1. Aqua Pal Boathouse
location: Kitauraji, Yurihonjo City – 10 minutes from Ugo Honjo railway station by car
Yurihonjo has a long history of success in rowing competitions, right up to national championship level, and the Aqua Pal boathouse (capacity 70 boats) is the focal point for school and resident boat crews. It is the only boathouse of this size in the Tohoku region.
Inside Aqua Pal, there is a municipal museum dedicated to the nature and history of the Koyoshi river, which flows directly in front of the boathouse.
Many residents also make use of the multi-purpose hall or fitness gym.
Many local events take place at Aqua Pal, such as the citizen’s rowing regatta and the summer festival of Koyoshi river.
A visit to the firework festival, which is held here in summer, is also very worthwhile.
keywords: sport, rowing
features: must-see for rowing enthusiasts, fitness gym, open rowing regatta, firework festival
written by M. Fujii & T. Ozono
2. Ferrite Kodomo Kagakukan (Children’s Science Museum)
location: Hirasawa, Nikaho City – 5 minutes from Nikaho IC (Nihonkai-Tohoku Expressway) by car
Ferrite Kodomo Kagakukan (Children’s Science Museum) is run by Nikaho City with many interactive displays for children to enjoy learning about the world of science.
On the second floor is a memorial hall which introduces the achievements of Kenzo Saito and Teiichi Yamazaki, who pioneered the use of Ferrite and who subsequently founded and developed TDK.
The museum also has a big play area for younger children and attracts families with children of all ages.
After leaving the children’s museum, why not also take in the nearby TDK Museum called “TDK Future History Museum”? It is located 1 kilometer from the Ferrite Museum and was re-opened in October 2016 after renovation.
The museum’s exhibits invite the visitor to imagine and experience life in 20 years time. This museum is more suitable for adults, but together these 2 museums offer families a rewarding time together.
keywords: science museum, experiment, science interaction
features: family entertainment, future of science, notable local people (founder of TDK)
written by S. Ishikawa
3. Morning Market
location: Hanabata-machi, Yurihonjo – 2 minutes walk from Ugohonjo railway station
The market is located in front of Ugohonjo railway station and opens before dawn at３o’clock in the morning. This makes it the earliest market in Japan.
Its history dates back to the 1950’s, when farmers gathered here in order to sell their produce on the roadside directly to customers.
Now there are about 40 stalls which sell a range of produce at reasonable prices: fresh vegetables, fruit, mountain vegetables, fresh cut flowers. There is also fresh fish from the nearby port.
These stalls close at 7:00 in the morning. The market attracts many local people and is a good place to see local produce in a nostalgic setting.
keywords: traditions, commerce
features: hustle & bustle, reasonable prices and fresh, nostalgia, agricultural produce, seafood
written by H. Kaneko & K. Fujishima
4. Honjo Marina and Pleasure Beach
location: Ishiwaki, Yurihonjo City – 15 minutes from Ugo Honjo railway station by car
This bathing beach has one of the widest sandy beaches, as well one of the biggest anti-flooding reservoirs, in Akita. It was also selected as one of the 88 finest bathing beaches in Japan.
The adjacent free car park has a capacity for 1200 cars, along with showers, changing rooms and toilets.
The seawater here is warmer than on the opposite Pacific Ocean coast. As a result, the summer months attract many young people and families to the beach from near and far.
Within A 2-minute drive from the bathing beach are other leisure facilities, including a camping site and a marina for large and small yachts.
With Mount Chokai and its surroundings as a backdrop, this spot is also a great place to view the sunset over the Japan Sea.
please come and visit this beach.
keywords: sightseeing, sea bathing
features: hot sandy beach and cold soda pop, warm sea water, sunset on the Japan Sea, view of the sea and Mount Chokai together
written by T. Miyazaki
5. Yuri Kogen Railway (Chokai Sanroku Railway Line)
location: Yurihonjo (Honjo to Yashima)
The Yuri Kogen Railway (also called the Chokai Mountain Plateau Line) is a private line which runs 23 km from Ugo-honjo Station to Yashima Station. There are a total of 12 stations along this 40-minute route, which takes in Mt. Chokai in the south and the Japan Sea in the west.
The railway was taken over from JNR (Japanese National Railways) after privatalization, when it was known as the Yashima line. Initially there were plans to extend the railway to the nearby city of Yokote and also to other areas of Honjo. However, it opened under the current route.
The company offers many kinds of interesting experiences and services to passengers, for example there are regular party trains, a railway tour of the Yuri area, a specialist in-train guide service.
You can even charter the train for your own special event.
Above all, passengers can enjoy the splendid scenes of each season from the train window.
keywords: transportation; railway
features: rental carriage (party train), event train, rice fields, Mount Chokai
written by I. Fukuda