At the northern tip of Japan’ s main island, there is a place called Hotokegaura where huge rocks and cliffs create unrealistic but beautiful scenery. These rocks and cliffs of Hotokegaura line up along the seashore for about 2 km. The name Hotokegaura (Buddha beach) originates from how the rock formations look like Buddha statues or because it is a sacred place where Buddha resides. Either way, this place seems as if it belongs to a different world from ours.
One poet said this is a deed of God made by hands of Oni, not a place of man, because of its breathtaking beauty. This place is often compared to paradise with its divine and solemn atmosphere. Some people even believe that this place is connected to the other side.
The tallest rocks stand about 90 meters high. Because of its scale, it is hard to grasp the whole picture of Hotokegaura unless you are looking at it from far shore, on a boat, or from a mountain top. The contrast of the white rocks with the blue/green colored water creates a magical scene.
There are tour boats from local ports. They usually let you stay at the beach for 30 minutes to explore. If you want to see the whole Hotokegaura scenery, these boats are the best.
Access By Ferry
There are three local ports where you can catch a ferry to Hotokegaura.
*There is no ferry service between November to March. Check the websites below for details.
#1. Sai Port
[map lat=”41.432961″ lng=”140.861217″][/map]
30 minutes to Hotokegaura/2,300 yen or 2,400 JPY for an adult round-trip
Website: Sai Port (Japanese)
#2. Wakinosawa Port
[map lat=”41.145005″ lng=”140.826860″][/map]
45 minutes to Hotokegaura/3,800 JPY for an adult round-trip
Website: Wakinosawa Port (Japanese)
#3. Ushitaki Port
[map lat=”41.290714″ lng=”140.803426″][/map]
15 minutes to Hotokegaura/1,000 JPY for an adult round-trip
Website: Ushitaki Port (Japanese)
Access By Car
You can even take a 15 minute hike down to the beach from a parking lot located above the cliffs if you want to save money.
[map lat=”41.310296″ lng=”140.804052″]
Address: Within Nuido Ishi Chogo Sai-mura, Shimokita, Aomori 039-4712
Website: Aomori sightseeing guide