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AKITA Prefecture

Area: 11,612 km²
Population: 1,050million
Region: Tohoku
Capital: Akita

photo by Evan Blaser

Akita prefecture (Akit-ken) is a prefecture if Japan in the Tohoku region of northern Honshu, the main island of Japan. The capital is the city of Akita.

Akita is the largest city in the prefecture, a hub for transportation, sports, and shopping. Its longitude is about the middle of the prefecture, and so is reachable from both the north and south.
One of the top attraction of the city is Senshu Park. The park is a beautiful place to take a walk especially during spring season when the cherry trees are blooming. The park also hosts a replica of Akita Castle, the original having been constructed in 733 AD.
Other places to visit: Akarenga Museum, Senshu Museum of Art, Akita Prefecture Museum and Masakichi Hirano Museum of Fine Art.
For amusement, visit Round One, an amusement park with basketball courts, roller skates, soccer turf and lots of attractions and video games.
Akita Prefecture is known for its beautiful scenic contrast between the sea, mountains and the lakes. Among Akita’s main attractions is the town of Kakunodate, a former castle town which preserves one of Japan’s most interesting samurai districts. Hundreds of cherry trees are found in the city, making it one of Tohoku Region’s most popular cherry blossom spots.
Other attractions include Lake Tazawa, Japan’s deepest lake, Lake Towada, the Oga Peninsula, a peninsula full of nature surrounded by mountains and Japan Sea and Mt.Chokai, a phenomenally beautiful volcanic peak located on the southern border of Akita and Yamagata.

The Prefecture is very famous as an onsen (hot springs) destination in Tohoku. There are hot springs in almost every town of Akita.

Akita holds numerous festivals (matsuri) throughout the year offering you a glimpse of the traditional Japan.
Akita’s most important and biggest summer festival, the Kanto Festival, is held August 4th through the 7th. The festival represents a ceremony of prayer for good harvest and purification. This festival has been the event that expresses the culture and customs of the local people of the Akita clan for over 250 years.
By airplane
There are direct domestic flights to Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo, Nagoya and Hakodate from Akita airport. Carriers operating at Akita airport are JAL, ANA and Korean Air. The airport also offers international flights to Seoul, Korea. Buses connect the airport with Akita Station.

By train
The Akita Shinkansen provides hourly service from Tokyo station to Akita station. It’s a 4 hours ride. Foreign tourist are advised to purchase a JR East Rail Pass or the national Japan Rail Pass.
The rainy season in Akita starts from late June and ends late July. The spring and summer before and after that tend to have fairly moderate amounts of rain, and are good for outdoor activities. In November, it is common for some cold weather thunder storms to occur. In the winter, Akita sees some snow, though certainly inland areas get more.
During summer, you should be fine if you wear a short-sleeved shirt, t-shirt or a dress, however a long sleeved shirt is highly recommended if you choose to go near water or to the mountains.
In the winter, be sure to bring warm clothes such as winter coat or jacket, hat, scarf and gloves.
For the spring and autumn a light jacket should keep you warm.
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