Gozanoishi Shrine. Courtesy of Semboku City
Gozanoishi Shrine is now a symbol of Lake Tazawa. The striking red torii gate, facing one of the most picturesque viewpoints on the lake, is simply the most captured in photographs, just as much as the golden statue of Tatsuko on the other side of the lake.
It is said that when Lord of Satake came to Lake Tazawa in 1650, he had sat and rested on the bedrock in front: That is where the name, Goza No Ishi, comes from-- “The rock where the great sat.”
Near the shirine, there are a few attractions: Nanairogi, A Tree of Seven Colors; Katagashira No Reisen, a small well where Tatsuko has taken a drink only finding herself in a form of a dragon; Kagami Ishi, where Tatsuko is said to have had come to see her own reflection onto the mirror (Kagami) rock.
A few month ago, we found a NY Times article from 2007, in which the American writer came to visit Tsurunoyu Onsen. He travelled with a fashion photographer who took some amazing shots at the Onsen and Gozanoishi Jinja.
At Gozanoishi Shrine on Lake Tazawa, in Japan's Akita Prefecture. Courtesy of Reimond Meier
The photos are from the snow season, which is yet far to come--- but the snow-less seasons are nice as well. Here you can actually get closer to see the crystal clear water. (But DO NOT JUMP IN nor GET TOO CLOSE TO THE EDGE! IT IS VERY DEEP!)