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Kosaka Town
Kosaka town (小坂町; -machi, lit. Small Hill) is the most northeastern town in Akita prefecture. Kosaka is bordered by Iwate prefecture on the east and Aomori Prefecture to the north. Located in the northeastern corner of Kosaka is Lake Towada, one of Japan’s largest lakes. Once famous for its mines, Kosaka was one of the first areas in Japan to receive plumbing and electricity and was one of the largest ore producing areas in Asia during the early to mid 1900′s. Kosaka has a current population of 5,900 (2013) and a total area of 200km²; a significant portion is uninhabited forest and mountains.

Kosaka town is a compact and isolated town located in a small valley. The neighboring cities of Odate and Kazuno are 20 kilometers to the west and south respectively. There is no working train station in Kosaka but the town can be reached by buses from Hanawa to the south and Ōdate to the west, and long distance highway buses from Morioka and Sendai city stop at Kosaka High School station (小坂高校前). The nearest train station is Towadaminami station (十和田南駅), from which a 10 minute bus ride will take you to Kosaka town. Because of the lack of public transportation, the locals heavily rely on cars. Though Kosaka has a limited foreign population (made up of mainly Southeast Asians) the area has a reputation of being open to foreign visitors from the influence of Japanese International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) yearly mining interns (a group of 10-30 foreigners from Asia, Europe, South America and Africa) that attend the International Institute for Mining Technology (MINETEC) in Kosaka.

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