We journey the Tazawako and Akita Nairiku Lines into the heart of Akita Pref. in Japan's north. Warm yourself in the milky white waters of a secluded, hot spring and admire lustrous, traditional items made from bark. Visit the Matagi bear hunters who continue to practice an indigenous faith and its rites. Deeper into the mountains, marvel at the night sky and visit UNESCO-designated ancient ruins. The villages these rail lines connect offer a glimpse into the seasonal mountain life of Akita.