There is a celebratory air in Akita, where year round festivals and street parades are colorfully integrated into daily life. A key city in the Tohoku region since medieval times, Akita was once a castle town of the Satake clan, but today is a vibrant, prosperous city that seamlessly honors its past but embraces its young energetic spirit. Noted for its burgeoning art community, there are several fine museums to explore including The Hirano Masakichi Art Musuem housing a collection of work by Western and Japanese artists, the Akita City Folklore Museum and the Kakunodate Samurai District, a living museum that showcases the samurai way of life. In the neighboring Oga Peninsula, the region's most famous icon, the terrifying Namahage, has it's won cultural center and festival ritual performed in his name. Surrounding the city, fertile farmland and rice fields produce some of the best sake in the country and nature lovers won't know which way to turn – to the west is the picturesque Sea of Japan and to the north, south and east, majestic mountain ranges including the UNESCO World Heritage sight of Shirakami-Sanchi proudly stand. A trip to the revolving observation center Mt. Kanpuzan Observatory solves the dilemma.
Points of Interest
Kakunodate Samurai District
Akita City Folklore Museum
Mt. Kanpuzan Observatory
More about Akita, Japan Points of Interest
Lake Tazawa -
Situated in the center of eastern Akita Prefecture, Lake Tazawa is the deepest lake in Japan at almost 1,400 feet and is perfectly circular in shape.
Kakunodate Samurai District -
An impeccably preserved samurai district that once housed about 80 families and showcases samurai architecture and lifestyle.
A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to the largest virgin beech tree forest in East Asia.
Akita City Folklore Museum -
This lovely art museum is housed in a former 20th century bank building. The red brick Renaissance exterior gives way to a lovely baroque interior that showcases the works of two renowned local artisans.
Mt. Kanpuzan Observatory -
Enjoy the changing scenery as you rotate 360 degrees, and take advantage of the many varied photo opportunities courtesy of the landscape, which is devoid of trees.
Akita Sake -
Akita Prefecture is known for its high-quality rice. The cool climate and longer winters contribute to the ideal rice-growing conditions, earning it the nickname "Empire of Beautiful Sake".