Mystical Mutsu: 10 Things To Do Around Mutsu, Aomori, Japan

Things to do around Mutsu, Aomori
| 3 min read

Located on the “Axe” side of Aomori (the geographical area shaped like an axe!) is Mutsu. The former Mutsu city is famous for the volcanic Osorezan Mountain Range, which is known as one of the 3 most spiritual places in Japan. Beyond the fearful mountain, Mutsu has more to offer. Explore this area with this list of the best things to do in Mystical Mutsu.

1. Osorezan

Source: Photo by user macchi used under CC BY-SA 2.0

A grim volcanic mountain with a beautiful landscape. Osorezan was founded 1,200 years ago by the famed monk En’nin. It was dedicated to the Boddhisatva Jizō, a gentle motherly guardian who refrains from nirvana until all souls can enter. Consisting of eight peaks, it is said that the spirits of the dead remain here. With grim traditions and beautiful surroundings, the Osorezan area is a must see when in Mutsu.


Address: 3-2 Tanabe, Mutsu 035-0021, Aomori Prefecture

Website: Osorezan (in Japanese)

Visited this place?

2. Mount Osore

Mount Osore - the gateway to hell:

Posted by Zooming Japan on Wednesday, 6 March 2013

One of Japan’s most sacred place, the name Osorezan is translated as “Fear Mountain”. It is inspired by the volcano’s exceptional landscape. The volcano erupted over 10,000 years ago, but there are many steam and gases emitting which indicate that it might still be an active volcano. It was discovered when En'nin was searching for a sacred mountain resembling the world of Buddha.

Mount Osore

Address: 3-2 Tanabu Usoriyama, Mutsu-shi, Aomori-ken

Website: Mount Osore (in Japanese)

Visited this place?

3. Bodaiji Temple

Found in 862 AD by En'nin, the Bodaiji Temple is a pilgrimage destination located in Mount Osorezan. It is believed in Japanese mythology to be one of the gates to the underworld. The Bodaiji festival is where people come with attempts to communicate with their departed loved ones through the mediums known as Itako. Traditionally, they were blind women who had to undergo extensive spiritual training and purification rituals before the event.

Bodaiji Temple

Address: 3-2 Tanabe Usorisan, Mutsu 035-0021, Aomori Prefecture

Website: Bodaiji Temple

Visited this place?

4. Lake Usori

Posted by Naruhito Mori on Sunday, 16 July 2017

Lake Usori is a crater lake located next to the temple of Mount Osore. Its waters are extremely acidic and only a subspecies of Japanese dace are able to live here. Due to its high sulphuric content, the water tint gives various shades of blue. The shore is covered in white sand, which gives the name of Gokuraku-Hama, Paradise Beach. A good place to relax after visiting the Osorezan area.


Website: Usori-ko (in Japanese)

Visited this place?

5. Yagen Valley

Aomori - Yagen Valley

Posted by From Japan With Love on Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Due to its remote location and rugged terrain, Yagen Valley is mostly uninhabited. Despite that there is no direct public transport to the valley, it is a gem upon discovering! Enjoy the valley all to yourself at this quiet, isolated area which offers hiking, rapids, bridges and hot springs. There are two onsens in the valley, the names of which are based on the mythical Japanese animal, the kappa.

Yagen Valley

Address: Yagen, Ohatamachi, Mutsu 039-4401, Aomori Prefecture

Website: Yagen Valley

Visited this place?

6. Kappa no Yu Hot Springs

Posted by 砂賀俊一 on Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Located remotely in the Yagen Valley is the Kappa no Yu Hot Springs. The hot spring building is natural and blends in with its surroundings. The bath is not manmade and the clear blue water comes straight from the ground. Due to its difficulty to access, there are usually very little to no crowds compared to other onsens. This gives the feeling that you can have it all to yourself, and it is free to enter!

Kappa no Yu Hot Springs

Address: Mutsu City, Ohata-Machi, Akatakiyama 1-3, 039-4401 Aomori Prefecture

Website: Kappa no Yu (in Japanese)

Visited this place?

7. Mutsuwan Ferry

A sightseeing boat which goes to Hokkaido offers a cruise across the Mutsu Bay. Enjoy a scenic view of the bay with rarely visited regions like Hotokegaura and the Shimokita West Coast. The ferry is able to transport motorcycles and if you’re lucky enough, you might be able to spot some dolphins on the deck from April to July. Enjoy a relaxing and wonderful ride around the Mutsu Bay.

Mutsuwan Ferry

Address: 160 Kanitachushi Miyamoto, Higashi Tsugaru-gun, Sotogahama-machi

Website: Mutsuwan Ferry (in Japanese)

Visited this place?

8. Taijima Island


Posted by Kazuhiko Nakamura on Saturday, 9 May 2015

An obscure, but uninhabited island, Taijima Island (Sea bream island) is shaped like a whale and sits off the coast of Mutsu City, Wakinozawa. It is known as the symbol of the city for its unique shape and also can be seen from the Mutsuwan Ferry ride. With a tragic love story and a haunting behind the island of how a woman died while waiting for her lover, Taijima Island is beautifully strange and mystical.

Taijima Island

Address: Wakinosawa, Mutsu 039-5331, Aomori Prefecture

Website: Taijima Island (in Japanese)

Visited this place?

9. Mt. Kamafuse & Kamafuseyama Observatory

Mt Kamafuse 2011
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Soica2001 used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Located on Mt. Kamafuse is the Kamafuseyama Observatory. Facing the coastline of Ominato Bay and the city of Mutsu, it gives an amazing view and a different perspective of the city. In the north, one can see the Tsugaru Strait to the northern island of Hokkaido; in the south, Mt. Hakkoda on a clear day and in the west, a glimpse of Iwaki. Besides this observatory, the mountain turns into a ski hill during winter which offers a couple of chair lifts to the top.

Kamafuseyama Observatory

Address: 44, Ominato, Ochikagawa, Mutsu, Aomori Prefecture

Website: Kamafuseyama Observatory

Visited this place?

10. Mutsu Science Museum


Posted by 石倉奈由 on Monday, 16 July 2012

Located in the northern part of Mutsu City adjacent to Sekine Hama Port is the Mutsu Science Museum. It also serves as a memorial of the nuclear ship Mutsu. The first floor of the main building is a science exhibition. On the second floor is an exhibition of the nuclear ship Mutsu with the actual cockpit and control panel. This family friendly museum with a maritime addition is an enjoyable and engaging experience for all.

Mutsu Science Museum

Address: 693, Sekine Kitasekine, Mutsu, Aomori Prefecture

Website: Mutsu Science Museum (in Japanese)

Visited this place?

The axe side of Aomori

The volcanic highlights of Mutsu and its religious symbolism of this area make it more than just mystical, but a beautiful and unforgettable experience. Beyond that, Mutsu has wonderful nature and interesting sights. Enjoy Mutsu, within the “Axe” shaped area of Aomori.

Visited this place?
Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

Roselle is a 3D Artist originally from Singapore. She is currently living as a Digital Nomad in Bali with her Husband. She plans to continue her journeys to Thailand, Vietnam and more. She has been...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Mutsu
Good things are meant to be shared!