Introduction
1. Namahage Museum
2. Oga Shinzan Traditional Museum
3. Shinzan Shrine
4. Godzilla Rock
5. Cape Nyudozaki
6. Mount Kanpuzan Rotating Observatory
7. Unsho-ji Temple
8. Akagami Shrine Goshado
9. Oga Aquarium GAO
10. Oga Onsen Village
Conclusion

The Oga Peninsula, on the western coast of Akita prefecture, is an area packed with fun cultural experiences and beautiful scenery. There are all sorts of things for everyone to enjoy at the Oga Peninsula, such as experiencing the Namahage tradition and seeing the Godzilla-shaped rock. Here are 10 places you can’t miss out on when visiting the Oga Peninsula.

1. Namahage Museum


The Namahage Museum

Akita prefecture, and especially the Oga peninsula, is famous for its namahage. Namahage is a traditional performing art, where the performers wear scary masks and dress in a straw costume. They go around neighborhoods and to people’s houses to drive out evil spirits. Namahage is even designated as a national cultural property.


Namahage, a national cultural property

At the Namahage Museum, 100 namahage and 40 namahage masks are exhibited. They play special movies introducing namahage as well.

One of the most popular things to do here is the “Namahage Transformation”. Here, you can try on a real namahage costume and take a picture.

The Namahage Museum has many namahage-related souvenirs for you to bring back home.

Access

Even from the closest station, it takes about 30 minutes walking to get to the Namahage Museum. Getting there by bus from Oga Station or reserving a reservation-only taxi, the Namahage Shuttle, is recommended.

【Akita Sta.】JR Oga Line / for Oga Station
→【Oga Sta.】about a 20-minute taxi ride
→【Namahage Museum】

Category: Educational tour

Namahage Museum

Aza-Mizukuisawa, Shinzan, Kitaura, Oga-shi, Akita
0185-22-5050

2. Oga Shinzan Traditional Museum


Oga Shinzan Traditional Museum

The Oga Shinzan Traditional Museum is adjacent to the Namahage Museum, and is in the form of a “Magariya”, a traditional Oga-region house.

Originally, namahage was only performed on New Years Eve, and was hard to witness for non-locals. As an act to spread more knowledge about namahage to non-locals, the Oga Shinzan Traditional Museum began namahage performances.


Namahage demonstration

First, what namahage it is and its importance is explained. After, the namahage performance is demonstrated. The experience is much more frightening than you would imagine!

You can purchase discount tickets that are valid for entering both the Namahage Museum and the Oga Shinzan Traditional Museum, so check out both!

Access

The directions are the same as the Namahage Museum.
【Akita Sta.】JR Oga Line / for Oga Station
→【Oga Sta.】about a 20-minute taxi ride
→【Oga Shinzan Traditional Museum】

Category: Culture

Oga Shinzan Traditional Museum

Aza-Mizukuisawa, Shinzan, Kitaura, Oga-shi, Akita
0185-22-5050

3. Shinzan Shrine


Shinzan Shrine

Shinzan Shrine is a short walk from the Oga Traditional Museum. The shrine was built during the Heian period (794 – 1185), and has been long loved as a sacred site. The huge tree in the shrine grounds is about 1,100 years old, and has even been designated as a national natural property.

This shrine is said to be where the namahage tradition originated. Every February, on the second Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Namahage Sedo Matsuri is held.


Namahage Sedo Matsuri

The festival combines the shrine’s traditional Sedo Festival and the namahage performance. The namahage performance is held by a fire at night. This is one of the biggest festivals in the Tohoku region, especially during the cold winter months.

Access

The directions are the same as the Namahage Museum.
【Akita Sta.】JR Oga Line / for Oga Station
→【Oga Sta.】about a 20-minute taxi ride
→【Shinzan Shrine】

Category: Shrine / temple

Shinzan-jinja Shrine

97 Kitaurashinzan, Oga-shi, Japan
0185-33-3033

4. Godzilla Rock


Godzilla Rock

On the southern portion of the Oga Peninsula, there is an area called Cape Shiosezaki, where there is a rocky reef. One of the rocks there is nicknamed Godzilla Rock.

The cape was formed over 30 million years ago from a volcano eruption. The rocks are in many unique shapes and sizes, and one of them, by chance, ended up looking like Godzilla.


Godzilla Rock at sunset

The Godzilla Rock looks most Godzilla at sunset, when it is backlit. The jagged edges of the rock add an extra touch of Godzilla-ness.

In mid-April and mid-October, the sunset hits the Godzilla’s mouth, so it looks like it’s spewing fire!

Access

Godzilla Rock is about a 5-minute walk from Hokakejima Bus Stop.

【Akita Sta.】JR Oga Line / for Oga
→【Oga Sta.】Oga Minami Line Bus / for Monzen-Chushajo
→【Hokakejima Bus Stop】→ about a 5-minute walk

Category: Nature / scenery

Godzilla Rock

Kohama Funagawaminato, Oga-shi, Akita
0185-24-4700

5. Cape Nyudozaki


Cape Nyudozaki

Cape Nyudozaki lies on the northern tip of the Oga Peninsula. The cape is spacious and grassy, and creates a beautiful view together with the blue ocean. Cape Nyudozaki locates exactly at 40 degrees north latitude, and there is a monument there for it.


A lighthouse on Cape Nyudozaki

The striped lighthouse is named as one of the 50 chosen lighthouses in Japan. It is one out of the 16 lighthouses in Japan that you can climb up. Nearby is a museum where you can learn more about lighthouses.

Hop on a boat and cruise around the sea surrounding Cape Nyudozaki. The boats have glass floors, so you can see inside the waters.

Access

The nearest station to Cape Nyudozaki is Nyudozaki Bus Stop.

【Akita Sta.】JR Oga Line / for Oga
→【Oga Sta.】Oga North Line Bus / for Yumoto Chuzaisho-mae
→【Yumoto Chuzaisho-mae Bus Stop】Nyudozaki Line Bus / for Nyudozaki
→【Nyudozaki Bus Stop】

Category: Nature / scenery

Cape Nyudozaki

Nyudozaki, Kitaura, Oga-shi, Akita
0185-24-9141

6. Mount Kanpuzan Rotating Observatory


Mount Kanpuzan Rotating Observatory

The Mount Kanpuzan Rotating Observatory opened in 1964. The observatory is four stories, with a restaurant on the first floor, an exhibit of the Oga Peninsula’s history on the second floor, and the rotating observatory on the third floor.


The view in the spring

The rotating observatory takes 13 minutes to do a complete a full rotation. With the Shirakami Sanchi in the north, Cape Nyudozaki in the West, Mount Chokai in the south and Lake Hachirogata in the east, there is much to enjoy during the 13-minute ride.

At the restaurant, you can enjoy Akita prefecture delicacies, like Inaniwa Udon and oyako don using Hinaidori Chicken.

Access

There are no bus stops nearby, so taking a cab from Wakimoto Station is the best option.

【Akita Sta.】JR Oga Line / for Oga
→【Wakimoto Sta.】about a 10-minute taxi ride
→【Mount Kanpuzan Rotating Observatory】

Category: Nature / scenery

Kanpuzan Rotating Observatory

62 Wakimototominaga Kanpuzan, Oga-shi, Akita
0185-25-3055

7. Unsho-ji Temple


Unsho-ji’s hydrangeas

Unsho-ji Temple is one of Akita prefecture’s most famous spots for hydrangeas. There are over 1,200 hydrangeas at the temple, which were planted by a priest.


Unsho-ji, also known as “Hydrangea Temple”

The hydrangeas are in season around late June. When receiving the goshu-in, a special stamp from a temple, you can also receive a hydrangea stamp.

Access

You can reach Unsho-ji Temple via bus.

【Akita Sta.】JR Oga Line / for Oga
→【Hadachi Sta.】Oga Kita Line Bus / for Yumoto-Chuzaijo-mae
→【Kitaura Bus Stop】→ about a 5-minute walk

Category: Shrine / temple

Unshoji Temple

57 Kitaura, Oga-shi, Akita
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8. Akagami Shrine Goshado


999 stone steps at Akagami Shrine

Akagami Shrine Goshado locates on the southwestern portion of the Oga Peninsula. The shrine is designated as an important national cultural property.

There are a few legends related to this shrine. One is that a demon created the 999 stone steps in one night.


The five prayer halls

After going up the 999 stone steps, you will reach the five prayer halls. Five namanhage (the parents and 3 children) are enshrined here.

The stone steps are rocky and uneven, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes when going to Akagami Shrine Goshado.

Access

Akagami Shrine Goshado is accessible by bus.

【Akita Sta.】JR Oga Line / for Oga
→【Oga Sta.】Oga Minami Line Bus / for Monzen-Chushajo
→【Monzen-chushajo Bus Stop】→ about a 2-minte walk

Category: Shrine / temple

Akagami Shrine Goshado

35, Haraikawa, Funagawaminatohonzanmonzen, Oga-shi, Akita
0185-833-7132

9. Oga Aquarium GAO


Oga Aquarium GAO (Photo credit: Oga Navi)

Oga Aquarium GAO is the only aquarium in Akita prefecture. It is home to sea creatures from not only the Oga peninsula but also all of Akita prefecture. At GAO, you can see about 400 species of 10,000 sea creatures, such as the polar bear, sea lion and penguin.


The Main Tank (Photo credit: Oga Navi)

The Main Tank is a recreates the environment of the Oga Peninsula’s sea. The tank is so big that it feels like you are in it with the fishes.

The hata-hata museum at the aquarium is also popular. The hata-hata, or Japanese sandfish, is a fish that is commonly used in dishes in Akita prefecture, such as the Shottsuru hotpot dish. .


Naahage Diver (Photo credit: Oga Navi)

Oga Aquarium Gao commonly hosts events and shows. One is the Namahage Diver event, which takes place during the year-end holidays. The divers dress like namahage and dive into the tanks.

Access

Oga Aquarium Gao is not close to any train stations or bus stops, so the best way to get there is by taxi.

【Akita Sta.】JR Oga Line / for Oga
→【Oga Sta.】about a 30-minute taxi ride
→【Oga Aquarium GAO】

Category: Entertainment

Oga Aquarium GAO

Togashiohama, Oga-shi, Akita
0185-32-2221

10. Oga Onsen Village


Oga Onsen Village entrance (Photo credit: Oga Navi)

Visit the Oga Onsen Village at the end of your trip to unwind and relax. The Oga Onsen Village is located on the northern portion of the peninsula. It has a history of over 1,000 years, and its waters are high in salinity and good for the skin.


Namahage taiko drum show (Photo credit: Oga Navi)

If you just want to stop by for a quick break, visit Gofu at the Oga Onsen Village. Here, you can take a footbath for free, and enjoy the Namahage taiko drum show.

Access

There are no train stations or bus stops near Oga Onsen Village, so the best option for getting there is by taxi.

【Akita Sta.】JR Oga Line / for Oga
→【Oga Sta.】about a 22-minute taxi ride
→【Oga Onsen Village】

Category: Hot Springs / spa

Oga Onsen Village

21 Kitaurayumoto azakusakihara, Oga-shi, Akita
0185-33-3191

Tour the Oga Peninsula by car!

There is so much to look at in the Oga Peninsula, but many are far apart from each other. Touring by car is a great option, since many of the spots do not have a nearby train station of bus stop.