What To See Around Satomiya No Osugi In Akita | CoolJapan

Take a journey with us as we explore underrated nature spots and marvellous sights in Akita prefecture in this series.

I have been exploring Akita for almost four years now, and I could say with confidence that it has one of the most beautiful landscapes of nature in Japan.

Akita TV has recently released its 50th-anniversary magazine focusing on the giant trees and spring water in Akita prefecture. The blessings we receive from these two icons in nature remind me of the dragons you often see in Japanese myths and folklore. I decided to pick up some of the places featured in the magazine and take you on a journey of getting to know the beautiful must-visit nature spots in the prefecture. For this time let me take you to Taka Shrine to see Satomiya no Osugi.

Seeing Satomiya no Osugi

Satomiya no Osugi (Satomiya Cedar Tree) is in the valley of Yuwa in Akita prefecture. This valley is located in the southern part of Akita City, and there are beautiful mountains surrounded by numerous rice fields which turn beautifully gold during harvest season in the fall. In the summer, the sounds of cicadas and the chirping of birds create a nostalgic ambience with harmony. This friendly atmosphere of calm and chill vibes often reminds people of the scenery of the movie My Neighbour Totoro.

Satomiya Cedar Tree

Satomiya Cedar Tree

When you enter the gate of the shrine, you will be surprised how huge this tree is. The great tree of Satomiya is about 25 metres tall and stands sturdily still in Yuwa. It is a sacred tree in Takao Shrine, which was built in 715. It is unknown when it was planted. However, it is said that the Conqueror General of Sakanoue, Tamura Maro, planted it in the hopes of a victory. There is also a legend that it is the cedar tree that the warlord at that time used to tie his warship since there used to be a river in front of it. Over a thousand years later, the magnificent Osugi is revered as a sacred tree.

Within a 10-minute drive from Satomiya no Osugi, there is a spring called Toshima Shimizu that is very important for the townspeople. The spring water is used by the locals for their day-to-day activities. It tastes so pure and delicious and is refreshingly cold that you can tell the significant difference when you cook rice or make coffee with it. I personally use this water for these and can guarantee its effectiveness.

Toshima Shimizu

Toshima Shimizu

Near the spring, there is an art studio called Souma Gallery owned by Taisaku Souma. He drew illustrations for the 50th-anniversary magazine and titled the work as Akita’s Giant Trees and Spring Water.

Taisaku Souma of Souma Gallery

Taisaku Souma at work

As a painter, his main subject is usually beautiful flora sceneries in Akita. You can visit him there to see his works in person.


Special thanks to Akita TV, Oga Waterworks and Sewerage Bureau.

Yukiya is 21 years old, born and raised in Yokote City, Akita. Now he goes to Akita International University located in Yuwa, Akita. He loves exploring the nature landscapes of Akita and interacting with local people there.
Read more of Yukiya's stories here