Akita Prefecture is located in the northwest of Japan’s main island. The western part of Akita, overlooking the Sea of Japan, is famous for its wild rivers, fertile lands and green valleys. High picturesque mountains surround Akita from three sides: northern, eastern and southern. In winter, most of the Akita’s territory is covered with a fluffy snow-white blanket. The Akita is well known for its rice plantations. Here you can taste traditional dishes such as kiritanponabe and rice wine.
Nature lovers should not miss Shirakami Santi, a beautiful mountain range with the last remaining virgin beech forests in Japan. For these chic forests, Shirakama was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993. Shirakami Santi is primarily famous for its hiking trails that pass by waterfalls, mountain peaks, lakes and forests. The most favorite route for tourists leads to the Anmon waterfalls in the northeast of the park. Anmon – these are 3 picturesque waterfalls, the road to which takes an hour and a half (closed to the public from November to April).
The hot springs of the prefecture are very popular among locals and tourists. Newto Onsen is just such a resort. Here, in a beautiful area, ryokan hotels are open, offering an excellent combination of service, comfort and rustic traditional style. The oldest and most famous inn “Tsurunoyu” is over 300 years old. All spa baths belong to hotels, but are available to both hotel guests and those who come for a day to relax and wash away the hustle and bustle of big cities.
Another interesting place is Kakunodate, a former castle town and stronghold of the samurai in Akita Prefecture. And although the castle has long been gone, the city has preserved samurai customs and traditions, and hundreds of cherry trees blooming in spring still delight local residents and guests. Perhaps the loss of the castle is one of the few changes that have occurred to Kakunodate since 1620. The city was built with only two districts – samurai and merchant. And until now, the samurai district, once home to 80 families, remains one of the brightest examples of samurai architecture in Japan. Thousands of people rush here in late April and early May to enjoy the beauty of sakura rose gardens, combined with a tour of historical sights – samurai houses. The streets are filled with rickshaws taking visitors to the best cherry blossom spots along the river.
The charm of Akita prefecture
The first thing that comes to mind when mentioning Japan is the Land of the Rising Sun, the birthplace of sake, samurai, robots, anime and, of course, the mesmerizing sakura. Millions of tourists from all over the world strive to get to this state with a special flavor, amazing culture and unique traditions that are passed down from generation to generation.
Most often, acquaintance with Japan among visitors begins with Tokyo, but Okinawa, Osaka, Yokohama, Hokkaido and the ancient capital of the country, Kyoto, are no less popular with foreigners. We want to share with you our impressions of traveling to the most picturesque place on the main Japanese island of Honshu, a place where crowds of tourists have not yet reached – to Akita Prefecture.
Many traditional festivals and unique events take place here throughout the year. For example, at the Kanto festival in Akita city, you can see a parade of burning lanterns, at the Kamakura festival in Yokota city they make houses out of snow, and during the Namahage-Sedo festival in Oga city, participants dress up as red and blue demons, take torches in their hands and descend from mountains This spectacle is not to be missed.
The name of the prefecture is translated as “autumn fields”. Perhaps it came from the fact that in autumn the territory of Akita, covered with a large number of forests, turns into a golden-purple carpet, or perhaps the name is associated with the vast rice fields located there.
In terms of its area, Akita ranks 6th among 47 prefectures in Japan – 11.6 thousand square meters. km, while the population here is small – 1.1 million people (do not forget, the prefecture is covered with forests and mountains). This region consists of 9 cities, the largest of them is Akita, in which about 300 thousand people live.
By the way, it is believed that it is in Akita Prefecture that the most beautiful and white-faced women in all of Japan. In Japanese, there is even a stable term “Akit beauties” or “beauties from Akita”. There are different explanations why the girls from this prefecture are good. One of them – quite scientific – is associated with thermal waters of high acidity, which have a beneficial effect on the skin.