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What is Hakkoda?
Guided Tours & Fees
Aomori Sightseeing Tours
Articles By & About Simon
Photos by Great Photographers:
Flowers of Hakkoda
Photos by Pat Peterson
Where is Hakkoda?
Access to Hakkoda
Accomodations & FAQ
Yet More Photos!
Welcome to the #1 mountain in Japan for POWDER SNOW!Simon's Aomori Sightseeing Tours
Most people know that I do all- year round snow, snow-shoe, mountain biking and hiking tours. But did you know I also do one -day sightseeing tours as well?
Simon!-Thank you for the amazing tour through Japan. We had a blast! From the second we met you, we felt like we had been friends with you our entire lives. You showed us breathtaking views that most people could only dream about from magazines. The beautiful waterfalls, mountains, and lakes were so serene. We also will never be able to forget about that mouth watering steak we had for lunch, it was so delectable! Thank you again!
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Huge plug for Simon. We had friends visit from D.C. and wanted to make sure they got a taste of Tohoku during their short visit. Simon worked with us on developing a sightseeing and hiking tour that accommodated our needs (considering we were hiking with a 30 lb bowling ball of a kiddo). Our friends had an absolute blast. I learned a ton despite having been in Misawa for two years and having hiked Hakkoda a couple times. It was well worth the price and I highly recommend his services.
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We would like to thank Simon and Mika for a fabulous day exploring the Aomori area of Japan. They were extremely knowledgeable and helped us understand a little of Japanese culture.
Simon's love of his adopted country was evident in everything he showed us. From the snow monsters on Mount Hakkoda and the beautiful scenery around the area to the Nebuta Festival Museum and the Big Buddha Temple.
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We only had a few weeks in Misawa and wanted to explore the area but did not know where to start. Simon was recommended to us to be able to suggest the best places to see based on our time frame. He took us on a two-day tour of the Aomori prefecture. The first day hiking on Mount Hakkoda where the view was breathtaking and he shared his extensive knowledge about the region, the people, and the wildlife. We also visited a Japanese bath house. The next day we saw wild horses and more beautiful vistas. We visited a Buddhist temple and learned information about the temple site. Simon is someone who knows the customs and language of the Aomori prefecture and we would recommend him as a guide for those interested in exploring the area surrounding Misawa.
Ryan & Susan standing on the precipice of the Mt. Akakura volcanic crater!
Wild horses at the Cape Shiriya lighthouse, the most northeastern part of Honshu Island!
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My wife and I had a great one day tour with Simon. He provided prompt service and there was literally no wasted time that we have experienced on other tours. We were continually on-the-move in a very positive way. It is obvious that Simon not only knows the language, culture, and history of the area but that he passionate about the people, country and environment. From agriculture to religion he has a great working knowledge of Misawa and the surrounding area.
Throughout the day it was obvious that that he enjoyed talking with the people we met, especially school children. He has taught English to Japanese children for many years, the stories surrounding his experiences made the driving tour very enjoyable. From snowboarding, social media, radio show host, teaching, skiing to public relations Simon has 'done it all.'
We kept asking questions through out the tour and he never let us down with his answers or his insights. Simon's connections with the military and the air base are obvious with the Out the Gate" website and support services.
As former military we know the importance of getting GIs, especially new arrivals in a country to experience the area and host country. His work on behalf of Misawa AFB is quite obvious and we encourage others to 'travel with Simon' for a truly positive experience.
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Simon, thanks so much for our tour. We wouldn't have ventured into the mountains by ourselves and would have missed a spectacular sight! The whole day was a treasure, we loved the sights, fresh spring water, cute-as-anything bakery, and lunch, which was some of the best food we have eaten in Japan. We look forward to our next tour with you!
Poking around a Shinto shrine
Enjoying the transitional view between spring & summer!
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Thank you for taking my parents on such a wonderful adventure! It is hard to balance work and visitors. You provided an affordable and fun day trip when we couldn't. We have been hearing about their trip for the past three days!
Jingoku Numa: a steaming, volcanic body of water; aka Hell's Pond
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I really appreciated Simon agreeing to take us out to the Hakkoda Mountains at such a short noticed. He was willing to share with us his incredible knowledge of this community as well. Simon was amazing with the kids and kept them interested in our adventures (as we all know how hard it is at times to keep our kids amused in sight seeing trips). Our adventures included a lava pond, a drink from a spring of fresh mountain water, custard, a shrine and a hike in the beautiful Hakkoda mountains. This will definitely be a day of many great memories.
This trip was three adults and five kids from 2 to 5 years old!
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Thank you Simon for an amazing day! You gave us an experience we would not have
had, had it not been for your knowledge and excitement for this area! We can get
too caught up in the "getting there" and forget about the adventures leading up
to the starting line. Thanks for helping us take it all in. You were amazing
with the kids. We so appreciate you taking your time to show us a good time. We
look forward to more adventures with you soon!
We went on a tour with Simon Bernard this week and had a great time. We are visiting our son and daughter-in-law and this is our first visit to Japan. They arranged the tour of the area so we could see more of the sights and local events. We took the mountain roads to Aomori and stopped at several shrines along the way. Simon tailored the tour to my husbandÔŅĹs interest in farming and showed him some of the local crops and discussing the local farming techniques. We traveled the Hakkoda ropeway around the mountains and unfortunately the day was foggy so we could not see the splendor of the beautiful vistas but we were able to get the flavor of the entire region. We had a wonderful lunch after viewing the floats of the Aomori Nebuta festival while they were preparing for the parade. Simon knows all the ins and outs of the area and was able to get us into places and to meet some wonderful local people. We had a marvelous time and would definitely recommend him for a memorable tour of the area.
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While visiting my son in Japan I took a tour with Simon Bernard, an American who
has been in Northern Japan for almost 25 years. He is without a doubt one of the
most interesting, personable and intriguing individuals that I have ever met and
had the pleasure to spend a day with! I spent a day with Simon driving to and
from Misawa to Lake Towada, taking a guided boat tour of Lake Towada and riding
the gondola to the top of Hakkoda Mountain. SimonÔŅĹs knowledge of Northern Japan
is literally incredible. EVERYTHING about my day with Simon was pleasant,
informative and enjoyable. Simon has a knack for sharing local history and
culture with information and fact that is entertaining and almost spellbinding.
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I want to say thanks again for the fantastic tour a few weeks ago. While this was the second visit to Japan for my in-laws, it was the first time for their friends and the first visit to Northern Japan for all of them.
The whole Walton family getting in the act of pushing one of the giant "Nebuta" festival floats!
After all the sightseeing, it was time for a bit of gourmet feasting at the best restaurant in Aomori City!
My day with you was more than I'd hoped for. Your knowledge of Aomori, Misawa and the surrounding area was so informative.
As a tourist from the states visiting Japan I was not too enthusiastic about the trip. I was looking forward to seeing my new granddaughter and grandson.
When my daughter Sarah suggested calling you to guide me around the area I was a little skeptical. Needless to say I enjoyed my experience tremendously.
Knowing the language, where the nice restaurants were and your outdoor experiences just added a nice touch to the day.
I would recommend anyone visiting Northern Japan or visiting people in the military there to take a day and spend it with you as their guide.
My trip was to Japan was completed with my time with you.
Mike, Sarah Cross's dad, getting the "zen" experience at the big Buddah's giant temple bell in Aomori during our one day sight-seeing tour.
Here are my parents' favorite photos from Monday, so you can pick the ones you want to post :)
Everyone enjoying the view of the autumn colors on the Yasumiya peninsula jetting out into Lake Towada!