The rhythm of nature
The best way to enjoy Akita is simply to go outside and be among it. Watch out for Godzilla though.
A northern slice of the far-flung Tohoku region, it’s no surprise that Akita’s attractions are nature-based. People in Akita live their lives according to the rhythm of nature, celebrating many events to a distinctly agricultural calendar. You’re likely to encounter some kind of festival when you visit. Throughout the year, trekking, camping, boat cruising, swimming, climbing, and hot springs abound.
Come for festivals, stay for… Godzilla?
Akita City is the prefectural capital. Every August, the city hosts the spectacular Akita Kanto Matsuri. During this 300-year-old harvest festival, participants balance 15-meter-long bamboo poles with up to 46 lanterns on their chins, foreheads, shoulders, or lower backs to the beat of traditional taiko drum music. It’s one of the largest festivals in Tohoku and was designated an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property in 1980.
5 Famous Foods You'll Find in Akita
If you visit Oga City in winter, you can see the Namahage Sedo festival, where locals dress as demons and carry flaming torches. They descend from the mountains to scold naughty children.
Hiking and camping in Akita
For camping, hiking and water-sports, the areas around Lake Tazawa and Lake Towada are popular destinations. The UNESCO World Heritage Shirakami-Sanchi mountain range spreads from Akita to Aomori Prefecture. Dense forests, translucent lakes, and mysterious marshes attract nature-lovers and those seeking secluded getaways.
Inland, Kakunodate is a picturesque castle town that has some of the region’s best-preserved samurai districts. It’s great for a historical wander through feudal Japan. During summer in nearby Daisen City, you’ll get to see the most advanced pyrotechnics exploding in the summer sky for the Omagari National Fireworks Competition.
Akita is also one of the largest rice-producing regions in the country. The prefecture consumes the most sake (rice wine) per capita in all of Japan! Another local specialty, kiritanpo, is made by wrapping rice around a stick and grilling it over a fire.
Start planning your trip to Akita with the locations below!