Japan is sitting on enough geothermal power to replace all of its planned nuclear power stations for the next decade.
The naturally occurring alternative has received increasing attention following the nuclear disaster at Fukushima.
But geothermal energy is both costly and culturally controversial. Japanese people have enjoyed hot springs for centuries and believe their waters provide medicinal benefits.
Geothermal drilling is seen as a threat that could siphon off the springs sources.
Al Jazeera's Aela Callen reports from Akita, Japan.