MutsuMutsu (むつ) is the largest town of the Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori, Japan.
Since the amalgamation of Mutsu with three neighboring towns in 2005, most of the peninsula is now within city limits, but this article covers only the town.
By trainThe JR Ominato line from Noheji (on the Tohoku main line) passes through Shimokita station (下北駅) in the southern suburbs of Mutsu.
From Tokyo station it takes roughly five hours to reach Shimokita. You will need to take three trains: The Tohoku Shinkansen Hayate to Hachinohe, the Aoimori Railway to Noheji, then the JR Ominato local to Shimokita station. This trip will make your wallet almost ¥17,000 lighter each way.
The Japan Rail Pass and JR East Rail Pass fully cover the trip, including the segment on the Aoimori Railway between Hachinohe and Noheji. Note that seats on the Hayate bullet train require a seat reservation (free with a Pass).
By busBuses from Mutsu's central bus terminal connect to various points in the peninsula, including Ohata (35 min, many daily), Ōma (1½ hr, 8 daily) and Mount Osore (30 min, 4 daily). No direct services to the Yagen Valley though, you'll have to connect through Ohata in time to catch the single daily bus.
There are several services daily to Aomori (3½ hr) and even occasional direct sleeper buses to Tokyo.
- The northern command of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces is located on the road to Kawauchi, at the very edge of the city. Visitors can request tours of the base, which is home to several destroyers and other vessels. (These tours are unlikely to be available in English).
- Mt. Kamafuse overlooks the city and offers a couple chair lifts in the winter and a decent hike in the summer.
- There are a few onsen on the outskirts of Mutsu.
B&B MuuA very atmospheric homestay with guest rooms located in the attic section of a log house, owned by an engineer specializing in wooden constructions. The host speaks very limited English, so some basic knowledge of Japanese will come in very handy, but he is otherwise very knowledgeable about the area and friendly. Breakfast costs extra, but tea and coffee are provided for free in the living area downstairs. Reservations can be made via e-mail. The location is given on this Google map. 3900 to 4400 yen/night, depending on the season.