AIU Voices

2019.04.22AIU Voices

Oga Peninsula Bus Tour: Angelea Norris Muncy, Ball State University, USA

Akita International University bus tour to Oga and Kanpuzan Angelea Norris Muncy

Angelea (left) on Mt. Kanpu at sunset

It is difficult for me to pick a favorite experience when I cherish all the moments I have here in Japan.

University Bus Tour to Oga Peninsula

GAO Aquarium

However, when the school took us on the trip to Oga City, that was such a fun and memorable time that it clearly stands out in my mind. With the amazing marine life in the Oga Aquarium, there was so much to look at, from the various types of fish to the giant polar bear and even the waddling penguins were all captivating to see. My favorite species there was the jellyfish, both the long elegant ones and the dainty cute ones.

Cape Nyūdō

After we finished up at the Oga Aquarium we then traveled all the way to the edge of Oga City to Cape Nyūdō. When you first arrive there you notice all kinds of different restaurants that stand side by side, giving many options until you decide what you want to eat. After grabbing a bite, I noticed that there was a little pathway that led towards the edge of the peninsula. Once you reach the very edge of Cape Nyūdō you get to see a stunning view of the ocean, with water stretching as far as the eyes could see. The day I went had the perfect weather, with not a cloud in sight, I can still remember the smell of the ocean and the pull of the wind coming off from the tide as I stood near the edge. There was also a stairway that led down to the water's edge, where you could stand among the rocks and look at the hermit crabs and tiny fish swimming around in the tide pools. I remembered having such a fun time watching my friends trying not to fall in as they jumped from rock to rock, seeing how far that could go away from the shore.

Namahage Museum

After we were done at Cape Nyūdō, we then headed to the Namahage Museum where we got to view a performance with the Namahage. The Namahage were dressed in their straw costumes and masks as the two of them stomped around the traditional house, banging the walls and slamming the screen doors as they spoke in deep, gravelly voices. It was very exciting to see a live performance and I even got a souvenir from a fallen piece of straw from the actor's costumes, as it is considered a good luck charm. The Namahage Museum itself was very interesting and had a vast amount of knowledge of the Namahage, you could even wear the Namahage costume and mask for pictures, which I thought was pretty neat.

Mt. Kanpu

Lastly, and my favorite part of the whole trip was when we went to Mt. Kanpu. The view there was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, as the sun was setting right behind the mountains when we arrived. Just being up that high and getting to see what looked like all of Japan was simply breathtaking, and I would gladly go again.