Region
Tohoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Akita
Population
1,189,215

Akita

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 Kanto Matsuri festival in Akita Japan

The annual Akita Kanto Matsuri is quite the party.

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

5 Famous Foods You'll Find in Akita
Just north of Akita City is the ax-shaped Oga peninsula and the city of Oga. The peninsula offers far-reaching views from Mount Kampu and Nyudo-zaki Point. On clear days, you can see the edge of North Korea. To the south lies Cape Shiosezaki, home to the Godzilla Rock. The slab’s silhouette looks a lot like the iconic monster.

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

Autumn in Akita near Yuzawa City, Japan.

Autumn leaves on the approach to Yuzawa City, 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!

Trivia

5 Famous Foods You'll Find in Akita

5 Famous Foods You'll Find in Akita

Rose shaped ice cream?? Oh, yes.

More

Places to visit

Shirakami Sanchi UNESCO World Heritage Site

Fujisato

Hiking, waterfalls, and tasty lamb. Did somebody say road trip?

Kamayahama Beach

Home to Akita’s premier sand sculpture festival.


Hachimori Isaribi Onsen Hatahata Kan

Hachimori Isaribi Onsen Hatahata Kan

This Akita hot spring has a bath that is shaped like a boat. Drop us off in the ocean!

5 Famous Foods You'll Find in Akita

5 Famous Foods You’ll Find in Akita

Rose shaped ice cream?? Oh, yes.


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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