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History / Culture / Tour Spots in Akita Area

  • Akita Museum of Art
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Akita Pref. Akitashi Nakadori 1-4-2
    This art museum located in the Nakadori district of Akita Prefecture’s Akita City opened in 1967. It moved to its present location in 2013, and was redesigned by architect Tadao Ando. The museum stores and exhibits numerous famous artworks, though the bulk of its collection is from 1930s Western-style painter Tsuguharu Foujita. Sights to see include the more than 20-meter long mural “Annual Events in Akita.” The unique architecture is a must-see, featuring elements such as a spiral stairway without any supports and a pond that looks out towards Senshu Park.
  • Akita City Akarenga Red Brick Folk Museum
    92 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Akita Pref. Akitashi Omachi 3-3-21
    This is a museum of local history in Omachi Town, Akita City, Akita Prefecture, arranged in three buildings including the former Akita Bank headquarters “Red Brick House” constructed in 1912. Traditional craft items from Akita City are exhibited in the red brick building, designated as an important cultural property of Japan. Concerts are held annually in the magnificent atrium hall. The new building has memorial rooms for Akita-born woodblock print artist Katsuhira Tokushi and national treasure hammer artist Sekiya Shiro, as well as exhibitions relating to Akita’s history, folklore and art.

    Designed locally and originally the Akita bank (til 1969), the building had very high ceilings and plenty of marble and woodwork to marvel at. The two exhibitions - by two metal work and wood cut...

  • Kakunodate Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum
    Travel / Tourism
    Akita Prefecture kakunodate Omotemachishimocho 3
    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.
  • The Ishiguro Manor
    115 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Akita Pref. Sembokushi Kakunodatemachiomotemachishimochou 1
    The Ishiguro family house is located to the north of Bukeyashiki Road (street of samurai houses). It is the oldest existing house in the samurai residence area of Kakunodate, and it is the only one allowing visitors to enter inside the house for viewing. It is estimated that the main building was built between the 18th and 19th centuries, the roof is thatched, the garden has moss that looks like water, and expresses a prestigious samurai style. It is a 20-minute walk from Kakunodate Station.

    Got a tour (simple English) from Ishiguro San himself (the 13th generation) who introduced his house to us. He is a friendly and amiable person. His house is fairly but nothing spectacular. Will...

  • Ando Miso Soy Sauce Brewery
    53 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Akita Pref. Sembokushi Kakunodatemachishimoshinmachi 27
    The former miso and soy sauce brewery was founded in 1853. The brick storehouse, built in the middle of the Meiji period, gives an atmosphere of long ago. You can enter the building and view the fusuma (sliding doors), hand-painted by Nishimiya Reiwa, free of charge. In the black plastered warehouse once used for storage, you can taste miso soup and pickles. You should definitely try the additive-free, naturally produced goods.

    This brewery which is responsible for the production of artisanal soy sauce and miso is a treasure house of Japanese ingredients. There are many things you can taste and we didn't encounter anywhere...

  • Kakunodate Kabazaiku Denshokan
    56 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Akita Pref. Sembokushi Kakunodatemachiomotemachishimochou 10-1
    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.

    This Museum has an interesting collection which will enhance your knowledge of life and early industry in the Kakunodate district. During our visit there were also exhibitors of local crafts with...

  • Ukiki-jinja Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Akita Pref. Sembokushi Nishikichousaimyouji Katajiri
    15 minutes by car from Yatsu Station. A bare wood shrine with a modern feel located on the shore of Lake Tazawa in Saimyoji, Nishiki Town. The shrine’s proper name is the Kansagu. The shrine was named with Kansagu by Masudo Soshu, a retainer of Akita Domain, in 1769. Because of this fact, Lake Tazawa has come to be called Lake Kansa, as well as Lake Sako. The driftwood enshrined in the shrine resulted in its common nickname of Ukiki-jinja Shrine— “Driftwood Shrine.” The shrine building sticks out over Lake Tazawa, and nearby stands a figure of the legendary Tatsuko. The shrine is believed to provide luck with finding love and marriage and is visited by many women.
  • Ohmura Art Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Akita Pref. Sembokushi Kakunodatemachiyamanemachi 39-1
    A 16 minute walk from Kakunodate Station. A private museum located in Kakunodate, Senboku City, Akita Prefecture dedicated to René Lalique, who was considered an Art Deco master. The museum’s collection of some 400 pieces includes glass works of art by Lalique, Art Deco pieces from the same period as his lifetime, and related materials. In order to fully show off the beauty of its glass artwork, the museum makes use of small exhibition spaces and careful lighting. In addition, the museum chooses a special theme every two or three months and presents select pieces for exhibition accordingly.
  • Namahage Museum
    Travel / Tourism
    Akita Pref. Ogashi Kitaurashinzan Mizukuisawa In the ground
    A museum dedicated to presenting materials relating to Namahage, traditional ogres which are part of the folk customs of Oga, located a 20 minute drive by car from JR Hadachi Station. The museum building is built with “Kanpu-seki” stone from Oga outside and Akita cedar inside, and various rare and precious materials relating to the folklore of Namahage are presented in the museum’s atmospheric confines. Highlights include the museum’s display of 110 Namahage costumes and 40 Namahage masks actually used in areas throughout the city. The rows of diverse costumes and masks standing together is truly an impressive sight. Visitors can also put on a real Namahage costume themselves and take a commemorative photo.
  • Monzen Namahage Statues
    Travel / Tourism
    Akita Pref. Ogashi Funagawaminatohonzanmonzen
    These Namahage statues are in Honzan Monzen, Funagawa Minato, Oga City. They are each 9.99 meters high, to reflect the 999 steps leading to nearby Akagami-jinja Shrine, said to be the birthplace of the ogre legends. As a powerful local symbol, these are popular spots to take pictures.
  • Nishinomiya House
    Travel / Tourism
    Akita Pref. Sembokushi Kakunodatemachitamachikamichou 11-1
    The Nishinomiya Family were retainers for the Satake clan that moved to Akita at the beginning of the Edo period. This residence, which was built in the most prosperous period for the land owner from the Meiji to Taisho periods, comprises five storehouses and one main building. The main building exhibits old documents and artefacts. Visitors can enjoy tea and sweets in the charming Japanese sweet café. The garden is also beautiful and you can see its different seasonal faces such as the cherry blossoms in the spring and the colorful kaki fruit in the autumn.
  • Hirafuku Memorial Museum of Art
    20 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Akita Pref. Sembokushi Kakunodatemachiomotemachikamichou 4-4
    The Hirafuku Memorial Museum of Art is an art museum in Omotemachi Kamicho, Kakunodate Town, Semboku City. The name of the building is derived from the Japanese painters Suian Hirafuku and Hyakusui Hirafuku, parent and child from Kakunodate. The building was designed by Hiroshi Oe, known for his architectural designs of the National Noh theater and Hosei University. Opened in 1988, it was built on the land where the North Satake family (Satake-hokke) of the Satake clan resided and where the old Kakunodate Junior High School building stood. There are pieces of work on display from Naotake Odano and other local artists and followers of Hirafuku, as well as other active young artists.

    The brochure describes the inspiration of the building design as the northern Europe. For me, it looked like Arabic or Middle Eastern. Whichever you agree, it shows a striking contrast to the...

  • Nikaho City Kisakata Local Museum
    3 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Akita Pref. Nikahoshi Kisakatamachi Kitsunemori 31-1
    A local museum located in Hamanota, Kisakata Town, Nikaho City. Kisakata used to be known as a pretty scenic place with islands both large and small. The museum has displays on the history and culture of Kisakata and the lagoons in the area which were lost in the Great Kisakata Earthquake of 1804. The museum exhibition includes the “Lagoon Period of Kisakata” with models of what the area looked like at the time, and paintings on folded screens, etc. Another display to look for is “Writers and Artists Who Visited Oku-no-Hosomichi and Kisakata” which introduces the literary people such as Matsuo Basho who visited Kisakata. Exhibitions are also held here such as work by Shuzo Ikeda, a woodblock print artist from Kisakata Town.


  • Historical Site Osarizawa Mine
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Akita Pref. Kadunoshi Osarizawa Shishizawa 13-5
    An abandoned mine for the copper mines in Osarizawaaza Shishizawa, Kazuno City with mine deposits discovered in 708, Osarizawa Mine long contributed to Japan’s mining industry until it was closed in 1978, only to be opened to the public as mining ruins. You can try out some gold panning and other programs, you can tour the 1.7 kilometer-long mine. It is a valuable industrial heritage.
  • The Shirase Antarctic Expedition Memorial Museum
    9 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Akita Pref. Nikahoshi Kurokawa Iwagata 15-3
    This museum is dedicated to the memory of Lieutenant Nobu Shirase, who came from what is now Nikaho City, and who led the first Japanese expedition to reach the Antarctic. Information on Lieutenant Nobu Shirase’s personal background and valuable memorabilia on the Antarctic expedition team are on display in the museum. There is also a life-sized play ship modeled on the ship “Kainanmaru” used for exploring the Antarctic situated outside in the museum’s Antarctic Park.


  • Kakunodate Bukeyashiki Archives
    Travel / Tourism
    Akita Pref. Sembokushi Kakunodatemachihigashikatsurakuchou 9
    This museum, which is in a converted rice storehouse, exhibits daily commodities from the Satake Clan (Bokke) and weapons and old documents from the Edo period. If you are going to see the warrior’s residence in Kakunodate-machi, a castle town that has long been associated with Genji, you should also visit this museum. It is around 30 minutes by car from the Kyowa Interchange on the Akita Expressway.
  • Iwahashike
    Travel / Tourism
    Akita Pref. Sembokushi Kakunodatemachihigashikatsurakuchou 3-1
    This warrior residence is located in Kakunodate. It managed to survive the great fire of 1900 in which several residences were destroyed. It is said this is because the roof was changed to one with shingles by the method of roofing called Kobabuki. The garden contains a large oak tree that is over 250 years old, making the high-class status of this warrior’s residence clear even today. This home was featured in the film “The Twilight Samurai.”
  • Kawarada Manor
    26 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Akita Pref. Sembokushi Kakunodatemachihigashikatsurakuchou 9
    In the Sengoku period, this residence of Kawarada Manor was used by the hereditary vassals of the Ashina Clan who transferred to Kakunodate, and it received 100 koku of rice for the main family and 50 for the branch family. It was built in the mid Meiji period, and it is styled after the warrior residences of the Edo period and their rich designs. The main residence’s roof features a merchant house design that is said to have been for fire prevention.

    武家屋敷通りにあり無料公開している武家屋敷ですが、修理のため閉鎖していました。 庭が美しいと聞いていたのですが、訪れた時は門も閉ざされていて中を窺うこともできなかった。 公開中止は2018年6月18日から2019年4月までです。

  • Gozanoishi Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Akita Pref. Sembokushi Nishikichouhinokinai Ainaigata 1
    Gozanoishi Shrine was founded in 1650 and received its name when the lord of the Akita Clan, Satake Yoshitaka, took a rest while visiting Lake Tazawa. It is famous for features such as the “Nanairogi (seven-color tree)” near the vermillion-lacquered torii gate that gave rise to seven varieties of trees; “Katagashira-no-reisen,” the spring that Princess Tatsuko is said to have drunk from that turned her into a dragon; and the “kagami ishi” stone that reflected her figure. It is on the shore of Lake Tazawa and offers beautiful scenery for visitors to marvel at. It is about an hour and 10 minutes by car from the Morioka Interchange on the Tohoku Expressway.
  • Tenshikan (Kyu-Seien Mariaen)
    Travel / Tourism
    Akita Pref. Kadunogunkosakamachi Kosakakouzan Furudate 35-6
    This facility was established in 1931 as a daycare center for miners’ children. It was originally located in a renovated old building, but the following year, a new building was created, and this is the Tenshikan building that currently remains. The vertically long double-hung windows, Renaissance-style entranceway, and other beautiful aspects have led to this building being designated a Registered Tangible Cultural Property.

Akita Main Areas


Famed for its sake and samurai, Akita prefecture offers quintessential Japanese culture in a non-touristy setting. Alongside the celebrated rice paddies and historical sites of the region lies dramatic natural scenery in the form of the rugged coastline of the Oga Peninsula and the Dakigaeri Gorge, best visited in autumn, when the leaves begin to change color.

Akita Photo Album

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