Akita, a city located in the northern region of Tohoku, Japan, is no less of wonder with its numerous hidden gems. Akita is mainly known for the Kanto Festival, a festival where many beautifully decorated lanterns are lit and hung on a long bamboo pole and paraded while being balanced on the forehead. Multiple lakes and seasides showered by the beautiful sunset are amongst the main reasons many people flock to Akita. The rich culture, beautiful nature and delicious seafood in Akita will surely make visitors fall in love with this gorgeous northern town.
Located 14 km southeast of Akita city. Apart from using taxis, visitors that land in Akita airport may also use the airport bus which connects Akita Airport to Akita station in the middle of Akita town. The journey from Akita Airport to Akita Station by bus will take approximately 40 minutes and costs 930 yen. Akita Airport offers domestic and international flights mainly operated by JAL, ANA, Korean Air, China Airlines and also EVA Air.
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No matter where you plan to go to Japan, including Akita, these three travel periods should be avoided. They are the New Year holiday, Golden Week holiday and also the Silver Week holiday. The New Year holiday is from the 31st of December until the first week of January. The Golden Week holiday falls is May and Silver Week in September. However, the dates vary each year. During these three holiday periods, most Japanese families will be using public transport to visit relatives and take the family for holidays.
Akita is blessed with all four seasons. Each season is offering a different view to the visitors to Akita. Situated in the northern region of Tohoku, Akita receives a large amount of snowfall during its winter seasons. Green mountains and paddy fields turn white, covered in thick layers of snow. During autumn, leaves will turn to red, yellow, brown and orange, and autumn is amongst the favourite times for people to visit Akita due to the pleasant weather, between 12-25 degrees Celsius, which makes it perfect for a stroll through nature. Spring is when the sakura’s start to bloom turning the parks and hills around Akita into a pretty pink hue.
However, summer, between June and September is the best time to visit Akita as this is when most of the festivals in Akita take place. The famous Kanto festival happens during the 3rd to the 6th of August each year. The Kanto festival is amongst the three most famous festivals in Tohoku, where beautifully decorated lanterns are lit, hung on a long bamboo pole and balanced using the forehead. Apart from the Kanto festival, there is also the Tsuchizaki Port Festival, happening every 20-21 July and the Omonogawa fireworks performance during the Akita Summer festival on the 10th of August. There are also festivals outside summer such as the Miyoshi Bonden festival on the 17th of January, the Sakura festival at the Senshu Park in April, the Daishoji Okesa festival in August and many other festivals throughout the year.
1. Senshu Park – Once upon a time, an influential samurai family from the Sakata clan had built a castle and named it Kubota Castle. Even though the castle no longer remains, you can visit the museum which is located inside the watchtower. This tower is located inside Senshu Park. Senshu Park was nominated as one of the most beautiful parks in Japan and is often a favourite location for local Japanese for picnics during the sakura season. The iyatakan shrine which is also located inside Senshu Park is considered the most visited shrine in Akita.
2. Michi no Eki – This skyscraper offers a viewing deck 100 meters above sea level, giving its visitors a spectacular view of Akita city and the shoreline. The best time to visit Michi no Eki would be during dusk as this is when you will be able to see the beautiful sunset above the city. The modern architecture of this building a beautiful juxtaposition to the old and traditional buildings that surround it.
3. Minzoku Geino Densho-kan – This is a museum that is dedicated to Japanese lanterns, especially the lanterns used during the Kanto festival. Minzoku Geino Densho-kan may be the only museum in the world that is solely dedicated to Japanese lanterns. On the first and second floor, visitors will be able to watch a video presentation on the history of the Japanese lantern. If lady luck is on your side, you might get the chance to try and balance the lanterns on your forehead, just like during the Kanto festival.