Tablet banner0
Tablet banner1
Tablet banner2
Tablet banner3
Tablet banner4
Tablet banner5
Mobile banner0
Mobile banner1
Mobile banner2
Mobile banner3
Mobile banner4
Mobile banner5

Akita

Akita Prefecture is a mountainous land that borders the Sea of Japan. Its geography isolated it from mainstream Japanese commerce, politics, and culture for much of its history, and the first mention of Akita in historical records only dates to 658 CE. Today, the area of just over a million residents remains largely separated from the glitz of Japan's major metropolises and has widely earned a reputation for consuming the nation’s highest quantity of sake. A combination of sprawling rice fields, impressive mountainous landscapes, and intangible cultural sites today draws tourists to this often-overlooked gem of Japan.

Along the prefecture's eastern border run the Ou Mountains while the Dewa Mountains cut a parallel line through its center, producing dramatic landscapes throughout the region. Among the many treasures hidden in Akita’s mountainous reaches is Lake Tazawa, a picturesque crater lake that is the deepest in Japan. Another popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts is Shirakami Sanchi, a UNESCO World Heritage primeval beech forest. Below the mountains lies Kakunodate, the most popular tourist destination in Akita. This quaint town has been deemed the “Kyoto of the North” for its abundance of weeping cherry trees and its well-preserved samurai quarters.

Akita Prefecture is a mountainous land that borders the Sea of Japan. Its geography isolated it from mainstream Japanese commerce, politics, and culture for much of its history, and the first mention of Akita in historical records only dates to 658 CE. Today, the area of just over a million residents remains largely separated from the glitz of Japan's major metropolises and has widely earned a reputation for consuming the nation’s highest quantity of sake. A combination of sprawling rice fields, impressive mountainous landscapes, and intangible cultural sites today draws tourists to this often-overlooked gem of Japan.

Along the prefecture's eastern border run the Ou Mountains while the Dewa Mountains cut a parallel line through its center, producing dramatic landscapes throughout the region. Among the many treasures hidden in Akita’s mountainous reaches is Lake Tazawa, a picturesque crater lake that is the deepest in Japan. Another popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts is Shirakami Sanchi, a UNESCO World Heritage primeval beech forest. Below the mountains lies Kakunodate, the most popular tourist destination in Akita. This quaint town has been deemed the “Kyoto of the North” for its abundance of weeping cherry trees and its well-preserved samurai quarters.

EXPERIENCES

EXPERIENCES

Kakunodate Castle Town

While Kakunodate is a "castle town," today this is true in name only. A castle did stand on the town's central Mount Furushiroyama hundreds of years ago, but it was demolished in 1620 by a Shogunal decree. Be sure to make your way over to the Uchimachi samurai quarter, widely regarded as Kakunodate's main place of interest. Located 15-20 minutes north of the train station, this quarter is home to several wooden samurai houses and gardens that have been meticulously preserved. Some have been made into museums and are open to visitors. The Ishiguro Samurai House is particularly notable. Built in the 19th Century, it boasts an impressive collection of maps, books, pottery, tools, and swords. A number of restaurants serve local fare near the samurai quarter, and visitors should be sure to check out the regional delicacies that include pickles, miso, fermented soybeans, and sake. For a truly traditional miso tasting experience, consider visiting the Ando Miso Soy Sauce Brewery in the merchants’ district. The brewery was established in 1853 and features an interior with tatami-mat floors, wooden furniture, and hand-painted sliding doors.

Dakigaeri Gorge

The Dakigaeri Gorge is known for its distinctive blue mountain stream that flows through a primeval forest of verdant green leaves replete with small waterfalls. It is an ideal place for a memorable nature walk, and it has both the scenery and the infrastructure necessary to ensure that guests can enjoy a truly peaceful experience. Tourist visitors to the gorge can explore it through old logging trails consisting of tunnels and bridges that hug cliff edges and bridge the iridescent blue river. The trail begins with a suspension bridge that beautifully frames the gorge and ends with the impressive Mikaeri Waterfall. Along the five-mile-long path, sightseers can also look out across rapids and sensational rock formations.

Lake Tazawa

Lake Tazawa is a picturesque caldera lake with sapphire blue waters that, at 1,388 feet to the bottom, is the deepest lake in Japan. In the summer, the area can be enjoyed by bike. Over 12 miles of mostly level roads encircle the lake, and bikes can be rented on-site. The lake can also be experienced via scenic boat rides, which float past beautiful vistas of the surrounding scenery and take you close to attractions like the statue of Tatsuko and the Gozanoishi Shrine on the northern shore.

Akita Museum of Art

Located in the prefectural capital, this museum originally opened in 1967 but moved to a new building in September of 2013. The current triangle-shaped building was designed by award-winning architect Tadao Ando and features striking aesthetic touches like a freestanding cement staircase and a skylight. The museum contains two galleries that feature rotating exhibitions, but it is renowned for the contents of its permanent main exhibit: a collection of works by Tsuguharu Foujita. This Japanese painter often went by the name of “Léonard.” He famously applied Japanese ink techniques to Western-style paintings, and he also produced a book of cat etchings that has been lauded as "the most popular and desirable book on cats ever published." Additionally, he produced a giant mural measuring 12 feet tall and 67.25 feet wide that depicts festivals and life in Akita throughout all four seasons.

Aoyagi Samurai House

The Aoyagi lineage can be traced back to the 16th Century when Aoyagi Touemon, founder of the family, became a vassal of the local lord in 1570. The family’s regional influence continued to prosper throughout the subsequent eras, amassing a massive manor filled with invaluable historical items. In 1989, the manor was converted into a museum, giving guests an intimate look into traditional samurai culture. Authentic historic utensils, clothing, toys, hanging scrolls, pictures, and documents are on display, all of which are originally the property of the Aoyagi house. Especially of note are the displayed medical illustrations of Odano Naotake, which constitute Japan's first modern guide to human anatomy. No items on display have been imported from other sites, and the museum has been designated an important cultural property by the national, prefectural, or municipal governments. Guests are free to meander through six galleries and a beautiful garden that covers more than 100,000 square feet. The may also explore the traditional architecture, hold authentic samurai swords, or listen to a 100-year-old gramophone. There is an on-site shop, tea room, and an udon noodle shop with 350 years of history.

Hiking

Japan is a nation of nature lovers, so hikers have no shortage of options to choose from if they want to get out of the cities. That said, much interaction with the outdoors has been shaped and curated by years of habitation, and untouched nature is somewhat difficult to find. This is where Shirakami Sanchi comes in. This virgin forest was not only spared from humans but from glaciation as well, as two million years ago many of Japan's forests were decimated by continental glaciation, and Shirakami Sanchi was spared. The result is a truly unique, primeval beech forest nestled among deep valleys and steep slopes punctuated by waterfalls. In 1993, UNESCO deemed the 42,000-acre expanse of virgin forest a World Heritage site, and it is a paradise for hiking enthusiasts. Explorers with a taste for the romantic can journey up to the park’s highest point, Mount Shirakami, at 4,421 feet above sea level, and enjoy the incredible vista; and then there is the Anmon Falls, a collection of three waterfalls that are just a 90-minute hike from the trailhead. There is also the Juniko (twelve lakes), which is noted for Aoike, a lake with a uniquely blue shade of water, and the Nihon Canyon, which has been dubbed Japan's "Miniature Grand Canyon."

japan Regions

JAPAN Regions

START YOUR JOURNEY TODAY

CONTACT US

japan Goes Well With

japan Goes Well With

EXPLORE OTHER ITINERARIES

Where to go

Choose Your Destination

What to do

Choose Your Interest

When to go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Bangladesh
Bhutan
Brunei
Cambodia
China
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Macao
Malaysia
Maldives
Mongolia
Myanmar
Nepal
Oman
Papua New Guinea
Philippines
Siberia
Singapore
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Taiwan
Tajikistan
Thailand
Tibet
Turkmenistan
Uae
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
Amazing Landscapes
Architecture
Art
Beaches
Bicycling
Celebrations
Cuisine
Diving
Glamping
Heritage
Luxury Cruises
Luxury Trains
Motorcycling
Off The Grid
Romance
Skiing
Spirituality
Sports
Trekking
Tribal
Unesco
Wildlife
With Kids

FILTER TO SELECT YOUR ITINERARY

TRAVELOGUES

TRAVELOGUES

Setouchi Triennale from the Sea with Seto Yacht Charter

Setouchi Triennale from the Sea with Seto Yacht Charter

Author : Travelogues
Twelve islands and two cities participate in the Setouchi Triennale, with installations, museums, and works that will come to define contemporary art, and now travelers can experience it from their private ship with Seto Yacht Charter.
Read More
Gold Eats: Gilded Delights of Kanazawa

Gold Eats: Gilded Delights of Kanazawa

Author : John McMahon
Kanazawa has been ahead of the gold-leaf food craze for about 400 years. Today, travelers can get gilded sushi, ice cream, and korokke in this lovable Japanese destination.
Read More
Taboo Butoh: Kyoto’s Controversial Dance Legacy

Taboo Butoh: Kyoto’s Controversial Dance Legacy

Author : Ronan O'Connell
The raw, brutal, pseudo-sexual nature of Butoh has made it a controversial dance that has spread worldwide. In Kyoto in the Butoh-Kan, Ima Tenko is one of the masters.
Read More
Shooting Sakura: Getting the Best Photos from Japan’s Cherry Blossom Season

Shooting Sakura: Getting the Best Photos from Japan’s Cherry Blossom Season

Author : Jordan Hammond
Jordan Hammond takes his camera through the Lands of the Rising sun to shoot sakura from Tokyo to Osaka, visiting castles, waterfalls, and modern city streets in cherry blossom season.
Read More
Aman Kyoto is a Go: New Luxury Resort Set to Open in 2019

Aman Kyoto is a Go: New Luxury Resort Set to Open in 2019

Author : Tyler Roney
Japan readies for its third Aman destination with Aman Kyoto. Found a short walk from the Golden Pavilion, this resort was two decades in the making.
Read More
Hello, Noto: 5 Reasons to Visit the Noto Peninsula on Your Next Japan Trip

Hello, Noto: 5 Reasons to Visit the Noto Peninsula on Your Next Japan Trip

Author : Travelogues
The Noto Peninsula was once so isolated people were banished to it; today, it is an off-the-tourist-trail gem with astonishing ryokans, unbeatable cycling, and country-side hospitality.
Read More

WHY CHOOSE US

WHY CHOOSE US

Two Couples from North Carolina & Florida
“ All the logistics and ground transportation were executed flawlessly. ”
More Testimonials
Winter Wonderland Destinations
Winter Wonderland Destinations
  by Recommend.com
Book Now: Himalayas by Heli with Remote Lands
Book Now: Himalayas by Heli with Remote Lands
  by Departures Online

FEATURED JOURNEYS

FEATURED JOURNEYS

Lessons in Chinese Legend – Aman Private Jet Expedition 2019

Lessons in Chinese Legend – Aman Private Jet Expedition 2019

BEIJING - XI'AN - HANGZHOU - CHENGDU - LIJIANG - ZHANGJIAJIE - SHANGHAI
September 8-20, 2019
The Grandest Tour – Aman Private Jet Expedition

The Grandest Tour – Aman Private Jet Expedition

Japan - China - Vietnam - Thailand - Bhutan - India - Greece - Montenegro - Italy
March 20 - April 10, 2020
Aman Private Jet Expedition 2019

Aman Private Jet Expedition 2019

China - Bhutan - India - Sri Lanka
October 12-28, 2019
The Grandest Tour – Aman Private Jet Expedition 2019

The Grandest Tour – Aman Private Jet Expedition 2019

Japan - China - Vietnam - Thailand - Bhutan - India - Greece - Montenegro - Italy
April 15 - May 6, 2019
 Satisfy your urge to explore #TakeMeToRemoteLands
NEWSLETTER

OUR DESTINATIONS

Stay in Touch

© 2019 Remote Lands. All rights reserved

Sign up