Located in Japan’s Akita Prefecture, is the beautiful Semboku. Consisting of three main areas; Tazawako Town, Kakunodate Town and Nishiki Village, Semboku is home to wonderful attractions and sites that are sure to interest visitors of all ages, especially those seeking cultural immersion, as well as nature lovers. While Semboku offers so much to do and see, we’ve listed out some must-dos and must-sees that are sure to complete your visit to the city. .
Semboku is known for its numerous outstanding hot springs that draw in visitors from around the county, so if you’re in the city, we think your visit is incomplete without a dip in a hot spring! The Nyuto Onsen-kyo Hot Spring Village located at the foot of Mount Nyuto, and surrounded by spectacular scenery, is home to 7 independent and different hot spring inns - Tsurunoyu, Taenoyu, Ogama, Magoroku, Ganiba, Kuroyu, and Kyukamura Nyuto-Onsenkyo - that have their own spring sources, and are unique in their own way.
Tsurunoyu Onsen is the oldest of the hot springs, and is said to have been discovered during the Edo era. It is the most famous in the village, and is renowned throughout Japan, and is ideal if you’re in search of a more authentic hot spring. Meanwhile, Kuroyo Onsen is visited for its ancient atmosphere and Kyukamura Nyuto-Onsenkyo is frequented for its more modern facilities. If you can’t decide, why force yourself to choose? Buy a ‘spring ticket’ and visit all 7 of the hot springs, admire their unique characteristics, enjoy the distinct properties of the water, breath in the crisp mountain air, and savor the seclusion! .
The highest mountain in Akita Prefecture, Mount Akita-Komagatake, standing at 1637 metres, is an active stratovolcano that is a must-visit for its incredible views. Featuring numerous peaks connected by accessible trails that range from easy, to those for more experienced hikers, and offering breathtaking views and picturesque scenery, exploring Akita-Komagatake is an experience like no other. Akita-Komagatake is also home to a fascinating collection of alpine flowers and countless high altitude plants and trees, along with the Amida Pond; which is located in the center. No matter which of the trails you choose to explore, the attractive views and the lovely surroundings will keep you going for hours. .
The mysterious crater lake, Lake Tawaza is the deepest lake in Japan and is a popular spot amongst locals and tourists alike. The scenic lake not only offers plenty of picture-taking opportunities, but also has a variety of attractions. Visitors can take a bus ride around the lake, explore it on foot or bicycle, or even take a boat ride on the lake. They will come across the famous golden statue of Tatsuko; a legendary princess and now a local symbol, as well as the Goza-no-Ishi Shrine, a variety of restaurants and shops, bike rental stalls, and areas offering water-related activities such pleasure boat rides. The lake’s sapphire water and picturesque surroundings make it a great destination to unwind and relax and spend a fun day out with the family. .
Overlooking the beautiful Lake Tawaza, the Tazawako Ski Resort is spread across 100 hectares. While the ski area is the largest in the Akita Prefecture, it is more of a local ski spot and is not incredibly popular. It is however great for those looking to get some skiing in, without being bothered by the crowds. Featuring 13 courses, with the piste terrain divided into different levels of ability, the Tazawako Ski Resort offers runs even for amateur skiers. If however skiing is not your thing, the spectacular scenery is sure to captivate your attention. .
There are many cities in Japan that have been developed into castle towns, but the samurai district in Kakunodate is among the better preserved ones, thus making it one of the best examples of a castle town in Japan. While visitors will not get a chance to see Kakunodate Castle, they will get to experience its samurai traditions and its past, and to tour some incredible historical buildings; the samurai architecture of which is said to be some of the best examples of its kind, in the country. Although a number of the houses found in the district are owned by the descendants of the samurai, tourists can visit the few that are open to the public.
Two noteworthy houses out of the seven that can be visited, include Aoyagi and Ishiguro. The Aoyagi House features a museum with displays relating to Kakunodate's samurai history, along with restaurants and gift shops. The Ishiguro House on the other hand is quite a bit smaller than Aoyagi, but its extensive museum offers visitors a glimpse into the clothing and armour worn by the samurai, the books and tools used by them, and so much more.
Be sure to stroll down the wide avenues, browse the numerous craft shops, get your picture taken in front of the stunning weeping cherry trees, visit the quarter’s fascinating museums, and catch one of the many traditional festivals held throughout the year.