Discover the Magic of Northern Japan – Akita!

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  • Have you ever heard of Akita Prefecture?

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    Akita prefecture lies in northern Japan.

    Akita prefecture’s foods

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    Akita prefecture’s rice is very famous in all of Japan, rice brand name is “Akita komachi”.
    “Akita komachi” is considered to be a top rice brand in Japan.
    You can buy “Akitakomachi” at supermarkets or at rice shops in Tokyo and other cities.

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    “Kiritanpos”, made of rice, are widely enjoyed in Akita.
    Japanese often cook Kiritanpos in a pot with vegetables and meat.

    You can eat “Kiritanpo” in restaurants too.There is one restaurant that serves them very close to Akita station.
    This restaurant’s name is “Akitakiritanpoya”

    This is a Japanese bar-restaurant so you can also drink Japanese rice wines.
    There are over 30 Japanese rice wines available.

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    Access
    Akita Kiritanpoya website *Japanese only

    Akita prefecture’s “Buke Yashiki”

    If you want to see some traditional buildings, you can see them in “Kakunodate”.
    There are many ancient houses here. “Buke yashiki” means Samurai’s house. Samurais used to live in those houses during Edo era.

    I will recommend 2 of the most famous houses

    Ishiguro House
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    The first house is named “Ishiguro house”. You can go inside and see around.
    Entrance fees are from JPY150 to JPY300

    It is located within 20min walk from JR “Kakunodate station”
    Access

    Aoyagi House
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    Next house is named “Aoyagi house”. This house is a little more pricey to enter, but you can see more small buildings around it.
    Entrance fees are from JPY200 to JPY500

    Access
    Aoyagi House website

    Akita prefecture’s traditional festival

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    I would also like to tell you about “Namahage”: Japanese devils, the messengers of God, who are sent to Oga Peninsula, Akita.
    On New Year’s Eve, Namahage go to the homes that have children and call them out: “Are there any children in this home who cry and are lazy.”
    “Namahage” perform rituals to remove bad luck and to bring good harvest.

    There are Namahage rituals held in Shinzan Shrine on September 13th, 14th, and 15th from 6:30pm to 8:30 PM.
    You can see Namahage play Taiko and dance. “Taiko” is s Japanese drum: people play Taiko during traditional festivals.
    You can catch a bus to Namahage from Oga station or Oga Onsen. The bus ticket is JPY200-300

    Namahage festival

    Akita dog

    There is a famous dog breed from Akita. The dog name is 秋田 (Akita). Japanese people call it “秋田犬”(Akita ken/Akita inu). People used to bread these dogs for hunting.

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    There is a famous story “Chuken-Hachiko”. Hachiko is “Akita ken” who was left at Shibuya station. Hachiko used to meet it’s owner at the station everyday. But one day Hachiko’s owner died. Hachiko kept waiting for the owner in front of the station every day since then until it’s last day.
    Now there is Hachiko’s statue in front of Shibuya station.

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    Hachiko Statue Access

    You can choose to go to Akita prefecture by train, plane, bus or car.
    There is plenty of nice food, nice places and events in Akita prefecture .
    I hope you enjoy Akita prefecture!