Largest City


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. Akitans live their lives according to the rhythm of nature, celebrating events to a distinctly agricultural calendar – you’re likely to encounter some kind of festival when you’re there. Throughout the year, trekking, camping, boat cruising, swimming, climbing and hot springs abound.

Yokote city turns into an romantic little spot come winter. Akita, winter

Yokote city turns into a romantic little spot during the Yokote Kamakura Snow Festival.

Come to Akita for the festivals, stay for… Godzilla?

Akita city is the prefectural capital. Year-round it’s known for its beautiful women but every August their beauty is temporarily upstaged by the spectacular Akita Kanto Matsuri, a harvest festival where skillful participants balance huge bamboo stacks of lanterns on their hands, shoulders, and foreheads to the beat of traditional taiko drum music.

Akita Kanto Matsuri festival in Akita Japan

The annual Akita Kanto Matsuri is quite the party.

Just north of the city is the axe-shaped Oga peninsula, offering far-reaching views from Mount Kampu and at Nyudo-zaki Point on the peninsula’s tip. On clear days, you can see the edge of North Korea. Spot the Godzilla rock, which actually looks a lot like the iconic monster. If you’re there in the winter, you can see the Namahage Sedo festival where people dressed as demons and bearing flaming torches descend from the mountains to the town to admonish badly behaved children.

Godzilla Rock Oga, Akita

Photo by: Kuruman Akita’s Godzilla rock during the daytime. He actually looks… peaceful.

Inland, Kakunodate is a picturesque castle town that has some of the region’s best-preserved samurai districts, great for a historical wander through feudal Japan. There’s festivals for each season here too; one of the highlights is the Omagari National Fireworks Competition in nearby Daisen, where you’ll get to see the most advanced pyrotechnics exploding in the summer sky.

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 spreads between Aomori and Akita prefecture. Dense forests, translucent lakes and mysterious marshes attract nature-lovers and those looking for a secluded getaway.

Autumn leaves on the approach to Yuzawa city, Akita.

Autumn leaves on the approach to Yuzawa City, Akita.

Akita is one of the largest rice-producing regions in the country and has a great time enjoying the fruits of its labor. The prefecture consumes the most sake (rice wine) per capita of all of Japan! Another local specialty is kiritanpo, made by wrapping rice around a stick and grilling it over a fire.

Start planning your trip to Akita with the locations below!

Places to visit

Yokote city turns into an romantic little spot come winter. Akita, winter

Yokote Kamakura Snow Festival

Snow huts and water gods.

Namahage Festival in Akita, Japan.

Namahage Festival

Over in Akita Prefecture, it’s better to feed your demons with rice cakes than fight them.

kuroya onsen

Kuroyu Onsen

Ultimate peace of mind plus mixed-gender bathing in this respite of seclusion.

Lake Tazawa

Legends accompany Japan’s deepest lake.

Sato Yosuke Udon Workshop

Make your own noodles at Japan’s top udon shop!

Yokote Masuda Manga Museum

Manga enthusiasts, this should be on your bucket list!

Namahage (Demon) Museum

Unleash all your demons.

Akita City

Akita City

Home of the awe-inspiring Kanto Matsuri, the compact city of Akita is packed with museums, shrines, parks and panoramic views.

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