Land Of Nature: 11 Things To Do In Akita Prefecture, Japan

Things to do in Akita prefecture
Roselle
Roselle
Updated

Akita Prefecture is known for its natural beauty, wondrous mountains, hot springs and more. Apart from its nature, there are many attractive and fun traditional festivities with unique events throughout the year. Get to know, explore and enjoy the prefecture with this list of the best things to do.

1. Akita Kanto Matsuri

Akita Kanto Festival
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 掬茶 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Known as the “pole lantern festival”, it gets its name from how the performers balance long bamboo poles (Kanto) with paper lanterns attached to it. The lanterns highlight the poles from the top, while the performers balance it using one hand, their forehead, shoulder, or hip. Experience this incredible balancing act every year in August in Akita City.

Kanto Matsuri

Address: Kyokuhokusakae-machi, Akita 010-0922, Akita Prefecture

Website: Kanto Matsuri

2. Mount Chokai

Mt. Chokai and Chokai JHS closeup
Source: Photo by user Douglas P. Perkins used under CC BY 3.0

Mount Chokai is the largest mountain in Akita. This active volcano is known to be sacred by followers of the Shugendo branch of Shinto. One can see the snow capped peak from Akita City. You can take a fun twisty drive up to the mountain or do a challenging hike. Either way, enjoy observing the lush green trees from the bottom and the stark white snow at the top.

Chokai-san

Address: Nikaho 018-0400, Akita Prefecture

Website: Chokai-san (in Japanese)

3. Dakigaeri Valley

DakigaeriValley4
Source: Photo by user Ippukucho used under CC BY 3.0

This beautiful color changing gorge is breathtaking, especially for its strong cobalt tint in the water. Due to its ever changing landscape, the Dakigaeri Valley comes to life even during winter. This makes the gorge a great location for visiting any time throughout the year. Be sure to check out the waterfall, where there is an easy walk along a narrow path.

Dakigaeri Valley

Address: Hirokunai, Kakunodate

Website: Dakigaeri Valley

4. Oyasukyo Daifunto

Nagoriga-hara marsh
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tomofumi Sato used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Located at the entrance to Kurikoma Quasi-National Park, Oyasukyo Daifunto is a beautiful valley with V-shaped cliffs and hot springs. This beautiful ravine was formed by erosions from the Minase River. Visit the enticing Daifunto, the “Bathtub of Hell,” while traveling down a walking path and hear the earth breathing as the hot springs bubble up.

Oyasukyo Daifunto

Address: Minase, Yuzawa 012-0183, Akita Prefecture

Website: Oyasukyo Daifunto (in Japanese)

5. Kawarage Hell

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

One of the most sacred places in Japan, the place gets its name from its site. With steam and volcanic gases spewing out from unearthly rocks, it gives one the impression that they’re looking straight into hell! Follow a path heading to Yujirizawa valley and find the Kawarage Hot Spring, a hot spring waterfall which people come to enjoy during the summer as an outdoor bath.

Kawarage Hell

Address: Takamatsu, Yuzawa 019-0404, Akita Prefecture

Website: Kawarage Hell

6. Hachimantai

Hachimantai Goshogake-Onsen 002
Source: Photo by user 掬茶 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Sitting in between Akita and Iwate Prefectures is Hachimantai, a mountainous region which makes up the southern part of the Towada-Hachimantai National Park. Explore the Japanese countryside as this volcanic terrace lies away from the cities and has the best hot springs and bubbling volcanic landscape.

Hachimantai

Website: Hachimantai

7. Kakunodate

Kakunodate
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user KimonBerlin used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Mostly known as a Samurai District, it also has a merchant district and hundreds of weeping cherry trees (shidarezakura). Step into the past as the town still almost looks like it did since its founding in 1620. A samurai stronghold and former castle town, feel the atmosphere of how the middle class and wealthy samurai families might have lived during its time in this town.

Kakunodate

Website: Kakunodate

8. Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum

Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ocavis Leechroot used under CC BY 3.0

Located in Kakunodate, samurai district, the Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum is one of the best-preserved samurai houses. Experience the samurai way of life from the 17th-century. Enjoy the main house, the Armory, the Seiryu-an Gallery, the Akita Folk Museum, and a beautiful garden. Experience “playing” with the exhibits like holding a samurai sword, wearing a samurai helmet, and more.

Samurai Manor Museum

Address: 26 Katsunodatemachi Higashi Katuraku-cho, Semboku 014-0325, Akita Prefecture

Website: Samurai Manor Museum

9. Senshu Park

Osumi-Yagura of Kubota-Castle 20160424
Source: Photo by user 掬茶 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

One of the most beautiful parks in the prefecture, it awes the hearts of its visitors with its cherry trees blossoming during spring. Inside, there is a replica of the Kubota Castle, home to the Satake Clan lords who were one of the most powerful samurai families. There is also a watchtower on the park’s highest elevation - the Osumiyagura Turret and a small museum inside the tower which showcases the history of the clan.

Senshu Park

Address: Senshukoen, Akita 010-0876, Akita Prefecture

Website: Senshu Park (in Japanese)

10. Akita Omoriyama Zoo

Akita Omoriyama Zoo
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 掬茶 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Welcome to the family friendly, Akita Omoriyama Zoo! The zoo houses about 117 species of animals. The central tower is a kid’s favorite, where there is an educational exhibit and a fun slide! There is a lawn picnic area and a steam engine in Omoriyama park. A clean, engaging and fun zoo for the whole family.

Omoriyama Zoo

Address: 154 Katabata Hamada, Akita 010-1654, Akita Prefecture

Website: Omoriyama Zoo

11. Ando Jozo Brewery Honten

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Ando Jozo is an old brewery which had been making miso (soybean paste) and soy sauce since the Kyoho Period. The Ando family have been using traditional natural brewing techniques with no additives for generations. Their dedication to their craft exists till today, developing new products with an appeal to current tastes. Come visit and enjoy the delicacies of this brewery.

Ando Jozo Brewery Honten

Address: 27 Shimo Shimmachi, Kakunodate Machi, Semboku 014-0315, Akita Prefecture

Website: Ando Jozo

Beyond the city

Citizens' Forest of Akita Prefecture
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 掬茶 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Sitting by the sea of Japan, one can find the best things that the prefecture has to offer beyond the city. Fall in love with the places you visit like the shrines, geology museums, cultural exhibits and preserved historical homes. With a fascinating history, culture and art, Akita Prefecture will take your breath away.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Roselle is a 3D Artist originally from Singapore. She is currently living as a Digital Nomad in Bali with her Husband. She plans to continue her journeys to Thailand, Vietnam and more. She has been...Read more

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