In these past few weekends, thanks to my friend Miharu, my friends and I were able to see Akita’s beautiful nature, eat its delicious foods, and enjoy its natural hot springs. Every weekend has been an adventure filled with awe and surprise!
The very first place we went to was a waterfall onsen called Kawarage Oyu Taki. It took us a three hour drive, an hour long hike, and a 5 minute climb through the mountains to get to this place. To get there, we had to go through a place called Hell’s valley… or that’s what I think it was called. The valley stood out from the rest of the surrounding nature, as it was a huge landscape filled with rocks. Its uniqueness made the place even more beautiful, as it seemed like it was a secret world that was hidden away from society.
Luckily for us, it was raining that day. As a result, the water was warm, the waterfall was big, and nobody other than us was there. Kawarage Oyu Taki was very very beautiful! It felt like a dream as I stood below in its warm waters. The water there had the scent of sulfur and the taste of the ocean. I could have sat in those waters for hours. It felt good on my skin and the uniqueness of the place made me want to stay there and enjoy the moment longer. I’m glad I got to go to a Waterfall onsen created by nature. Not many people can say that they went to a naturally-made waterfall onsen in Japan.
Another place we visited was an natural onsen called Okuokuhachikurou Onsen. To get to this place, we drove 4 hours north from Akita city into a forest filled with bears and narrow rocky roads. The drive was super interesting. Like the previous trip to the waterfall, the nature in Akita was outstanding!
Luckily for us, no one was there when we arrived. We had it all to ourselves! The only thing that was unfortunate was how hot the day was. A good question a person should ask themselves is, “Would you jump into onsen on a hot day?” Most people would say no. I most likely would have said no too, but being that this was a rare opportunity, I jumped in anyway. Luckily for me, there was a cold river nearby where we could cool ourselves down. It was so hot, I kept jumping out of the onsen every 15 minutes.
The naturally made onsen was quite beautiful. It made me wonder what Japanese back in the day did. Did they go to these type natural hot springs when they wanted to relax? Did they hike deep into the mountains just to enjoy these sort of things? If so, I got to experience what Japanese have experienced years before we made these hot springs into shops.
The next weekend, we went camping in a cottage near the beautiful Chokai mountain. This time though, my friends from Tochigi joined us. The more of us there were, the more fun it had become! We took pictures with a bunch of model dinosaurs, raced in go-karts, rode horses, fed rabbits, barbequed meat, and sang all night!
The view at the cottage was just outstanding! The cottage itself was very beautiful. It was pretty much its own home; it had a bathroom, a toilet, a kitchen with a majority of the necessary things to cook, and futons for people to sleep on. We brought fireworks to pop in the night, food to keep our stomachs full, an ukulele to keep ourselves entertained, and a barbeque set to enjoy the summer atmosphere. The only thing we forgot to bring was soap…
Aside from all of these adventures, we visited a lot of other interesting places and awesome events. A few of these things include the beautiful Towada Lake, an old Kabuki theatre that has been around since the Meiji Era, a popular local noodle factory, and one of the prefectures many summer firework festivals.
Regarding food, we ate a lot delicious local delicacies, including Akita’s homegrown beef, its local popular Indian dishes, and the one thing that I thought I wouldn’t eat, Cow’s intestines. At first, I was hesitant to eat it, but after one try, I have to say that it was very delicious! The first thought that comes to my mind when I hear intestines is “Dung.” The Indian food as well was delicious. I was expecting something bland without flavor, but the Indian dishes were very delicious. The bread that came with their dishes were just as delicious. Akita’s homegrown beef, was quite as delicious as well. Although it was quite expensive, I was glad I got the opportunity to eat fresh meat.