Admire the beauty of Mount Chokai
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.
Learn all about the terrifying, industrious namahage
Do not be too quick to refer to Akita’s local namahage as ‘demons’. Despite their nightmarish appearance, the creatures are more like deities or guardians which traditionally came down from the mountains to scare away bad spirits, check that children are not misbehaving, and make sure villagers are working hard to ensure a successful harvest in the coming year.
Experience Odate Candy Festival
The Amekko (Candy) Festival is held annually on the second Saturday and the following day of February in the Northern part of Akita Prefecture, Odate City. With a belief to stay healthy for the whole year if you love eating sweets during this festival, local people visit a big candy market in the city centre and taste different kinds of traditional and local candies while enjoying various events and performances.
During the festival, Odate welcomes its visitors with more than 100 candy stands and a rich variety of sweets. The food choice is not limited to candies, of course, you can also find different kinds of seafood, meat dishes and traditional noodle soups.
Snap a selfie at ‘Godzilla Rock’
The rock formations at the southern end of Oga Peninsula, located a short drive from Akita City, include one that looks uncannily like the iconic Japanese monster Godzilla. The tower that is located nearby was rumored to be the location of a UFO sighting some years ago.
Eat the traditional hot pot, kiritanpo
Kiritanpo is a regional dish from Akita made with rice cakes that are toasted on skewers and added to a hot pot of chicken and seasonal vegetables. It is eaten from fall to spring, but is especially popular in November after the annual rice harvest is complete.
Enjoy the Tazawa Lake
The Tazawa Lake is one of the treasures and must-visit of Akita Prefecture. As the deepest lake in the Japan (423 meters) surrounded by stunning mountain ranges, it provides beautiful sceneries and attracts both local and foreign tourists.
The lake is quite big, but thanks to the sightseeing bus service you can easily go around it and stop at various points to get great views from different sides. One of the best views on the lake is a spot with the bronze statue of Tatsuko who is, according to the legend, a beauty that turned into a lake-goddess.