Akita Prefecture is still located in the Tohoku region. Although not as popular as Tokyo or Osaka, however, the prefecture presents several tourist destinations that are thick with Japanese culture. In addition, it also has charming natural beauty.
Do you like to enjoy the natural beauty as well as Japanese culture? Akita is a destination not to be missed.
Here are some tourist destinations in Akita that must be visited.
- Lake Tazawa
For those of you who want to enjoy a calming natural panorama, you can visit Lake Tazawa. The lake which has a depth of 423.4 meters is located in the eastern part of Akita. It is also one of the hundred most scenic spots in Japan.
One of the iconic features of this lake is the golden statue called Tatsuko. There is also the Gozanoishi Shrine and the Tori gate which is located by the lake.
It is said that the story of a woman who longs for eternal beauty. Unfortunately, it was turned into a dragon by the gods.
- The Oga Peninsula is known as the origin of namahage
The Oga Peninsula is the next place to admire the natural beauty of Akita. Apart from its panoramic views, the peninsula is also known as the place of origin of the imaginary creature, namahage. Namahage is told as a deity who has a frightening appearance in Japanese folklore.
For those of you who are still curious about namahagi, you can visit the Oga Shinzan Folklore Museum. Not just looking at masks or collections related to namahage. You can also watch a namahage show that can answer your curiosity.
- Masuda-machi, the center of commerce and business in the Edo period
After enjoying the beauty of the lakes and peninsulas in Akita, you can explore the cultural heritage. Masuda-machi is evidence of civilization in the Edo period.
It used to be a thriving center of trade and business in the Meiji period. Masuda-machi is one of the traditional districts besides Kakunodate in Akita.
You can see traditional buildings that are still well maintained and open to the public. The building is also known to have unique architectural characteristics, so it is designated as an Important Preservation District for the Traditional Building Group.
- Kakunodate is famous for its cherry blossom festival every spring
If you go to Akita, of course, don’t miss Kakunodate which is thick with Japanese history and culture. It used to be known as a bustling castle town in the Edo period. Now, tourists can see beautiful traditional Japanese houses along the road.
One of the highlights, namely the Samurai House which was used as the residence of the samurai in the past. All buildings are still preserved and maintain their historical value.
There is also the Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum which exhibits a collection of valuable items. In spring, you can also take part in the Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Festival. It usually lasts for two weeks in mid-April every year.
- Countryside hot springs in Hachimantai
Hachimantai is a mountainous region in North Akita and Iwate Prefectures. The mountains include the southern part of Towada-Hachimantai National Park. The location is quite far from cities in Japan and offers a stunning panorama.
There are several hot springs and views of the volcano that tourists enjoy. Here several traditional inns provide hot springs. This is suitable for those of you who want to enjoy the rural atmosphere as well as nature tours.
- Yokote is famous for the Kamakura Festival
Spring can enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms in Kakunodate. In winter, you can visit Yokote and take part in the Kamakura Festival. The festival features many snow houses called Kamura.
There is a snow altar dedicated to the water god. You can also bake rice cakes and enjoy the beauty of the candlelight that surrounds you at night. You can also see the city view from the observation deck at Yokote Castle during the festival.
Those were the six must-visit tourist destinations in Akita. There are natural attractions with stunning beauty, a culture that is still preserved, and annual festivals. Very complete, right?