Saturday, October 15, 2011

Favourite Places in Akita, part 1

It's unfortunate that Akita, being more removed from the main tourist areas of Japan, is a prefecture that will seldom be visited by many who come to this country (even many living within its borders). There is a lot of beauty to be missed by not making the trek up north to Tohoku.

Lake Tazawa - the deepest lake in Japan (also remarkably blue on a sunny day)

Oyasu steam gorge. A short trail through a gorge where the rocks are bursting with volcanic gases and you can feel the heat rising from the blue-green water. Pretty incredible place.

Mt. Kurikoma. This is partly in Akita, partly in Iwate; as you hike you pass a sign marking the border of the two prefectures. In autumn this place is absolutely vibrant.

Steamy hot water, being pumped from the mountain to the onsen at its base...

At the Akita/Iwate border.

I should mention that the day we did this hike, the weather kept switching from freakishly threatening and rainy to brilliantly sunny. The temperature also dropped several degrees as we ascended; I got a little confused about what season it actually was.

The lake to the right is a sulphur lake. It smelled strongly of eggs as we approached this section of the mountain. I think it was at this point that I started thinking about ramen for some reason and became rather hungry (possibly because all of the best bowls of ramen come with an egg? or maybe just because we had been on a chilly hike for several hours and hadn't eaten).
The "peak"
Jeffy, and some sweet leaves.

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