The Oga Peninsula of Akita Prefecture is home to a fantastic legend about the great Namahage that live high in the mountains. It is said that these demon like ogres, originally from China, keep watch over the villages and will emerge during new years to torment the lazy and misbehaving children of the land. Namahage marks the rich cultural heritage of the northern Honshu prefecture. Although present throughout the Oga area, you can enjoy a fantastic experience at the Namahage Museum where you can dress up as a Namahage and experience a demonstration of the New Year’s visit of Namahage in a family setting. You can also walk the 999 stone steps of Akagami Shrine, which is at the core of the Namahage legend.
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I was born and raised just outside of the city of Portland in beautiful Oregon wine country in the United States. In 2011 traveled to and studied at Akita International University focusing on Japanese culture and language as well as Korean culture. I graduated from Portland State University in 2012 with a degree in History. Today I live in Nikko, in Tochigi prefecture and work as an assistant language teacher at three local high schools. I have a passion and deep love for Japan, it's culture, and the people who live here. I am so pleased that I can share my experiences here with other people.