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Moriyoshi

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Kitaakita City Hall - Moriyoshi Branch Office
The boundaries of the moriyoshi district
Old flag of Moriyoshi Town
Sewer drain covers in Moriyoshi - clockwise from top: Mt. Moriyoshi, Hamabe-no-Uta Hall, Sankai Falls

Moriyoshi (森吉) is a district (地区; -chiku) in Kitaakita, Akita, Japan. Before the Kitaakita City merger, the area encompassed by Moriyoshi District used to be the autonomous municipality of Moriyoshi Town (町; -machi). In March 2005, Moriyoshi merged with Takanosu Town, Ani Town, and Aikawa Town to form Kitaakita City.

Outline

Prior to Moriyoshi's conglomeration into Kitaakita, the town was the result of its own conglomeration in 1956 between Yonaizawa Town and Maeda Village. Today, the distinction between the Yonaizawa and Maeda hamlets can still be seen. Moriyoshi was named after the nearby mountain which can been seen throughout the former town on any sunny day. It can also be seen quite well from Aikawa's Hokuonomori Park and parts of Takanosu. Moriyoshi is also contains Lake Taihei, a reservoir and source of drinking water for the city. Lake Taihei is the site of a foliage festival in October of each year.
Moriyoshi is also the birthplace of Akita's only top-league sumo wrestler, 豪風 (Takekaze). Takekaze retired from professional sumo after posting a winning record in the Nagoya Basho in 2017.

Location and Population

Moriyoshi is located in the central and eastern parts of Kitaakita. Moriyoshi has an area of 341.88km². The population in 2005 was 7,421, giving the former town a population density of 21.7 persons per km².

Onsen

Ani Maeda Station, where Quince Moriyoshi is located
  • Quince Moriyoshi (クウィンス森吉)
This onsen is actually located in the Ani Maeda train station. It's a good onsen, and though it lacks a cold water bath and a sauna, it does have a nice steam room. A flood in 2007 caused the outdoor bath and the steam room to only work intermittently, but they are now both in proper condition. In any case if you have any desire lie naked, spread-eagled on a stone floor with kindly older folk, this would be the place to do it.
To get to this onsen by car, drive south from Takanosu for 35 minutes (going the speed limit). You will come to a Sunkus on the left hand side of the road. Turn left here. Drive a little ways down the road, cross the bridge and take a left immediately after the bridge. If you pass the man made out of tires on the right hand side of the road, you have gone too far. Assuming you made the correct left hand turn, drive straight until you see a green roofed building. This is the train station. It is also the onsen. Congratulations. Park your car. If you are coming by train, get off at the Ani Maeda station. This is also the onsen. Congratulations. You do not need to park your car, because you came by train. Strawberry milk is sold at this onsen.
秋田県北秋田市小又字堂ノ下21-2 Homepage ☎ 0186-60-7000
  • Moriyoshi Sansō (森吉山荘)
This onsen is really tucked away. To get there, follow the directions provided for Quince Eki Onsen, but after you cross the bridge, keep going. You should pass the man made from tires. Don't ask this man for directions. He is made of tires, he is physically incapable of communication. Simply drive past him. Drive for a long time, but less than an hour. You will pass a dam. You will also pass the turn off for Moriyoshi Ski Area. Moriyoshi Sansō is on your left. Good stopping off point for hiking to many waterfalls. The front desk has maps. Its a beautiful onsen. You can stay overnight for cheap. I can't remember quite what baths this onsen has. This is because I was drunk. The outdoor bath is beautiful. Strawberry milk is sold at this onsen. Homepage ☎ 0186-76-2334. Open daily 10:00-16:00 . Address: 〒018-4511 秋田県北秋田市森吉字湯ノ岱14−1
  • Soma Onsen Ryokan (杣温泉旅館)
Offers a small indoor bath, and a beautiful mixed rotemburo. Located behind Moriyoshi Sansō. Open 7:00-20:00, cost ¥400. ☎ 0186-76-2311. Address: 秋田県北秋田市森吉字湯ノ岱川向湯ノ沢7 Homepage
  • Ayukko (あゆっこ)
Open 6:00-22:00, cost ¥350. ☎ 0186-72-3265. Address: 秋田県北秋田市米内沢字柳原39-1 Homepage

Festivals

Tanabata Fire Festival
  • Tanabata Fire Festival (たなばた火まつり): August 7.
This festival is held on the banks of the Ani River, near Animaeda Station, in the sleepy Animaeda hamlet in Moriyoshi. For one evening, the hamlet comes alive and alight with fireworks and more.

Sightseeing

Sankai Falls

Sankai Falls (and Lake Taihei) (三階滝[と太平湖])

This is one of three famous waterfalls in Kitaakita, alongside Yasu Falls and Doudou Falls. You can get here by following the directions to Moriyoshi Sansō, but keep driving past the onsen. After navigating a winding mountain road with numerous switchbacks, you'll arrive at Lake Taihei Green House. No, this isn't an actual greenhouse for growing, but instead a visitor center for Lake Taihei - a man-made lake created upon completion of the Moriyoshi Dam. Purchase tickets at the Green House for the Lake Taihei Ferry which will take you across the lake to the start of the hiking trail. The ferry takes the scenic route out (30 minutes), and the quick route back (15 minutes).
Once the ferry lets you off, it's about a 45 minute hike through the breathtaking Komata Gorge. Like Yasu Falls, autumn is the best time of year to come (to appreciate the fall colors). Late spring is also recommended. At the end of the course, Sankai Falls awaits you in three-tiered-glory! Indeed, "Sankai" is Japanese for "three steps." Take a load off and appreciate the beauty of nature before returning to the ferry launch point.
Be warned: the hardest part of the Sankai Falls trek is after you alight the ferry on the return trip, and you have to climb the steps back to Green House!!
Your ferry ticket stubs are good for a discount at Moriyoshi Sansō, though, so go rest those weary legs.

Ferry Hours: One departure every hour on the half-hour, 9:30 to 15:30
(recommend not leaving it to the very last one!)
Price: ¥1200/person
Operating Season: June 1st - End of October
Green House Restaurant: Currently not operating

Doudou Falls

Doudou Falls (桃洞滝)

One of three famous waterfalls in Kitaakita, alongside Yasu Falls and Sankai Falls.
Green Peak Season: Mid-May to Mid-June
Fall Colors Peak Season: Early- to Mid-October

Hamabe no Uta Hall (浜辺の歌音楽館)

A hall dedicated to Narita Tamezō, composer of the famous song 浜辺の歌 (hamabe no uta).
Address: 秋田県北秋田市米内沢字寺の下17-4
Hours: 10:00〜17:00
Closed: Mondays, 3rd Sundays, New Years Holidays
Maeda Minami Station

Maeda Minami Station (前田南駅)

This unmanned station is located on the Akita Nairiku Line one station south of Ani Maeda Station. It has recently enjoyed popularity from both film connoisseurs and train aficionados, because of its resemblance to the station in the film 君の名は (Kimi no na wa).

Moriyoshi Tire Man

See: Moriyoshi Tire Man
A famous denizen of Moriyoshi

Schools

Moriyoshi area has one junior high school and two elementary schools.

Moriyoshi is also the site of the old Yonaizawa High School which shut down in 2011. Students are now sent to the new Hokuyō High School in Takanosu.

See also


Kitaakita City
Takanosu • Moriyoshi • Ani • Aikawa