Hubby and I visited Oga Peninsula twice in the month of November 2013. On 9th November, we visited Unosaki Kaigan Coast and Godzilla Boulder about which I have written in the previous post. On 24th November, we visited Hachibodai Observatory and Cape Nyudozaki in the peninsula about which I will write in this post.
On 24th November, first we visited Hachibodai Observatory, which is located about 103 kilometers north-northwest of our home. We left our home at about 10 am and it took us about 2 hours of car ride to reach the observatory area. We parked our car at the car parking area located in front of the observatory and enjoyed the wonderful views around us from the car parking area.
Wonderful view to the east as viewed from the car parking area
Another view to the east showing the Sea of Japan and the coastal town
I am standing at the car parking area
Next we climbed up to the top of Hachibodai Observatory. It is a wooden observatory which is very appealing and looks fantastic. It is located on a grassy hill and offers the best views of Oga peninsula. From the observatory, visitors can enjoy the beautiful views of Toga Bay, the coast, three crater lakes, and several mountains. In the evening, we can get beautiful views of the sun setting into the Sea of Japan. This observatory was named as ‘Hachibodai’ by His Imperial Highness Prince Takamatsu in 1951.
I am standing at the top of Hachibodai Observatory
Standing at the top of Hachibodai Observatory, we saw Mount Kanpu located towards the east direction. The mountain has an altitude of 355 meters. The mountain and the surroundings looked beautiful from the top of the observatory. Hubby and I had visited Mount Kanpu in June 2009 about which I have written a post earlier.
Mount Kanpu as viewed from Hachibodai observatory
Enlarged view of the mountain
Further enlarged view of the mountain
From Hachibodai, we saw a crater lake named Ichinomegata located towards the northeast direction of the observatory. This lake is a typical representative example of a maar and was formed by rocks blown out from deep inside the earth about 60000 to 80000 years ago. This lake has a diameter of 600 meters and a depth of 42 meters. It has been designated as a national natural monument in 2007. From the observatory, we could only see a small portion of the lake. Nonetheless, we loved the beautiful surroundings.
Ichinomegata Lake (left) along with a coastal town and the Sea of Japan in the background
Enlarged view of the portion of Ichinomegata Lake we could see from the observatory
We saw two mountains named Shinzan and Honzan located towards the south-southeast direction of the observatory. Mount Shinzan has an altitude of 571 meters and Mount Honzan has an altitude of 716 meters. Since olden times, these mountains have been considered as the mountains of faith. Although we could see these mountains from the car parking area, from the top of the observatory we got a wonderful view of the mystical surroundings also. Standing at the top of the observatory, I was reminded of our visit back in March 2009 to Namahage Museum, Oga Shinzan Folklore Museum, and Shinzan Shrine located on Mount Shinzan.
We got an amazing view of Mount Shinzan (left) and Mount Honzan (right). Our car (blue) in the car parking area is also seen.
Next, we saw Toga Bay located towards the west direction of the observatory. Toga Bay is a maar. The houses located along the coast of Toga Bay looked so peaceful from the observatory. We could see several huge rocks and a few stone piers in the bay. The bay, the coast, the rocks, and the stone piers made for a breathtaking sight. We loved the views around us.
Toga Bay as viewed from the observatory
Toga Bay and I
Many houses located along the coast of Toga Bay
Huge rocks in the bay
Rocks and a few stone piers in the bay
We saw another lake named Ninomegata also located towards the west direction of the observatory. This lake is actually located in front of Toga Bay. The lake is a maar crater lake that was formed by violent explosion of gas and steam at the time of a volcanic activity. This lake has a diameter of 400 meters and a depth of 11.8 meters. This green colored lake is separated from the sky blue colored Toga Bay by a dense forest. The color difference in the water of the lake and the bay adds to the impact of this place. The lake and its surroundings looked so stunningly beautiful and mysterious. In the evening, visitors can enjoy a great view of the sun setting into the Sea of Japan.
Ninomegata Lake in the front and Toga Bay in the background as viewed from the observatory
Yet another view of the green colored Ninomegata Lake and the blue colored Toga Bay
Hubby standing at the observatory along with the beautiful scenery in the background
There is another lake named Sannomegata Lake located to the left side of Toga Bay in the southwest direction of the observatory. Sannomegata Lake is also a maar crater lake but we were unable to see it from the observatory probably due to the dense forest and vegetation during that time of the year. We loved visiting Hachibodai Observatory and enjoyed the beautiful views of Oga from the top of the observatory.
Next, we visited Cape Nyudozaki in Oga Peninsula. Cape Nyudozaki is located about 8 kilometers north-northwest of Hachibodai Observatory and it took us about 20 minutes of car ride to reach the cape area. We parked our car at the parking area located near the cape, and walked towards the inviting Sea of Japan. Cape Nyudozaki is located at the northwestern tip of Oga Peninsula. The cape is well known as one of the spots for beautiful sunset viewing. While walking towards the cape, we saw that the area is covered with grass all around.
I am posing while walking along the paved pathway surrounded by grassy land at Cape Nyudozaki
Paved pathway leading to the Sea of Japan
At Cape Nyudozaki, we walked up to a stone monument which marks the 40 degrees north latitude that runs from east to west at the cape. In fact, initially we saw the circular portion of the stone monument. The monument is designed to harmonize with the magnificent scenery of Oga Peninsula. It is made of andesite stone that is produced in this peninsula. The monument is a beautiful structure and is very informative. The Sundial uses ‘the Stage of the Sun’ to express an image of ‘the Universe’, ‘the Stone Stage of Waves’ to represent ‘the Sea’, and the environment sculpture ‘Stone of the North’ to symbolize ‘the Earth’ of Oga. These elements combined provide a concrete experience of the fortieth degree north latitude. We took several photos of the monument from various positions and angles. From this circular portion of the stone monument, we walked towards the south and saw many stone sculptures located in a straight line at regular intervals. We finally reached a stone sculpture located at the exact point where the 40 degrees north latitude line runs from east to west. From this point, we looked northwards through the open space in all the stone sculptures located in a straight line at regular intervals, and could see the sundial and the sculpture of the ‘Stone of the North’ from so far away.
Hubby is standing next to the stone monument of 40 degrees north latitude. I have written the names of various parts of the monument in the photo.
I am standing next to the circular portion of the stone monument
Information about the monument
A portion of the stone monument as viewed from the east
The stone monument as viewed from the north
Hubby is standing next to the sculpture of the ‘Stone of the North’. This photo is clicked from the west side.
A portion of the stone monument as viewed from the north
While walking in the southern direction towards the exact position of 40 degrees north latitude, we took photo of yet another portion of the monument with many stone sculptures located in a straight line at regular intervals. The photo is clicked from the north side.
I am standing next to the stone sculpture that depicts the exact position where the 40 degrees north latitude runs from east to west. My right hand is pointing towards the east and I am facing the north.
Hubby is standing next to the stone sculpture that depicts the exact position where the 40 degrees north latitude runs from east to west
The stone sculptures located in a straight line at regular intervals as viewed from the exact spot where the 40 degrees north latitude runs from east to west. This photo is clicked from the south side. We can see the ‘Stone of the North’ sculpture in the circled area.
Cape Nyudozaki sports a black and white striped lighthouse which is a symbol of the cape. But the lighthouse was under repair and was covered with scaffolding and netting when we visited the cape.
Hubby standing next to the ‘Stone of the North’ along with the lighthouse in the background
Cape Nyudozaki is known for its scenic beauty where one can command a complete view of the Sea of Japan. The dynamic encounter between the earth, the sun, and the sky add to its natural attractiveness. We walked along the flat grassy land at the cape, and reached the edge of the cape where the grassy land falls 30 meters sheer into the sea. Nyudozaki area has jagged coastline, waves, and jutting rocks all along. We took a few photos of the coast and the sea.
The rocks and the sea as viewed to our left side
The rocks and the sea in front of us
The coast, the rocks, and the sea as viewed to our right side
The jagged coastline and I
Hubby, the rocks, and the sea
We had a very late lunch at a seafood restaurant located near the car parking area of Cape Nyudozaki. Afterwards, we started on our way back home. On the way, we stopped at a secluded spot and took in the full splendor of the evening sun setting beyond the sea horizon. The view was amazingly fantastic.
Beautiful sunset view
We had a nice time that day and loved visiting Hachibodai Observatory and Cape Nyudozaki in Oga Peninsula.