aomori, Japan: Ayaka Kasai
I had lived in Aomori prefecture until moving to Akita prefecture to go to the university. Although there are less huge shopping malls and poorer public transportation than Tokyo, abundant attractiveness that you cannot find in the urban area. First of all, nature is stunning. Shirakami-Sanchi is not only one of the world heritage sites but also has a clear navy lake called Juni lake. You can feel vitality in Oirase-stream and Towada-lake. Also, many tourists around Japan, even around the world gather in Sakura festival in spring and Neputa festival in summer every year. You can also view the different scenery of the mountains depends on the weather changing every day. This beautiful nature cultivates delicious foods. We love foods originated in Aomori like “Keno soup,” miso-soup with vegetables, and “Ika-menchi,” minced squid cutlet. Seafood is also famous, especially tuna in O-ma is very popular in Japan. Besides, Aomori prefecture produces apple the most in Japan, so we have a lot of opportunities to eat many kinds of apples, so many of us can tell a particular type of apple from others. Apples that cannot be sold because of the bruise or too much syrup are given for free thanks to the close relationship among the local communities. Dialects are also a very important cultural resource. The increasing number of people begin to use the standard Japanese used in Tokyo, but we still use dialects and speak with a unique accent. Though I live in Akita now, my spirit is always in Aomori. I love my hometown Aomori from the bottom of my heart.