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The Land of Akita Dogs - DISCOVER AKITA

Akita, located in the Tohoku region facing the Sea of Japan

Akita is most known for its beautiful nature scenery which reveals itself to visitors see year-round.
In spring, enjoy the the delicate drooping branches of the shidarezakura in Kakunodate or the impressive rows of cherry trees along the Hinokinai River. These are just a couple of sights that will take your breath away.
During the summer, take in the stunning view of Mount Chokai standing out amid the lush green surroundings. The Omagari Fireworks and the Akita Kanto Festival light up the midsummer night sky with stunning colors.
In the fall, as the mountains become ablaze in crimson and yellow, the golden-hued rice paddies fill us with expectation of a great harvest. In winter, the once vividly-colored trees turn white as thick snow falls upon them.
The unique food culture in Akita owes its features to the long winters. Famous regional dishes such as kiritampo (grilled rice sticks) and iburigakko (smoked pickles) were created by the locals as a method to preserve food through the harsh, cold months.
There are many famous hot springs in Akita, so why not savor the local flavors and sake while soaking in an outdoor hot spring bath? Akita is a thrilling destination that will stimulate all five senses.

Lake Tazawa, Nyuto Onsen Village, Kakunodate, and Omagari Area

According to legend, a girl who prayed for eternal beauty used to live near Lake Tazawa. Nearby Nyuto Onsen is a secluded Japanese hot spring resort in the mountains. The magnificent samurai residences in Kakunodate will take you hundreds of years back in the past. Omagari is known for traditional winter hunting called matagi. Travel through this area by train to you'll rediscover the thrills of a trip.

Must-Visit Destinations

Nyuto Onsen Village

Seven hot spring ryokans are scattered along the base of Mount Nyuto in Towada-Hachimantai National Park. Nestled in the primeval beech forest, these secluded lodgings represent the best of traditional Japan. These lodgings have their own spring sources. Nyuto Onsen Village boasts over ten types of hot springs.

Nyuto Onsen Village

Lake Tazawa

423.4 meters deep, this cerulean blue lake is one of Japan’s deepest lakes. The legend of Princess Tatsuko, who wished for eternal beauty, is connected to this lake. The view of the golden statue of Tatsuko standing against the backdrop of the tranquil blue lake is impressive.
Visitors can enjoy the stunning lake views either from Gozanoishi Shrine, where the princess is enshrined, on the north coast or from aboard a sightseeing cruise that passes by Katajiri, the location of Tatsuko’s statue.

Lake Tazawa

Kakunodate Samurai Residence Street

Kakunodate flourished in the past as a castle town under the Ashina clan, starting from around 1620. It was later ruled by the northern branch of the Satake clan.
The area stands out with its rows of weeping cherry trees and fir trees that grow along the black wooden fences lining the street. The Tamachi Bukeyashiki Street, the samurai residence district, is where the chief retainer of the Satake and Imamiya clans once lived.

Kakunodate Samurai Residence Street

Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway

Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway stretches 94.2 km, connecting Takanosu Station and Kakunodate Station, which are located in the north and south of Akita Prefecture, respectively.
Go on a train trip through Akita's stunnning nature scenery and visit places such as the town of Ani, famous for the traditional hunting method called matagi. In Akita, you'll rediscover the joy of traveling by train.

Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway

Kazuno Towada-Hachimantai National Park and Odate Area

In northern Akita lies Lake Towada, which captivates onlookers with its magnificent natural beauty. Hachimantai boasts a famous onsen resort known for its stunning scenery and hot springs that are said to have beautifying properties. This also happens to be the birthplace of the Akita dog.
This area is known for its breathtaking nature. The national park has some of the finest hiking trails in the country, along with beautiful woods, wetlands, and hot springs emerging from the volcanic mountain.

Must-Visit Destinations

Goshogake Onsen

This hot spring is surrounded by the great doors of Towada-Hachimantai National Park and has been used since around 300 years ago. Goshogake Onsen is a renowned lodging and onsen facility, known for its highly beneficial waters.
From Goshogake Nature Trail, visitors can see and hear multiple hot springs welling up to the ground surface. The trail is close to Hachimantai Onuma Promenade, a famous fall foliage spot.

Goshogake Onsen

Hikage Onsen

Hikage Onsen is nestled in the tranquil, lush forests of Shirakami Sanchi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in northern Tohoku.
The therapeutic waters here have been used since around 1893, known for their beautifying effects and gentleness on the skin due to the balanced pH of the springs. This is considered especially true for those who enter the springs multiple times. There are trekking courses and mountail trails on the other side of the mountain for guests to enjoy as well.

Hikage Onsen

Lake Towada

Lake Towada, stretching from Akita to Aomori over an area of 59 square km, is a typical double caldera lake. The Lake Towada region extends about 10 km in every direction.
The lake is 327 m deep. This makes it the third deepest lake in Japan. Its clear waters allow one to look at least 15 m inside the lake. This high transparency is the pride of the region.
Start from Hakka Ridge, which allows great views of Lake Towada, and follow the trail through Wainai. From there, if you go to the right, you'll reach Yusumiya and the Utarube camp grounds. If you go to the left on the western lakeside, you'll see Mt. Namari, the Okawa peak, and Takinosawa Valley. As either route offers fabulous scenery, you'll be able to enjoy nature to the fullest.

Lake Towada

Hachimantai

The mountain rage expanding from Akita to Iwate is covered in rich forest of beeches, birches, firs, and oaks.
If you come along the Hachimantai Aspite Line or the National Route 341, you'll be able to enjoy the fall colors through the car windows.
Visitors can relax here in the hot springs of the Hachimantai Onsen Village. Taking mountain walks to b\view the splendid fall foliage is also a pleasant activity. We suggest taking the nature trails in Onuma and Goshogake.

Hachimantai

Goshogake Nature Research Road

Goshogake is a famous hot spring. Its name originates in the saying "you come here by horse but wander back on foot," because it is believed that the onsen water has revitalizing properties.
A walking trail of about 2.7 km was established around Goshogake Onsen. The route can be completed in about 40 minutes. It allows hikers to observe one of Japan’s most interesting mud volcanoes and the high-pressure volcanic phenomenon called Oyunuma, which consists of rising smoke pillars.

https://www.akitafan.com/en/archive/tourism/1351

Goshogake Nature Research Road

Road Side Station Kazuno

This stopover contains stores and restaurants where visitors can shop for local products and enjoy seasonal meals, near Kazuno, home to Towada-Hachimantai National Park. Visit the festival exhibition building to see the World Heritage designated festival float, Hanawaba Bayashi.

Road Side Station Kazuno

Michi no Eki Oyu (Yunoeki Oyu)

Internationally-known architect Kengo Kuma designed the building of the reststop, Michi no Eki Oyu, inspired by an image of steam rising off of hot springs with a wooden frame. The reststop is the idea place for a relaxing break. It has cafes and markets where visitors can enjoy local Kazuno food, a foot bath of hot spring water used since around 800 years ago.

Michi no Eki Oyu (Yunoeki Oyu)

Hanazen

Founded in 1899, Hanazen is particularly known for its torimeshi, or chicken cuisine. The dishes here are from traditional recipes and use deliciously-prepared sweet and spicy chicken. The torimeshi bento box is ranked first nationally for its great taste.

Hanazen

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Akitaken no Sato

This is a tourist facility in Odate, where Akita dogs originate from. Akitaken no Sato opened in May 2019 and enjoys immense popularity as a place where visitors can meet adorable Akita dogs. The facility includes the Akita Dog Museum and the Akita Dog Plush Doll Tower. Akita dog-related souvenirs are also available.

Akitaken no Sato

Shirakami-Sanchi and Noshiro Yamamoto Area

This rare primeval beech forest has a truly mysterious charm. Step into the forest, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to feel amazed by the power of Mother Nature.

Must-Visit Destinations

Shirakami-Sanchi

Shirakami-Sanchi is the mountainous area stretching over 130,000 ha across Akita and Aomori.
This primeval beech forest, the largest in Japan at 16,971 ha, was registered as a World Heritage Site in December 1996. Hikers can admire the beauty of the natural beech forest along the Daira Gorge, the Dakedai Nature Observation Woods, and the Mase Ravine.

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

Shirakami-Sanchi

The Shirakami-Sanchi World Heritage Conservation Center (Fujisatokan)

This center exhibits materials on the World Heritage Site Shirakami-Sanchi and local vegetation. The center is equipped with a book corner and video booth.
At certain times during the winter season, the mountain is impossible to climb because of the heavy snowfall. The season when climbing is restricted differs depending on the area in Shirakami-Sanchi.

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

The Shirakami-Sanchi World Heritage Conservation Center (Fujisatokan)

Central Akita, Oga, and Chokai 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.

Must-Visit Destinations

Akita Dog Station

Encounter Akita dogs at Akita Dog Station, located in Area Nakaichi, close to Akita Station!
On set days of the week, you can meet two or three Akita dogs. You are not allowed to pet the dogs as they will get stressed, but you are allowed to take pictures, and can shop for Akita dog goods.
You can catch a glimpse of the dogs walking around Nakakoji during their walk times, which occur twice a day starting at 11:20 and 14:00.

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

Akita Dog Station

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, like 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

Takashimizu (Kura//Kura)

Hottai Falls

Hottai Falls consists of three waterfalls, with a drop of 57.4 m and a width spreading out from 3 m to 30 m. 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 Oketsu in Japanese), a geological site visited often on school trips. Since it’s famous for autumn foliage, in mid-October it gets crowded with travelers.
Hottai Fall is one of the top 100 waterfalls in Japan, and is designated by Akita Prefecture as a place of beauty.

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

Hottai Falls

Saiya Shuzoten

This sake brewery started business in a traditional home with a thatched roof in 1902, creating Yuki no Bosha, a beverage inspired by the snowy landscape.
Eleven buildings, stores, and breweries are designated as Tangible Cultural Property by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Saiya Shuzoten is a very famous Akita brewery, boasting multiple national sake tournament wins. Hakkoko Jitaya, a renovated cafe and shop, is part of the complex.

Saiya Shuzoten

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Akita Maiko

There were once Kawabata Geisha 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 practice became rare, but in recent years Akita Maiko was established, expressing this traditional culture and allowing people to meet new Akita Beauties. These elegant performers 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, or 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 the gorges and mountain hot springs is abundant, transforming in appearance each season.

Must-Visit Destinations

Oyasukyo Onsen

The water of Oyasukyo Onsen springs out a gorge and has a long history being used for health purposes since 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 inns) with places where visitors can drink the spring water, and footbaths as well as hot spring hotels, are scattered around Oyasuko Onsen.

https://www.akitafan.com/en/archive/tourism/27603

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

Oyasukyo Onsen

Kawarage Oyu Falls

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

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

Kawarage Oyu Falls

Doroyu Onsen

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

Doroyu Onsen

Kawarage Jigoku

Kawarage Jigoku, literally meaning Kawarage Hell, still spews sulfuric gas which prevents vegetation from growing. As a result, bare, uncovered craggy rocks are exposed on the mountain.
This sacred mountain is called “Kawarage,” meaning buckskin. The imposing ghastly landscape here 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

Kawarage Jigoku

Inner-Storehouses of 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 families 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.
The inner storehouses are designated as a Preservation District of Japan’s Groups of Traditional Buildings.

Inner-Storehouses of Masuda

Ishimago Main Store

Ishimago is a soy sauce manufacturer established in 1855 that has been brewing soy sauce for 160 years. It has been specially designated by the Ministry of Cultural Afairs for over 100 years. The enormous wooden cask, stone room for fermentation, and antique wooden tools are still used today, as are traditional soy sauce brewing methods.

Ishimago Main Store

Pagetop