As I weaved my way through the crowded streets, I could hear chants, taiko drums, and the squeaking of wooden wheels in the distance. As the procession of the floats finally reached my area, I could smell the oil used to help the floats roll and turn. Now listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by … Continue reading Tsuchizaki Festival
Since arriving three months ago, many students have said that Oga Peninsula is a “must-visit” area of Akita. Well, I must say that everyone was right! Beautiful coastline, great seafood, and a field of hydrangeas are but a few delights in Oga. We first stopped at Unshoji Temple, where a sea of hydrangeas captivated the … Continue reading A Trip Around Oga Peninsula
Rain or shine. That’s what my friend and I said this past Monday on whether we would hike Mount Taihei or not. As we drove to the parking lot to begin our trek to the summit, the sun started to peek through the clouds. It turned out to be a perfect day. It took us … Continue reading The Summit of Mount Taihei
After first paying my respects at Dakigaeri Shrine, I continued down the enchanting forest path towards the iconic red bridge that crosses Dakigaeri Gorge. As I crossed the bridge, I was taken aback by the incredibly beautiful turquoise water. Peaceful, calming, serene… truly a place where Deities must reside. To be honest, I wanted to … Continue reading Dakigaeri Gorge and Kakunodate
I will never forget my first experience at a Shinto shrine. A young man full of wanderlust, I left the bustling streets of Kyoto and found myself at the steps of Fushimi Inari Shrine. After a polite bow before passing through the large torii (gate) to enter the sacred space, I began the climb to … Continue reading The Spiritual Journey to Mount Taihei Miyoshi Shrine
Several students have mentioned Gosaku as a ramen shop I must visit in Akita. Well, I finally made it there! I chose miso ramen with corn and extra green onions. It was delicious! With a generous portion of pork and a side of gyoza, I waddled out with a full and satisfied belly. For the … Continue reading Gosaku Ramen
I love ramen. Pork ramen, soy ramen, miso ramen, tomato ramen (what!? tomato ramen?), well… you name it, and I love it! So when I heard there would be a festival with nothing but ramen I had to go. I could hear the slurping from a block away as I arrived at the Nakaichi area. … Continue reading Did someone say Ramen Festival?
What better place to begin a journey than at the shores of the deepest lake in Japan! Once arriving at the lakeside area of Tazawako, I rented a bike and started the 10-kilometer trek to the Statue of Tatsuko. Along the way, I saw Swan boats, cherry blossoms, and fellow bicyclists. I couldn’t have asked … Continue reading The Journey Begins in Tazawako