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Itayanagi (板柳) is a town in the Tsugaru peninsula of Aomori prefecture, Japan.

Get in


The JR Gono Line (五能線) from Hirosaki to Higashi-noshiro passes through Itayanagi. If you get the "Shiteiseki" (reserved seating) train, you can travel there in class while a little video expounds upon each small town's chosen town symbol and/or product. Itayanagi's is the apple, which is lucky for you, because it is much harder to come up with swan or crane-themed baked goods. Watch for the (supposedly) apple-shaped streetlights on the main street.

Get around


Walk it, or buy a bike and explore the whole region. The train comes rarely but regularly - once every two hours or so. To get to Aomori, you'll have to endure a half-hour transfer at Kawabe station.


  • Furusato Center (ふるさとセンター) is the collective name for the town's facilities near the station - small museum on apples, farm and greenhouse, park with a pond, restaurant and even onsen and cottages. A short apple-themed trail, which is lovely, and might provide an hour or two's amusement if taken slowly, runs from the town hall to the Ringo Work center, where it ends at a fish pond. A vending machine sells fish food. On warm weekends, the park is often filled with children racing little carts, which are available for rent there (\100/3 min). A town theme chimes at 06:00, 12:00, and 20:00, much to the chagrin of light sleepers and the great amusement of anyone who has played Animal Crossing.


  • Itayanagi Chapel (板柳チャペル). Christian chapel, with a cafe and Christianity-related bookstore.


  • Max Valu (マックスバリュ板柳店). A supermarket on the big 339 (there are two 339s that run through town. The big 339 is sometimes called the bypass.) Not a huge selection, but they do sell fresh cilantro, if that tells you anything.
  • Itoku (いとく). The other supermarket. Also on the big 339, a little further towards the Fujisaki side, it tends to have fresher vegetables, and has a small bakery attached to it. It also tends to have cheaper sashimi. Closes at 23:00. You can get good deals on meats and breads after 20:00 or so every evening.
  • Saisaikan (彩菜館). On the same street as the train station. Here, local vegetables are sold year-round (predictably smaller selection in winter). Much cheaper than the supermarket, and fun to shop in. Just up the street is another vegetable stand - less local and a little more expensive, but with a better selection.


  • Ringo Work. The slightly unnervingly Beatles-referencey name given to the town's restaurant as one of the Furusato Center facilities. ("Ringo", to be fair, does mean "apple" in Japanese.) Serves traditional Japanese-style dishes and Japanese-western fusion (occasionally with apple artfully added) at incredible prices (¥750 for an enormous plate of yakisoba, \600 for today's lunch).
  • Korakuen (幸楽苑). Chain ramen shop. Cheap ramen noodles or a curry set for about ¥400. Open until midnight. Free water at the table, which is kind of a luxury. They also have beer, gyoza, and a few desserts.
  • Ōshō Horumon (大昇ホルモン). The bibimbap/yakiniku place next to the Itoku supermarket. Typical bibimbap/yakiniku fare. Kimchi chahan available if you want a change from white rice. The menu has no pictures, but the owner's fairly accommodating to foreigners who need the meats explained. Note that "pork" plus a circular gesturing towards the stomach means "intestine", which is commonly eaten here, and not too bad, but not really flavorful, and very chewy.
  • Yōrō-no-taki (養老乃瀧). Chain izakaya. The menu has pictures, and a variety of pizzas, a nice seafood Caesar salad, meat on a stick and a good selection of cocktails. Within walking distance of most of town.



There is at least one Izakaya in town, and at least one functioning karaoke place, but you'll have to find out where they are for yourself.



The Furusato Center has cottages available to let in both Western and Japanese traditional styles. \6,000 for one person, ¥20,000 for 5-8 person group.

Go next


Take the train!

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