Five Things You Must Do in Oga Japan
This is another story on Oga the only peninsula which expands into the Sea of Japan in Akita Prefecture. Well, Akita is within 3 hours ‘komachi service’ shinkansen ride from Tokyo and Oga is another couple hours of road journey from Tazawako.
Not many people blog or talk about Oga. When we reach the coastal roads of Oga, the view is unique and unlike anything I have seen before.
As we enter Oga, we can spot many Wind Turbines by the coast. The wind here is strong and having Wind Turbines to generate electricity here makes sense. We have seen Wind Turbines in places like Zhu Hai and Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.
There are also some factories here and as we drove past the industrial area, we enter long winding road with the sea view. Similar experience like Great Ocean Road but the roads here are shorter in length and of course the view is different.
You can see many rocks along the coastal road and small towns as we drove further to the Oga city.
1.Dipped into the Hot Spring
We had hot spring almost every day when we travel around Akita. The Kuroyu Onsen Hot Spring Hachimantai National Park was really an eye opener. In Oga, you must also visit the hot springs. For us, we went to the hot spring in the hotel in Oga.
The hotel is called the Oga Kanko Hotel and they have two hot springs in the hotel. The roof top bath onsen house is called “Manten-no-Yu” and the outdoor onsen bath house is called “Jukai-no-Yu”. The Manten no Yu offers a breathtaking view of the green and the forest. Thus, you can read our review on Oga Kanko Hotel for more information.
2.History learning at Namahage Museum
Namahage are considered as gods of Akita. They are the myths and legends of this prefecture. They often wear ‘demonic’ a-like masks and it is the icon of Oga and Akita Prefecture.
However, the tales behind the Namahage legend is rather unique. Once a year, the Namahage gods will enter houses to try to kidnap the children and it is either the parents or the grandparents duties to save them. This is to show how brave the parents and grandparents are to protect them from the Namahage gods.
The intention of the kidnappings attempts is to create fear to children and also for family bonding. It is a weird methodology but they still practise it up to today. At Namahage Museum, you get to learn the complete history as well as the variations of Namahage Gods. If you are into Japanese culture, this museum is the place you should visit. For more info, visit https://www.namahage.co.jp/namahagekan/english/
3.Thrilled by the Namahage Drum Performance
After getting to know the Namahage Gods history at Namahage Museum, you should check out the Namahage Drum Performance in the city.
Hard hitting drums by Namahage performers that breaks the silence of the quiet town. Every beat of drum is filled with energy and it is not just entertaining but also a powerful performance.
It is not something you get to see anywhere else in Japan. Probably only in Oga or certain areas in Akita. Read more at https://www.placesandfoods.com/2015/10/namahage-drum-performance-in-oga-japan.html
4.Eat the Ishiyaki Ryoori Hot Stone Dish using the Volcanic Rock
For food, you should try the Ishiyaki Ryoori. It is not a common food and we got to taste in Oga Kanko Hotel. You can book with them in advance for this special food.
What so special about this Ishiyaki Ryoori?
First of all the ‘arakabu’ fish is put into the hot water in the wooden pail. Then, scorching hot volcano rocks are put into the boiling water, cooking the fish and it offer the unique flavour from the rocks. The foams will be removed, vegetables will be added and it is ready to eat.
You get the taste of the freshness of the arakabu fish as well as some of the exquisite taste from the volcanic rock. Read more at https://www.placesandfoods.com/2015/10/ishiyaki-ryori-with-arakabu-fish-at-oga-kanko-hotel.html
5.Catch breathtaking views of Ninomegata Lake
Head on the Hachiboudai Observatory which located at one of the hills of Oga. The observatory is located about 2.5km south of Oga Hot Spring Resort.
What you can see here is the maar lakes. One of the most prominent maar lakes you can see at the observatory is the Ninomegata Lake. Thus, you can also get the view of Toga Bay, the Japan Sea. Read more at https://www.placesandfoods.com/2016/02/oga-ninomegata-lake-japan.html
It is very windy here and the view is simply breath taking. This is unlike other places in Japan and that makes Oga a unique destination in Akita.
This trip is sponsored by Tourism Akita and Wendy Tour.