Located on the Sea of Japan in NW Japan, there are many impressive nature spots here like Lake Tazawa and its gorgeous lapis lazuli waters, or the famous fall foliage in Dakigaeri Valley and Oyasukyo Gorge. Another highly-recommended spot is the buke-yashiki (samurai houses) of Kakunodate, registered as an "Important Preservation District for Group of Traditional Buildings" and known as the “Little Kyoto of Michinoku."