2. About Akita

About Akita

Akita City, where our facilities are located, is the capital of Akita Prefecture—situated in the northeastern part of Japan’s main and largest island of Honshu, facing the Asian mainland. Akita Prefecture is blessed with a rich natural environment and has a long history of human habitation; people are believed to have lived in the region since the Paleolithic era. Over many centuries, the area we now call Akita supported a number of different peoples and cultures, and we—the current residents of Akita—like to think of ourselves as the successors to this rich history. Indeed, Akita has much to offer. It boasts many tourism resources, for example. Prominent sites include the majestic coastline of the Oga Peninsula and the centuries-old Namahage folk-tradition, well-preserved feudal-era samurai residences in Kakunodake (nicknamed the Little Kyoto of the Northeast), the Shirakami-Sanchi mountain range, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the mystical Lake Tazawa, which is touted as the deepest lake in Japan. Our prefecture is filled with various festivals and events throughout the seasons, with Akita City’s Kanto Festival (one of the four major northeastern festivals), Yokote City’s Kamakura snow hut festival, and the national Omagari Fireworks Competition in Daisen City being some of the most famous.

akita map

The main industry of Akita is agriculture, centering on rice production, and the region is rich in food from both the sea and the mountains. We enjoy a wonderful cuisine, including local favorites such as the famous Kiritanpo rice skewers, Inaniwa udon, and fish-sauce hot pot with sailfin sandfish (hatahata no shottsuru nabe). The abundant and luxurious hot spring (onsen) spots must not be missed by tourists in Akita. Moreover, we are very proud of the Akita breed of dogs—probably Akita’s most famous export. Akita dogs are widely known for their loyalty to their owners, as exemplified by the famous story of Hachiko, whose statue stands in front of Shibuya Station in Tokyo, and about whom films have been made both in Japan and in the USA. Last but not least, we should mention that Akita is very famous as the home of many fair-skinned beautiful women, known nationally as Akita Beauties. We welcome you to visit Akita and see them for yourself, and experience the region’s many other charms.