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Akita Prefecture

Akita Prefecture in Tohoku DistrictAkita PrefectureAkita Prefecture is located at northwest part of Tohoku District.
It is a nearly rectangular about 170 km from north to south and 80 km from east and west in width.
The whole west coast faces the Japan Sea, and from the nearly center of the coastline, Oga peninsula expands to west.

At the base of Oga peninsula, there was a large lake named Hachirogata in the past.
From 1957 to 1977, it was drained off to create farmland.

Akita Prefecture is mountainous, but some main rivers flow then cities are dotted across this prefecture.

In winter, wet and cold wind blows across Japan Sea, then much snow falls in whole prefecture.

Akita Prefecture is known for beautiful women. Really, we can find many fair-skinned and beautiful women.

To come into Akita Prefecture, domestic flight from Tokyo (Haneda), Osaka (Itami), Nagoya (Chubu, Nagoya) and Sapporo (Shin-Chitose) are convenient.

Akita airport is located about 14 km southeast of Akita city. It takes about 40 minutes by route bus.
Additionally, Akita airport has a flight from Seoul in South Korea.

By Shinkansen, it takes about 4 hours from Tokyo to Akita.
From Tokyo to Morioka, it runs on exclusive-use line, then it travels 535 km about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
But between Morioka and Akita, it runs on conventional railway lines. So it travels 127 km in about 1 hours and 25-40 minutes.

The climate in Akita
Highest Temperature (deg C) 2.8 3.5 7.4 14.0 19.0 23.2 26.5 29.0 24.7 18.6 11.9 5.9
Lowest Temperature (deg C) -2.5 -2.3 -0.1 5.1 10.5 15.5 19.8 21.3 16.5 9.8 4.1 0.0
Mean monthly rainfall (mm) 119 89 97 113 123 118 188 177 160 157 186 160

Tourist spots in Akita Prefecture

Akita map

Akita city /1/
Oga peninsula /2/
Shirakami-sanchi /3/
Hachimantai /4/
Tamagawa hot spring /5/
Lake Tazawa /6/
Nyuto hot spring resort /7/
Kakunodate town /8/
Yokote city /9/

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

Main events in Akita Prefecture

Yokote KamakuraYokote Kamakura (Mid-February)

"Kamakura" is a hut made of snow, which is almost 3 meters in both diameter and height. (There is no relationship with Kamakura city in Kanagawa Prefecture.)
Each kamakura has a household alter dedicated to the god of water. Usually, there are some children in each kamakura, and they invite passersby inside and offer them hot amazake (sweet light sake).
When night falls, candles are lit in each kamakura, creating a fantastic sight.
Kamakura is held as the event at the luner new year. It is held in some snowy cities and towns in Akita Prefecture, and the kamakura in Yokote city has been held for 400 years.

Akita Kanto FestivalAkita Kanto Festival (From August 3rd to 6th)

It is one of the famous summer fastivals in Tohoku District.
"Kanto" is a bamboo pole with several dozen "chochin" (paper lantern), and it is regarded as an ear of rice.
A man hold a kanto, then he places it on his shoulder, forehead or hip with balancing and dancing to music. The weight of a kanto is about 50 kg for adults, 15 kg for boys and 5 kg for male children.
It has been held since the late 18th century to prey for a good harvest and drive away evil spirits.
Main fastival is held in the evening, additionally, the competion of feat is held about from ten to three.

Akita Kanto Festival official website

Oga NamahageOga Namahage (December 31th)

It is a traditional and unique event in Oga peninsula.
"Namahage" is a devil. He wears a mask with fearful expression and a coat made of straws, holds a sickle or a knife in his hand. A few namahages visit door-to-door with giving strange sounds on the last day of every year.
In each house, the master of the house invites them. They act wildly in the house, then the children cry out with fear.
The master calms down them, then he entertains them with sake. They talk to the master about his harvest and children, then go away.
This event has a meaning that they give cautions against the house and call the happiness.

Local foods and products in Akita Prefecture


First, somewhat mashed rice is formed into a cylinder around a stick, then it is toasted over an open hearth.
When the stick has been drawn, it is a "tanpo". When a tanpo is cut up, each piece is called "kiritanpo".
Generally, it is eaten with miso, or added to one-pot stew which is called "kiritanpo-nabe".
We can eat at north area in Akita Prefecture.


Shottsuru is a fish sauce made from hatahata (Sailfin sandfish), and is a local condiment in Akita Prefecture.
Recently the catch landing of hatahata is reducing, then it is said that shottsuru is sometimes made from other various fish.
Shottsuru-nabe is an one-pot stew with shottsuru.
Of course, whole fish of hatahata are added in this pot.

Hinai chickenHinai chicken

Hinai chicken is a kind of domestic fowl in this area. "Hinai" is the name of north area in Akita Prefecture.
It is known as one of the most delicious chickens in Japan.
It is moderately hard to chew, and is not so fat.
This is certainly added to kiritanpo-nabe.

Inaniwa-udonInaniwa udon

Udon is one of popular noodles in Japan. And Inaniwa udon is one of the tastiest udons. It is thinner and more elastic than general udon.
This udon is in production in Inaniwa area near Yuzawa city in the southeastern part of Akita Prefecture.
It started when the lord of Akita region encouraged people in Inaniwa to make udon in 1665 because Inaniwa was a production center of good wheat and clean water was gotten there.
Some old established restaurants are in Akita city.

Babahera iceBabahera ice

"Babahera ice" is the ice cream which we can eat in only Akita Prefecture.
Under a colorful parasol, an old woman wearing a hat and an apron sells the ice cream.
Originally, farm women has sold the ice cream near their farm as a sideline, then they have clothes for agricultural work.
Pink and yellow ice cream are placed like a rose flower on a cone .
"Baba" means an old woman, and "hera" means a spatula which she uses.
They open their stands along main roads or near event sites.

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