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The Namahage Festival is held each year on the second Friday, Saturday and Sunday of February, around the time of the old or lunar new year. Namahage are ogre like creatures that roam around the Oga Peninsula of Akita, looking for lazy or disobedient kids.
Lake Tazawa in Akita Prefecture is another stunning example of the natural beauty of northern Japan. Hiking, boating, eating, or even hot springs, Lake Tazawa has it all.
Take a break from the busy city just minutes from the station. It's Akita's Sensu Park.
Dakigaeri Gorge offers visitors stunning views of mountains, waterfalls and an iridescent blue river from the easy-to-walk hiking path that runs through the gorge.
Enjoy views from the mountains to the city, port and the sea from this tower hovering higher than any building in Akita.
The steep mountains and remote forests have sheltered this paradise from mankind, and like nature's amphitheater, you can see the drama of nature play out its next act. Come face to face with the Japanese Black Bear or the Golden Eagle for the first time.
Less than 20 km southwest of the famous Lake Towada lies another beauty of nature, the Nanataki Falls. Literally meaning “seven waterfalls,” Nanataki Falls was listed as one of Japan’s top 100 waterfalls by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment in 1990.
Tazawako or Lake Tazawa is the place of legendary beauty. In ancient times there was a story of a girl who became a guardian dragon. These days, the spy series Iris celebrates the mystery of the lake. One of the scenes was made in the restaurant Orae which is next to Shirahama Beach, an easy ten minute walk from the Tazawako Youth Hostel.