Akita Prefecture is located on the Sea of Japan side of the Tohoku region.

The main charm of Akita is how richly each season is expressed in its alluring nature. In spring, there are cherry blossoms — The colorful drooping branches of the Weeping Cherry in Kakunodate and the rows of cherry trees along the Hinokinai River have the beauty to take one’s breath away. In summer, everything is green — The magnificent outline of Mount Chōkai surely leaves a deep impact on people who view it. The fireworks of Ōmagari which have become one of the seasonal charms of summer and Akita Kantō Festival light up the summer night with stunning colors. In Autumn, there are the changing colors — The beauty of the mountains painted red and yellow and the golden-hued rice paddy gives onlookers the impression that the autumn harvest is soon to come. In Winter, these trees in their vivid fall colors change again to be as white as the thick snow that falls on them. These long winters have brought about the unique food culture in Akita. Their famous dishes — Kiritampo (grilled rice sticks) and Iburigakko (smoked pickles) — were created by the ancestors of Akita’s inhabitants as preserved food to get them through the winters. There are many Onsens which can be called famous hot springs, so would you like to relish the tastes of Akita after thoroughly soaking in one of these outdoor hot springs while drinking and taking in the winter scenery like a local?Akita is a place that can excite all five of your senses.

Lake Tazawa, Nyūtō Onsen Village, Kukunodate, and Ōmagari Area

Here is a lake in which the legend of a girl desiring eternal beauty remains, a secret hot spring in the mountains representing Japan itself, and magnificent Samurai residences which take you hundreds of years back in the past. As you travel around this region known as the neighborhood for Matagi, a traditional form of winter hunting, by the railway going through inland Akita, you’ll feel overcome with excitement for traveling.

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Lake Tazawa
Tazawako Lake

This lake, one of Japan’s deepest lakes at 423.4m deep, is painted azure and colored by the legend of Princess Tatsuko.
The gold glimmering statue of Tatsuko is impressive standing above the tranquil blue lake.
The views from the tourist bus are breathtaking as it circles the lake, stopping at Gozanoishi Shrine in the north where Tatsuko is deified, and Katajiri, the location of Tatsuko’s statue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYChtMxPfRo

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Nyūtō Onsen VillageNyuto Onsen-kyo

Seven hotels with hot springs are scattered along the base of Mount Nyūtō in Towada-Hachimantai National Park.
These are secluded hot springs nestled in the virgin beech forest representing the best of traditional Japan. Each of the seven hot spring hotels have their own independent spring source and have a unique type of spring water.
In the entire Onsen Village, there are over 10 hot spring sources.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vom2nUMo-JU

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Kakunodate Samurai ResidenceKakunodate Samurai Residence

A town was established in Kakunodate in 1620, or year six of Genna, by the Ashina clan and later it become a castle town for the North Satake clan. The large Weeping Cherry trees and firs stand out against the black wooden fences stretched along the long street.
The Tamachi Samurai Residence was where the chief retainer to the head of the Satake clan and the retainer to the Imamiya Clan resided.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmBihnCYHiE

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Akita Nairiku Jukan TetsudoAkita Nairiku Ju-kan Railway

A local line, stretching 94.2km, connects Takanosu Station in the north of the prefecture with Kakunodate Station in the south of the prefecture.
As you take a trip around the spectacular natural sights in the prefecture at places like Ani, known as the neighborhood for Matagi, a traditional form of winter hunting, you’ll feel overcome with excitement for traveling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3ieS6yMKrg

Kazuno Tōwada-Hachimantai and Ōdate Area

In the northern part of the prefecture lies Lake Tōwada, capturing onlookers with its magnificent natural beauty, and an Onsen Village famous for the natural scenery representative of Hachimantai and water which makes one’s skin more beautiful. It’s also the region that gave birth to the Akita dog.
This area is chock-full of nature, from the national park which proudly has the finest mountain climbing in the country, to the woods, wetlands, and a hot spring that emerged from the volcanic mountain.

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Lake TōwadaTowada Lake

Lake Towada, stretching from Akita Prefecture to Aomori Prefecture, is a typical double caldera lake and has an area of 59km squared. The Lake Towada region extends about 10km in any direction.
The lake is 327m deep, which is the third deepest in Japan and the surface of the water, which is clear enough to see 15m down and is the pride of this region, has a beauty to take one’s breath away.
There are two routes which have quintessential sightseeing spots. The Nenokuchi route starts at Hakka Ridge, where you can look down at Lake Tawada, passes through Wainai, and goes towards Yusumiya on the right and the Utarube Camp grounds. The west lakeside route goes to the right towards Mount Namari, Okawa Summit, and Takinosawa. You can immerse yourself in the magnificence of mother nature, as either route has a wealth of changing landscapes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4bCkl_N4do

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HachimantaiHachimantai

The mountains straddling Akita and Iwate prefectures are covered in a sea of trees — beeches, birches, firs, and oaks.
Looking out the window along the Hachimantai Aspite Line and Japan National Route 341, the autumn colors are visible. The best activities are immersing yourself in the Hachimantai Onsen village which stretches across the base of Mount Hachimantai, and taking your time sightseeing and searching for the autumn foliage while walking the down path called Shizen-kenkyūro in Ōnuma and Goshogake.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZRzdBSmp0s

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Goshogake Shizen- kenkyūroGoshougake Nature Research Road

This famous hot spring is called “Goshogake where you come by horse but wander back on foot” and a walking route (about 2.7km) was established around Goshogake Onsen.
You can complete this route in about 40 minutes and observe one of Japan’s mud volcanoes and the high-pressure volcanic phenomenon called Oyūnuma, where pillars of smoke rise.

https://www.akitafan.com/en/archive/tourism/1351
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlF37QTrWdQ

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Akitainukaikan (Akitainu Conservation Association)Akitainukaikan (Akitainu Conservation Association)

Akitainukaikan (Akitainu Conservation Association) exhibits material related to the Akita dog, best known for the faithful Hachikō.
This dog is well-known for having pointed ears and a rounded tail. With one look at their lean torsos standing at 70cm in height and weighing 50kg, large heads with a thick collar, and their legs extending vertically, you’re struck with the impression that they embody manliness, power, and simplicity. The Akita dog is a national natural monument.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7SBL8mhq4g

Shirakami-Sanchi and Noshiro Yamamoto Area

This virgin beech forest has a mysterious charm as one of the best in the world.
Surround yourself, feeling exhilarated within its vast nature which has high esteem as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and get your fill of nature’s bounty.

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Shirokami-SanchiShirakami-sanch

Shirokami-Sanchi indicates the large mountainous area 130,000 ha wide stretching across Akita and Aomori Prefecture.
This virgin beech forest, the largest in Japan at 16,971 ha, was registered as a world heritage site in December 1996.
You can see the natural appearance of beeches around the Daira Gorge, Dakedai Nature Observation Woods, and the Mase Ravine.

https://www.akitafan.com/en/archive/tourism/1306

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The Shirakami-Sanchi World Heritage Conservation Center (Fujisatokan)Shirakmisanchi World Heritage Center (Fujisatokan)

This center introduces exhibits and material on the World Heritage Site Sharakami-Sanchi and the plants that grow there. This center is equipped with a book corner and space to watch DVDs.
There are times during the winter season that mountain climbing is impossible due to snowfall and these times may differ in the area inside Shirakami-Sanchi.

https://www.akitafan.com/en/archive/tourism/431

Central Akita, Oga, and Chōkai Area

Places worth seeing around Akita Station are located conveniently close together. Just by walking a little bit from the center of town, you’ll encounter an area full of charm where you can experience mother nature and enjoy a hot spring. There is an abundance of natural sites in the Oga Peninsula protruding into the Sea of Japan — the sea, mountains, and hot springs.
You can experience the varied and distinct cuisine and local sake at Lake Hachirōgata, which extends into the base of the peninsula and its surrounding area.

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Akita Dog StationAkita Dog Station

This facility where you can encounter Akita dogs has opened at Area Nakaichi close to Akita Station!
On set days of the week, you can meet two to three Akita dogs. You are not allowed to pet the dogs to keep the dogs from feeling stressed, but you may take pictures of them or buy Akita dog merchandise.
You can catch a glimpse of the dogs walking around Nakakōji during their walk times, which occur twice a day starting at 11:20 am and 2:00 pm.

https://www.akitafan.com/en/archive/tourism/26592

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Takashimizu (Kura//Kura)Takashimizu “KURA//KURA”

Kura//Kura was made by renovating the brewery’s warehouse, which held tools for making sake. Here you can taste four types of sake and try out the water used in brewing sake. Select sakes — Wagasankai and Jizōden — and goods like aprons and totes with the Takashimizu logo are sold exclusively at Kura//Kura and the Takashimizu online shop. If you join the brewery tour, you can learn about the brewing process at Senninzō, located close to Kura//Kura. The second floor has been turned into a museum that exhibits tools once used to brew sake and touches upon the history of Nihon-shū or Japanese sakes. One of the draws of this place is the explanation of this history and processes by the guides.
Please lend an ear to the stories about Nihon- shū which have seldom been told.

https://www.akitafan.com/en/archive/tourism/26890

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Hottai FallsHottai-no-taki

Hottai Falls consists of three waterfalls, with a drop of 57.4m and a width spreading out from 3m to 30m. Tamada Valley at the upper stream is outfitted with a trekking course with a wealth of gorgeous sites starting with the “Giant’s Kettle” (or Ōketsu in Japanese), a geological site visited on school trips. Since it’s an area famous for autumn foliage, in mid-October it gets crowded with tourists.
As one of the top 100 waterfalls in Japan, this is designated as a place of beauty in the prefecture.

https://www.akitafan.com/en/archive/tourism/1120

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Akita MaikoAkita Maiko

Once there were Kawabata Geisha entertaining dinner parties in the shopping district of Akita.
According to legend, the phrase “Akita Beauties” emerged out of the Geisha culture.
As time went on, this culture declined, but in recent years Akita Maiko was established, expressing this traditional culture and allowing people to meet new Akita Beauties.
These beauties entertain guests visiting Akita and polish their skills in singing and dancing.

Yokote, Yuzawa, and Kurikoma Area

This area lies in the southern part of Akita Prefecture and is well-known for constructing Kamakura, igloo-like snow houses, in winter. In recent years this area’s popularity has flourished, as the town with the local cuisine Yokote Yakisoba. The townscape of refined merchant houses has remained in this area, which is rare throughout the country. It’s known as a town with inner-storehouses.
The elegance of gorgeous gorges and mountain hot springs is abundant, transforming their appearance each season.

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Oyasukyō OnsenOyasukyo Onsen

This water springing out a gorge has a long history and has been used as a hot-spring health resort from the Edo period. This spring gushes out from four sources, has two types of water, and its temperatures go up to 95℃.
Ryokan (traditional Japanese hotels) with places to drink the spring water and footbaths as well as hot spring hotels are scattered around the hot spring.

https://www.akitafan.com/en/archive/tourism/797

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Kawarage JigokuKawarage-Jigoku

Kawarage Jigoku, literally meaning Kawarage Hell, still spews sulfuric gas which prevents vegetation from growing so the bare uncovered craggy rocks are exposed on the entire mountain. This sacred mountain is called “Kawarage”, meaning buckskin, and this imposing ghastly landscape most certainly appears to be hell (“jigoku”). This mountain is counted as one of Japan’s Three Holy Sites along with Mount Osore in the southern part and Mount Tate in Ecchu.

https://www.akitafan.com/en/archive/tourism/795

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Kawarage Ōyu FallsKawarageoyu-taki

The falls itself is a hot spring and is rare as a hot waterfall. The hot spring, welling out about 1km upstream, merges into Sawamizu and rushes down a height of 20m.
The waterfall basin and mountain stream are used as an open-air bath.

https://www.akitafan.com/en/archive/tourism/766

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Doroyu OnsenDoroyu Onsen

Deep in the mountains near Kijiyama, renowned for producing Kokeshi dolls, is a hidden hot spring, about a 30-minute walk from Kawarage Jigoku.
There are two types of water quality: a simple hydrogen sulfide spring and acidic hydrogen sulfide, which can alleviate hypertension and arteriosclerosis.

https://www.akitafan.com/en/archive/tourism/2508

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Inner-Storehouses of MasudaUchigura in Masuda

Numerous inner-storehouses exist inside the merchant houses that have endured for generations in Masuda in Yokote City. In the Edo Period they were thick-walled warehouses for storing things such as books for a library, but with the lifestyle changes in the Meiji Period they became Tatami storehouses, which were personal spaces for the family. This was a place that only the family could enjoy within a store visited by various people other than the store clerks. They have come to be preserved and used as a valuable architectural space.
It has been selected as a Preservation District of Japan’s Groups of Traditional Buildings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbxzU7WIpoc

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