3 days/2 nights based in Oga Onsen [Base! Tohoku]

Area Map 青森県 岩手県 宮城県 秋田県 山形県 福島県 新潟県

One of Oga's specialties is "Namahage of Oga," which has been registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

From Oga Onsen Hot Spring Resort, you can visit valuable facilities close by where you can experience the culture of Namahage.

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Day1

Namahage Museum

The collection of 150 hand-carved Namahage masks is a must see! Enjoy dressing up in a real Namahage costume!

Namahage Museum
Namahage is a traditional folk event on the Oga Peninsula. Namahage wears an ogre mask and cries out, "Are there any crying children?" and is mistaken for a bad guy who makes children cry.In truth, however, he is a god who comes every New Year's Eve to warn people against laziness and to bring good health, good harvest in the fields, good harvest in the mountains, and good harvest in the sea.
The Namahage Museum introduces the history and culture of Namahage. The Namahage display corner features 150 diverse masks that were actually used in each village. In the Lore Hall, the movie "One Night of Namahage," which introduces the Namahage culture on New Year's Eve, is shown.
There is a corner where visitors can dress up in Namahage costumes and have their picture taken, and a souvenir corner where Namahage goods can be purchased. If you are lucky, you can watch a Namahage carver demonstrate hand-carving masks. (This event is held irregularly).
Next to the Namahage Museum is the Oga Mayama Folklore Museum, where Namahage demonstrations can be seen. Visit both and enjoy the Namahage, which has been registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Shinzan Shrine

Home to the Namahage Sedo Festival

Shinzan Shrine
Shinzan Shrine has thrived as a sacred place for Sangaku-shinko mountain worshipers since ancient times, providing sanctuary from the rulers of the time. The main shrine sits at the summit of Shinzan (567 meters) and is revered as the guardian deity of the well-being of the nation, continued luck in the fortunes of war, a bountiful harvest, and safety on the seas.
You can reach the shrine grounds after climbing about 70 steps from the Niomon gate. The grounds are quiet and solemn, surrounded by cedar trees. The giant kaya tree, said to be over 1000 years old, extends its branches and makes its permanence known.
As this is the land of the Namahage, the Namahage Sedo Festival is held on the grounds of the shrine every February.
In addition to your visit to the shrine, be sure to also see the nearby Oga Shinzan Folklore Museum, which recreates the Namahage procession, and the Namahage Museum, which has a collection of Namahage masks from different villages.

Ogashinzan Folklore Museum

The traditional folk event "Namahage of Oga" demonstration is so powerful!

Ogashinzan Folklore Museum
“Namahage” is a folk ritual performed throughout the Oga Peninsula and surrounding areas. Each New Year’s Eve fierce demons known as Namahage visit each house to frighten misbehaved children. Despite their scary appearance, the Namahage are gods bringing the local people warnings against laziness as well as blessings for the wellbeing of their families and rich harvests from the mountains and the sea for the coming year.
The Ogashinzan Folklore Museum gives visitors the chance to learn about and experience the Namahage folklore tradition. The museum is in a traditional thatched-roof farmhouse known as Magariya (“bent house”) connected in an L-shape with a horse stable. Visitors seat themselves in the tatami-floored room beside a traditional “Irori” fireplace while listening to an explanation of the Namahage and viewing a live performance.
The fierce Namahage, stomping around the room and crying out for badly behaved children, are vigorous and frightening. Be sure to collect some of the fallen straw from the Namahage’s costumes which is said to be a charm against evil spirits. Please don’t pull at the costumes too forcefully though!
The nearby Namahage Museum offers a variety of displays on the Namahage and offers visitors the chance to dress-up in a Namahage costume. Enjoy discovering the folk culture of Namahage, officially recognised as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage!

Mount Kanpuzan Rotating Observatory

Enjoy panoramic views from the top of this unique green volcano!

Mount Kanpuzan Rotating Observatory
Mount Kanpuzan Rotating Observatory is located 355 metres above sea level at the top of Mount Kanpuzan, a unique volcano covered with green fields. The iconic observatory offers an unimpeded 360° panoramic view stretching as far as the paddy fields on the reclaimed land of Lake Hachirogata in the east, Nyudozaki Lighthouse and the Sea of Japan in the west, snow-capped Mount Chokai in the south and the World Heritage Site of Shirakami Sanchi in the north. The observatory rotates a full circuit in 13 minutes. Visitors can enjoy the spectacular view while sampling local specialties at the on-site restaurant.
The observatory is accessible via car or a smooth trek up the hill. A range of trekking routes are available including a 6-kilometre route taking 2.5 hours from the small observation hut on the mountainside to the top of mountain.
Mount Kanpuzan is also a mecca for paragliding. Flying above the green hills and the blue sea is an awesome feeling! Tandem flights with an instructor are available for beginners (prior reservations are required). Experience the beauty of Mount Kanpuzan and the Japan Sea from above!

Oga Hot Spring

Oga Hot Spring
Day2

Oga Aquarium GAO

Aquarium with a sunset view!

Oga Aquarium GAO
Many sea creatures from Oga and Akita are exhibited in the museum.Visitors can learn about the Sea of Japan, which is rarely seen.About 400 species and 10,000 items of domestic and foreign creatures are on display, including Gouta and Yuki, polar bears, and the prefectural fish of Akita Prefecture, the grouper.The "Oga's Big Tank," which reproduces the sea of Oga in spring and fall, is particularly impressive.

Nyudozaki

A spectacular view at the western end of the Oga Peninsula, on the 40th parallel of north latitude!

Nyudozaki
Famous for its scenic beauty, it is an exquisite contrast of green land, blue sea, and sky that captivates the hearts of all who see it.When you come here, please spend a peaceful time on the expanse of grass while looking at the panoramic view of the sea.Be sure to take a peek at the monument on the 40 degree north latitude line, which is made of andesite produced from the Oga Peninsula.Irimizaki Lighthouse, with its impressive black-and-white striped pattern, has been selected as one of the "50 Best Lighthouses in Japan.Of the more than 3,000 lighthouses in Japan, only 16 of them are climbable.Near the lighthouse, there are many restaurants and souvenir stores where visitors can enjoy the Oga Peninsula's famous Ishiyaki cuisine, as well as an undersea fluoroscope boat that allows visitors to observe the ocean floor through a glass window at the bottom of the boat.

Interact with the Akita Inu

Interact with the Akita inu

Interact with the Akita Inu
Under the guidance of one of Japan’s leading breeders of the Akita inu that raised Masaru, the Akita belonging to figure skater Alina Zagitova, visitors can enjoy interacting with the Akita in a natural and safe way. Go for a walk or play with cute, stuffed animal-like puppies or grown, fearless dogs. Noshiro Kojuso offers a unique and fulfilling experience for interacting with the Akita raised freely in a natural environment, without confining them within metal fences.
A thematic journey in the Tohoku region:Experiences

Oga Hot Spring

Oga Hot Spring
Day3

Senshu Park

Autumn leaves of Kubota Castle

Senshu Park
Senshu Park is the site of the 200,000 stone castle of Satake of the Akita Domain and is also a stunning location when the autumn leaves are in full bloom from mid-October to early November. <br> From here you can enjoy views of Akita City from the observation room of the Osumi-Yagura turret. Check out the view with Kubota Castle Front Gate and the Satake Historical Material Museum for a memorable autumn view.

Michi-no-Eki (Roadside Station) Akitakou Port Tower Selion

Port Tower and other facilities at Akita Port

Michi-no-Eki (Roadside Station) Akitakou Port Tower Selion
The Michi-no-Eki of Akita Port has a landmark tower. It is a large tourism terminal facility composed of three buildings: Port Tower Selion, Selion Risuta, and Selion Plaza. 
Port Tower Selion is 143 meters tall, has an observation deck at a height of 100 meters, and offers a unique, superb 360 degree panoramic view of Akita City. The streets of Akita City and the Sea of Japan sprawl below you, and you can see a distant, unbroken view to Mt. Taihei and Mt. Chokai. There is a superb view of the sun setting into the Sea of Japan! The atmospheric night view is also splendid. It’s wonderful that such an observation platform is free. 
The first floor of the tower has a full array of shops. There are many delicious foods from Akita, such as the Akita specialty Kiritanpo, Inaniwa Udon noodles, Iburigakko, and Yokote Yakisoba noodles! Of course, there is also sake that the rice-producing prefecture Akita can be proud of. The restaurant offerring a buffet of side dishes is also popular. 
Selion Risuta is an indoor garden. The expansive building where beams of light come through the entirely-glass sides has playground equipment and sand pits, so you can play even on rainy days. What is popular here are udon and soba noodles vending machines. Would you like to try one of these machines that has attracted so much attention?  
Sometimes events are held at Selion Plaza, which has a multipurpose hall.  
GOAL
  • Namahage Museum
  • Shinzan Shrine
  • Ogashinzan Folklore Museum
  • Mount Kanpuzan Rotating Observatory
  • Oga Aquarium GAO
  • Nyudozaki
  • Interact with the Akita Inu
  • Senshu Park
  • Michi-no-Eki (Roadside Station) Akitakou Port Tower Selion

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