What's New at Hakkoda?    

Updated 10/17/09! Simon's tour took 21 adults, teens & kids from Misawa Air Base on a one day whirlwind tour of Hakkoda!
The tour started with stops along the way to the secret mountain spring and The Doozo Tea House where they commemorate the 200 Japanese soldiers that died in the Hakkoda death march 100 years ago. Then we rode the gondola giving us a bird's eye view of the vibrant autumn colors before the hike up to two dormant volcanoes. Before the going back, we drove circling around all 8 mountains checking out the steaming volcanic Hell's pond and the scenic Suiren-numa Pond giving us perspective on what a paradise we have right in our back yard!

Riding high over the colorful foliage with Aomori City and Muttsu Bay in the background. Can you see a part of the "forest course" carved out in the mountains?

Autumn colors reflecting off the steamy volcanic Hell's pond with Mt. Odake in the background. This mountain lake, although at 900 meters above sea level, is hot to the touch even in the cool autumn air!

Updated 10/14/09! Fish Are A Jumpin'!
Come see it all at The Rokkasho Salmon Festival Oct 24th & 25th!
Challenge yourself to catch the 2000 salmon in ankle deep pools...by hand! Other events include the Tohoku Strong Horse Iron Pull competitions, stage shows, free contests, good food and much more!

Updated 9/27/09! Simon's MTB Tours In The Autumn Air Are Peaking!
If you are into mountain biking, you will want to hook up soon before the cold winter air comes. Right now, with cool temperatures, autumn colors and Indian summer skies, it does not get any better. Don't take my word for it, see Dan's comment and picture from today's tour through the mountains, plateaus and valleys. (click here to get to Dan's comment) Then check out some of the awesome scenery in the pics below. Would you rather hike than bike? The autumn colors at the tops of the mountains are at their peak and are slowly making their way down. They won't last long. Let's go before it snows!

We took a break on the bike up to hike down to this waterfall. It was the first time I have been to this one but not the last!.

On the long dirt trail down from the plateau to the Oirase Gorge valley we stooped to see these autumn flowers called Monk's hoods (Aconitum) (とりかぶ とTori-kabuto). These flowers growing along the banks of the stream we road down are said by the locals to be poisonous if eaten.

Updated 9/24/09! What's At Steak?
Find out at the 24th annual Takko Town Garlic & Beef Festival 2009! Head out to Takko Town Saturday and Sunday, October 3rd & 4th!

Updated 9/7/09! Simon's Hiking Tour Goes Volcanic!
Just got back from a weekend of hiking, mountain biking, camping, star-watching, soaking in a hot springs and generally all around excellent sight-seeing adventure! Starting from volcanically active Goshogake Hot Springs we hiked up to Mt. Yakeyama which overlooks a crater lake white with sulfur. Then hiked over down to Tamagawa Hot Springs which is surrounded by active smoking volcanic steam vents. See pictures and videos. The difficulty of this hike I would rate as moderate, nothing technical involved. If this sounds like something you would like to do, let me guide you into a great autumn tour.
PS: Colors on top of the mountains are already beginning to change color!

caption: Starting the hike behind Goshogake hot springs. You see some of the active vents, most are actually on the other side of the building in the back. We did that hike on Day 2.

Hikers enjoying lunch, perfect autumn weather and great views just before we reached Mt. Yakeyama.

Photo op down into the crater lake filled with white sulfur. Can you see the steam vents on the opposite side of the lake behind the hikers?

Hiking down the other side into the Tamagawa Valley which you can see is extremely volcanically active. You are allowed to walk right up to most of the vents which is really an unbelievable experience.

Now check out the vids:

See hot boiling deep-blue water gushing up from the earth at a rate of 4800 liters per minute at Tamagawa Hot Springs in Akita.

Listen to one of the many sulfuric steam vents spewing out hot vapor at Tamagawa Hot Springs in Akita.


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