Make plans to explore somewhere new and exciting around Misawa. These beautiful outdoor locations are sure to scratch that itch to get some sunlight and fresh air during and after COVID-19 restrictions. Whether you venture to Namiki Farm and indulge in their handcrafted gelato, take a swim in the Aomori Bay before a picnic at Gappo Park, or go on your first roller slide ride at Icho Park, there is plenty of time to make new memories at all of these great spots.

Oirase Gorge
1 hour & 15 minutes from Misawa Air Base
40.5236, 140.9739
Aomori Prefecture
Start at the beginning of the trails in Yakeyama and visit the Oirase Stream Museum, eat a light meal, rent bikes for exploring and shop for souvenirs. Journey through the 8.6 miles of picturesque streams, waterfalls and terrain until you reach Nenokuchi on Lake Towada. Along the way you may see a landscape painter capturing the beauty of a scene, native wild life and the sunshine bursting through the trees.

Tanesashi Coast
1 hour from Misawa Air Base
40.517306, 141.601722
Aomori Prefecture
Take a mini roadtrip to the Tanesashi Coast with lots of interesting stops along the way. Before finding the perfect picnic spot, stop at the Samekado Lighthouse and take in the panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. The Tanesashi Coast has wide open grassy plains and beautiful sandy beaches allowing for those wanting to picnic the ability to choose the terrain. Plan to picnic near the Ashigezaki lookout if you’re looking for grass, or make your way to the shore access at Shirahama Beach if you prefer sand.

Namiki Farm
40 minutes from Misawa Air Base
40.709327, 141.167890
Aomori Prefecture
There are many things to see at Namiki Farm that feature natural home-grown ingredients perfect for dinner or dessert. Stop in their restaurant for the Menchi burger made with beef and minced pork. For a sweet treat, try their unique gelato. This handcrafted dairy delight is flavored by fruits and vegetables grown on site, with cream from the cows roaming the fields. Flavors range from sweet, decadent chocolate to savory cheddar cheese along with seasonal choices like cherry blossom. Tractors can be seen outside the shop and there’s plenty of space for enjoying a cool sweet treat on a beautiful sunny day.

Icho Park
30 minutes from Misawa Air Base
40.6093, 141.4379
Aomori Prefecture
Feeling patriotic? Head over to Icho Park to have a picnic with Japan’s biggest replica of The Statue of Liberty. Picnicking with Lady Liberty means you will also be at the same latitude as the Statue of Liberty in New York City. Near her is a gorgeous lake, playground with a roller slide and plenty of green space for a picnic. Enjoy your meal in this refreshing environment and watch as fishermen stay on the lookout for the catch of the day. Venture around the park and you may find swans relaxing on Negishi Bank.

Gappo Park
1 hour & 30 minutes from Misawa Air Base
40.828161, 140.778884
Aomori Prefecture
This park can be found in the city of Aomori and is a great location for picnicking and fun beach activities. The northern side of the park meets the Aomori Bay shore, making for lots of fun to be had in the sun. A stadium, tea room, outdoor stage, steam locomotive, thirty one stone monuments and more can be found throughout the park. Once you visit, you will see why it has been selected as one of the “100 Best Japanese City Parks.”

Tsuta Numa Lake
1 hour from Misawa Air Base
40.596506, 140.953926
Aomori Prefecture
At the starting point for the trail you will  be greeted with an onsen and visitor center. Let the moss on the stones guide your way down the path as you soak in the beauty of the largest lake in Aomori Prefecture with a waterside  path. Along the path you will see  Japanese irises blooming in the early  summer months. Legend has it that  Mt. Akakura crumbled 300,000 years ago creating the lake from the debris. In modern  times it serves as a wild bird conservation area  and a national park where you can enjoy bird watching.

Kawayo Green Rach
20 minutes from Misawa Air Base
40.627807, 141.373739
Aomori Prefecture
For those who want the adventure of going somewhere new without the hassle of packing food to bring along, this is the place for you. The Kawayo Green Lodge restaurant is open for lunch and dinner with a variety of menu options. Other accommodations on site are a café and a shop where homemade goods such as ice cream and yogurt can be bought. With a reservation, the farm also offers many experiences to elementary school age kids such as butter making, ice cream making, wool crafting, leasing seasonal flowers and more. Feel free to take a stroll around the visitor areas of the 123 acres of land to see farm animals or even stay the night at their campsite.

Base Beach
Here on Misawa Air Base
Stay nearby and hang out at the Base Beach for a picnic by Lake Ogawara. Enjoy the view of the mountains and the shimmer of the sun off the water while you sit back and unwind. Make the most of your time at the Base Beach by renting equipment from the Marina, like stand up paddleboards or jet skis. Outdoor grills are also available for use to upgrade from a picnic to a barbecue.

Leftwich Park
Here on Misawa Air Base
A beautiful park sits right here on base that is great for picnicking and spending time outside. Upon arrival you are presented with the option of barbecues, covered or non-covered seating, and plenty of space for a picnic blanket and other outdoor activities. While you are in the area, take the opportunity to bask in the sunlight and go for a stroll through the beautiful scenery.

By Morgan Millikan