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Shimokita Peninsula's 'Buddha's Cove'

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Shimokita Peninsula's 'Buddha's Cove'


A time-worn beauty, Hotokegaura rock formations are the result of 20 million years of natural erosion.

Aomori Prefecture



Towering at 90 meters tall, Hotokegaura is a group of green-blue and white rock formations that stretch across two kilometers of the west coast of the Shimokita Peninsula at the very top of Japan's main island of Honshu.


Once a volcanic tuff cliff deposited nearly 20 million years ago, the giant monuments were eroded into unusual shapes by harsh weather and the rough waters of the Tsugaru Strait. Despite this, Hotokegaura takes its name from a peaceful inspiration. In English, it means 'Buddha’s Cove', and many of its formations have been named after figures and aspects of Buddhism.


Though a designated Place of Scenic Beauty and a National Monument, Hotokegaura is not easily accessible. If arriving by car, the hike from the nearest parking lot is a challenge and only recommended for experienced hikers. Instead, take a trip to the nearby Sai Village, where sightseeing boats can take you all the way to the coast on which the rock formations stand.



How to get there


2 hours and 30 minutes on a sightseeing boat from Aomori port.



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