Akita Overview

Sitting along the Japan sea is Akita prefecture, a large and diverse pocket of the northern Tohoku region. Filled with more attractions than you can count the area is famous for its stunning surroundings. With towering mountains dotted with hot springs and bordered by sea, its natural beauty draws swarms of tourists all year round. But it isn’t just incredible nature that Akita boasts, it is also home to a fascinating rich history. Located in Akita is the town of Kakunodate, the world renowned, well-preserved samurai village. As well as samurais, Akita is known for its huge love of sake. Considered the biggest consumers of sake in Japan, the people of Akita love their sake so much they produce some of the best rice in the country in order to create it. With so much going on, no matter what you’re after in a holiday chances are you’ll find it here in Akita.

In a previous life Kakunodate was considered a castle town, however today the castle is sadly no longer standing, the history of Akita is still scattered around the area. The town still boasts some of the most incredible samurai architecture you can discover in Japan including the Aoyagi Manor, home to the famous Aoyagi samurai family. This 400 year old local samurai residence now hosts everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the samurai and the history of Akita as well as some of the Aoyagi family’s most precious heirlooms. If you want to dip deeper in the the area’s history check out the Denshokan Museum here you’ll find artifacts of the area’s glorious past.

If it’s natural beauty you’re after you can’t go past the Dakigaeri Gorge. Famous for its striking blue mountain stream that flows down through the heart of the lush surrounding forest, it’s a great place to experience the stunning koyo (autumn leaves) season. When the stream’s surroundings transition from deep green into fiery orange and gold there’s nothing else quite like it. As well as Dakigaeri Gorge Akita is home to Lake Tazawa, the deepest lake in Japan. Reaching a staggering 423 metres (1,388 ft), this relatively untouched natural wonder is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike as the lake’s iconic surroundings are dotted with natural hot springs.

Famous for its axe like shape, the Oga peninsula located in Western Akita is definitely worth visiting if you’re in the area. Here you can experience the stunning rustic coastline that juts out onto the Japan sea. The peninsula is also home to a regular ogre festival where locals dress up to visit houses in order to rid them of lazy people, protect them from natural disasters, scare away evil spirits, and send blessings.

There are plenty of ways to get to Akita, but the best way is actually by plane. Recently Japan Airlines released a yokoso oneworld Tohoku air pass with prices starting at just 5,250 yen, but you have to be a oneworld alliance member. ANA’s also recently created an Experience Japan pass, which costs 10,500 yen for a return journey. If you’re really like to go by train, catch the Super Komachi shinkansen. If overnight bus is more your thing, JR Buses operate the Dream Akita-Yokohama overnight bus to Akita. It takes almost nine hours from Tokyo Station and will cost about 9,100 yen.

Facility Name
Akita
Address
Akita Pref. Akitashi Nakadori 7-chome
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Kakunodate
Address
Akita Pref. Sembokushi Kakunodatemachi Koazaseibigai
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Kakunodate Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum
Address
Akita Prefecture kakunodate Omotemachishimocho 3
Phone
0187543257
Hours
9:00-17:00 (Nov.-Mar. until 16:00)
Closed
open everyday
Fees
[Adult] 500 yen
[High School Students/Junior High School Students] 300 yen
[Child] 200 yen
Introduction
The old mansion and prestigious Yakuimon (roofed gate) of the Aoyagi Family, vassals of Lord Ashina and Lord Satake. The architecture of the main building has remained unchanged for about 200 years and is designated as an Important Cultural Property. There are valuable armor and helmets, relating the history of the Aoyagi family, displayed in the armory. The Kaitaishinsho Gallery has displays about the history of the Aoyagi Family, the faithful Odano Naotake and “Kaitaishinsho” (a book of anatomy). There is an experience corner, shop, and a coffee shop for you to enjoy your journey back in time. In spring there is a new species of cherry tree that is said to be the only one of its type in Japan, called the Aoyagi eight-petaled red weeping cherry.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Kakunodate Kabazaiku Denshokan
Address
Akita Pref. Sembokushi Kakunodatemachiomotemachishimochou 10-1
Phone
0187541700
Hours
9:00-17:00
[Dec.-Mar.] 9:00-16:30
30 minutes last entry
Closed
New Year's Holiday
Fees
[Admission fee to view] Adults (High School Students and above) 300 yen, small Junior High School Students 150 yen, under 6 years old Free
[2 tickets common ticket with the Heifuku Memorial Art Museum or Shinchosha Memorial Literature Museum] Adults 520 yen, small Junior High School Students 260 yen
[3 common tickets] Adults 750 yen, small Junior High School Students 360 yen
Parking Lot
No (Available fee municipal parking lot use)
Credit Card
No
Introduction
This is a tourist facility in Semboku City, Akita Prefecture, established to promote the traditional Kakunodate craft of “Kabazaiku” (cherry bark art) which began as the craftwork of lower-grade samurai. Kabazaiku is characterized by the brilliant, deep coloring it gets from the bark of the mountain cherry tree, and is often used for making tea utensils and accessories. Inside the building Kabazaiku, handicraft, cultural and historical materials are on display, and the Kabazaiku creation demonstration corner is particularly popular. The building itself, made in the old Kakunodate architectural style, is a sight to see.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN

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PLACES IN THIS ARTICLE

  • dummy image

    Kakunodate

    Station
    Akita Pref. Sembokushi Kakunodatemachi Koazaseibigai
  • dummy image

    Akita

    Station
    Akita Pref. Akitashi Nakadori 7-chome
  • Kakunodate Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum image

    Kakunodate Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum

    Historical Buildings
    Akita Prefecture kakunodate Omotemachishimocho 3
  • Kakunodate Kabazaiku Denshokan image

    Kakunodate Kabazaiku Denshokan

    Museum/Science museum
    Akita Pref. Sembokushi Kakunodatemachiomotemachishimochou 10-1
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    Valley
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    Lake
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