capital city of Akita prefecture, Japan

Akita (秋田) is the capital of Akita prefecture in the northern Tohoku region of Japan's Honshu island.

Autumn at Kubota Castle



Akita is the largest city in the prefecture, and as such is the 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.


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency.
Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

In Akita, late June to late July is the rainy season. 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—this is said to mark the end of fall and the beginning of hatahata (a local fish) season. In the winter, Akita sees some snow, though certainly inland areas get more.

Tourist Information Site


Akitachi Plus is the city's official multilingual guide site.

Get in


By plane


Akita has an airport, with domestic flights coming in from such places as Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Sapporo. Buses connect the airport with Akita Station (秋田駅) -- a ride costs ¥980 and takes 40 minutes.

By train


Akita can be reached by Shinkansen (bullet train) along the Akita Shinkansen Line (秋田新幹線). Komachi (こまち) trains are available from either Tokyo or Ueno stations in Tokyo and make stops at Omiya, Sendai and Morioka before slowing down to travel to Shizukuishi, Tazawako, Kakunodate, Omagari (where it changes direction), and finally Akita over conventional rail lines. The trip takes just under four hours and costs about ¥10,000 in a standard class car.

When the Akita Shinkansen runs on conventional lines it slows down to regular train speeds and it will stop several times to allow other trains to pass. This will be a bit of a disappointing shock after zooming through northern Japan at top speeds as far as Morioka. In return, the views from the slowed down of the interior of Tohoku are beautiful.

Be aware that the Komachi trains are coupled to Hayabusa trains, which split at Morioka, but as all seats are reserved, the chance of getting in the wrong car is minimal at best. For foreign tourists traveling from Tokyo, the better deal is to purchase a JR East Rail Pass or the national Japan Rail Pass.

By bus

  • JR Bus operates the Dream Akita-Yokohama overnight bus to Akita from the bus terminal at Yokohama Station (9 hr 45 min, ¥9,500) and from Tokyo Station (8 hr 45 min, ¥9,100).
  • Odakyu and Akita Chuo Kotsu run the Flora overnight bus from Shinjuku (8 hours, ¥9,450).
  • The Senshuu daytime bus runs from Sendai with multiple departures (3½ hours, ¥4,000).

By boat

  • 1 Shin Nihonkai Ferry (新日本海フェリー 秋田フェリーターミナル), +81 18-880-2600. SNF has ferries going north and south. One route go to Tomakomai, Hokkaido on the Pacific Ocean. To the south the ferries go to Niigata, and also to Tsuruga. Reservations can be made in English by email. For Golden Week and busy times, ferries fill up weeks or months in advance. These ferries accommodate passengers with or without vehicles, though the ferry terminals may be inconveniently located for passengers on foot.

Get around


You can get around by bus, taxi, car, or bike. Many bus routes start in front of Akita Station. In the winter, there can be snow and ice, so drivers should decrease their speed.

On the 2nd level of the JR Akita train station is a Tourist Information office. From there you can organize free bicycles.

  • 1 Senshū Park (千秋公園; Senshū Kōen). Senshū Park is a beautiful place to take a walk, especially during the spring season when the cherry blossoms are blooming or in winter when the snow covers the trees and the ponds ice over. The park hosts a replica of a watchtower of Kubota Castle, the original having been constructed in 733 AD. For a small admission fee, the lower floors of the castle contain a small museum, and the upper floor provides a panoramic view of the city.
  • 2 Akarenga-kan Museum (赤れんが郷土館), 大町3丁目3−21, +81 18 864-6851. This museum, built in 1912, hosts various exhibitions of arts, crafts, and historical materials. This was originally the headquarters of Akita Bank. Aka means red in Japanese and renga means brick, so the name means therefore "red brick building". If you visit the nearby Kanto museum, you can buy a joint ticket for that and the akarengakan.
  • 3 Senshū Museum of Art (千秋美術館; Senshū Bijutsukan), 中通2丁目3−8 (in Atorion Music Hall, south of Senshū Park and west of Akita Station), +81 18 836-7860. Will reopen 29th June 2024. This museum has Akita-related art on display year-round. From time to time, various exhibitions are here, too.
  • 4 Akita Art Museum (including Masakichi Hirano Collection) (秋田県立美術館(平野政吉コレクション)), 1-4-2 Nakadori, +81 18 833-5809. 10:00-18:00, closed irregularly. This museum, built in 1967, focuses on the works of Tsuguji (Leonard) Foujita. Adults \1000 for special exhibitions.
  • 5 Kanto Museum (民俗芸能伝承館 minzoku geinō tenjō-kan ; nicknamed ねぶり流し館) (opposite the Seven-Eleven on Torimachi), +81 18-866-7091, . The Kantō festival (竿灯) is held in September every year and is about 400 years old. If you aren't around for the festival, this museum gives a taste of what it's like. A fine renovated 150 year old kimono shop adjacent to the museum is included with the price of admission. The guide in the kimono shop may be able to speak some English.
  • 6 Hitotsumori Park (一つ森公園, Hitotsumori Kōen) (near the Red Cross Hospital, south Akita City), +81 18-888-5753. This park contains an old samurai house that was built in Nakadori, near Kubota Castle, and was moved and renovated in the 1960s. The park also has a Japanese archery (kyūdō) club and shooting range. ¥300.
  • 7 Koizumigata Park (秋田県立小泉潟公園, akita-kenritsu koizumigata kōen) (Northern Akita City). Home of the Prefectural Museum and a 300-year-old rich farmer's house, which is rare and can be visited for free. Worth a visit if you like old Japanese houses.
  • 8 Akita Prefectural Museum (秋田県立博物館; Akita Kenritsu Hakubutsukan), 金足鳰崎字後山52 (NE of Oiwake Station, east of Kanaashi Agricultural High School), +81 18 873-4121. This museum has hands-on exhibits on science and history.
  • 9 Ōmoriyama Zoo (大森山動物園, ōmoriyama dōbutsuen). 09:00-16:30. A small local zoo with a giraffe, elephant, monkeys, lesser pandas, camels, and other animals. ¥700.
  • 10 Our Lady of Akita Convent (聖体奉仕会 (Seitai Hoshikai)) (Take the 351 or the 361 bus from Akita Station West Exit look for 仁別リゾート公園線 (Nisetsu Resort Park) or 秋田温泉 (Akita Onsen) buses. There is an information stand at the bus stop and tourist information in the station if you need help. Get off at 湯沢 (Yuzawa, not to be confused with Yuzawa (Akita)), about 20 minutes ride and about two stops after you go under a large overpass. You will see signs from there through a small neighbourhood and up a hill to the right. You could just get a taxi, but you'd miss a great hike doing that.), +81 18-868-2139. Apr-Nov: 09:00 to 11:30, 13:00 to 16:30; Dec-Mar: 10:00 to 11:30, 13:00 to 16:30. Of obvious interest to Catholics, but also simply beautiful for anyone keen for a bit of quiet reflection in a country with so many crowded and noisy temples, this is one of the most recent approved sites of Marian apparition. In the 1980s a statue inside the building wept on national TV. The site also has beautiful and expansive gardens and a church with Japanese-style architecture. The nuns have an English-language website with photos and directions which is worth a look. Free, though it would be polite to leave a donation in the box.
  • 11 Nakajima Library (Akita International University Library), Okutsubakidai-193-2 Yuwatsubakigawa, 886-5907, toll-free: 886-5907. Weekdays: 8:30-22:00 (8:30-18:00 in January & February) Sat, Sun, Holidays & Vacation Periods: 10:00-18:00 (closed during the New Year holidays). Akita International University's library's interior is made of cedar wood and its roof is half-dome shaped. It has won many architectural awards. Photography is permitted with permission from the reference desk. It's free to visit and has free WiFi, restrooms, and vending machines. It's open every day (including most holidays) and about a 10-minute car ride from the airport. .
Kanto Festival
  • 1 Round One (ラウンドワンスタジアム秋田店), 卸町1丁目1−2 (from the brown JA Building, follow Highway 13 south; it's One is on the corner next to McDonald's), +81 18 896-6711. Open 24 hours. Round One is a kind of indoor amusement park. Once you're inside, there are basketball courts, roller skates, a soccer turf, lots of video games, and similar things. 1 game ¥690, 2 games ¥1190, all-day up to 10 games: ¥2100. discounts for students and members.


  • Kanto Festival (竿燈まつり Kantō-matsuri). Aug 3-6 18:50-21:00. A parade of over 200 bamboo poles with hanging lanterns up to 12 meters tall weighing 50kg balanced on the shoulder, hip, hand, or head of participants. The bamboo poles are meant to represent sprouting rice plants in hopes of a bountiful harvest.
  • 1 Aeon Mall (イオンモール秋田), 御所野地蔵田1-1-1 (near the intersection of Highway 41 and Highway 61, 4km south of the Akita Red Cross Hospital), +81 18 889-6500. This was the largest mall in Tohoku back in 1993. There are many chain stores, mostly selling young women's fashion. Kaldi Coffee Farm sells foreign foods like biscuits and museli and of course coffee beans. There is also a movie theater sometimes showing movies in English. The ticket machines for films have an English option for buying tickets on them. On the third floor is a Daiso, the \100 shop, and also in the middle of the third floor is the food court. Other restaurants and Starbucks can be found on the ground floor.
    • 2 Toho Cinemas Akita (TOHOシネマズ 秋田), 御所野地蔵田1-1-1 (Located in Aeon Mall.), +81 18-889-8500. This theater is the largest in the prefecture. Some of its foreign films are in English with Japanese subs. See the website for details. Regular price ¥2000; seniors, students, ladies on Wednesday, men on Thursday, morning shows, late shows, one's birthday, first day of the month ¥1000.
  • 3 Cheese & Wine Abe (チーズ&ワインアベ), 千秋明徳町2-6, +81 18 884-0093. M-Sa 10:00-20:00, Su 10:00-18:30, excepting occasional days off. This store sells wine, beer, cheese, and scotch.
  • 4 105 (イチマルゴ), 1F Fonte Building, Nakadori 2-8-1 (a block SW of Akita Station.), +81 18 832-5767. This store has a small selection of cigars. The owner can do special orders, if you ask.
Kiritanpo nabe

The most well-known Akita dish is kiritanpo. Kiritanpo is essentially a tube made of rice, generally formed around a disposable chopstick. It is often roasted, sometimes after being smothered in miso paste. It is also eaten in kiritanpo nabe, a stew of sliced kiritanpo, vegetables, and chicken or fish, most commonly eaten during the winter. Of course, there are many non-local styles of food available in Akita City, including a wide variety of ramen and Indian restaurants.

  • 1 Peacock (ピーコック), 八橋新川向4−17 (from the intersection between Yabase Park and the Akita Prefectural Office, go two traffic lights north and 1 block east; Peacock is on the corner), +81 18 824-6114. One of the top Indian restaurants in Akita. Vegetarian options available.
  • 2 Rakusumi (インド料理ラクスミ), 外旭川八幡田121−1 (on Highway 233, several kilometers NW of Akita University. Across from Sunkus), +81 18 868-1777. M-F 11:00-15:00, 17:00-22:00; Sa Su 11:00-22:00. This is a small Indian restaurant. The nan is all you can eat, and quite tasty. The curry selection is rather large, and tasty too. Main dishes ¥1,000-1,500.
Grilling kiritanpo
  • 3 Ramen Nishiki (Akita Main Shop) (らーめん錦 秋田本店), 外旭川字待合16−1 (by car, go north from the large post office on Highway 56; after about 6 km, turn right on Highway 72; the ramen shop is on the left after about 2 km), +81 18-853 4129. This is a branch of Odate's famous Ramen Nishiki. That ramen shop is ranked as the best in Akita, and this branch is also quite good.
  • 4 Suehiro (Sanno Branch) (末廣ラーメン本舗秋田山王本店), 山王2丁目2−4 (just east of the Akita City Office, a block north of Sanno Odori), +81 18 865-7373. 10:30-15:00, 17:00-02:00, closed Tuesdays, closed the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Delicious ramen. Another branch is near Akita Station. ¥500-1,000.
  • 5 Suehiro (Station Branch) (末廣ラーメン本舗秋田駅前分店), 中通4丁目15−1 (SE of Akita Station, just west of Hotel Alpha One), +81 18 825-1118. Delicious ramen. Another branch is near the Akita City Office. ¥500-1,000.
  • 6 Cafe Brugge (カフェ・ブルージュ), 南通築地6-17 (a 15 minute walk from Akita Station), +81 18-825-0888, fax: +81 18 887-5120. Tu-Sa 11:30-14:30, 17:30-21:30. This is a Belgian-themed cafe. Sometimes it has live music in the evening. Main dishes ¥500-1,000.



As one of Japan's most famous rice-growing regions, Akita has some of the best local sake in all of Japan. A great place to find many different bottles for sale (and usually free samples) is in the Prefectural Goods Shop (あきた県産品プラザ, akita-renritsu puraza) in the basement of the Atorion Concert Hall.


  • 1 Hotel Kenkoland Komachi (ホテル・健康ランド こまち), 卸町一丁目2-3, +81 18 865-0001, fax: +81 18 865-0002. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 11:00. Single for ¥3500.
  • 2 Hotel Pearl City (ホテルパールシティ秋田竿燈大通り), Omachi 2-2-3 (on Chuo Odori just west of the canal), +81 18 862-0501. Check-in: 17:00. A nice business hotel in central Akita City. Single without meals ¥3400.
  • 3 Dormy Inn (中通温泉こまちの湯ドーミーイン) (opposite the pond next to Senshuu Park - walk out of the station to where the buses are and go straight ahead on the right), +81 18 835-6777. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. Dormy Inns are Japanese business hotels, albeit slightly more expensive ones, but the rooms tend to be a bit bigger, have tatami rooms and this one at least contains a legit onsen on the roof. An onsen is a real hot spring with the water heated by the earth itself, rather than a heater. The mind boggles to think about how they get it up to the roof, but it's magic in winter as you sit in the hot water with snow falling on you. ¥8,000.
  • 4 Toyoko Inn Akita Station East Exit (東横イン秋田駅東口) (part of the station complex, walk to the east exit and you will see signs; you need to take the elevator up to the reception area on the upper floors), +81 18-889-1045. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 10:00. As far as Toyoko Inns go, this is a particularly nice one. Right in the centre of town, connected to the station and on the upper floors of one of Akita's tallest buildings giving guests a nice view from the rooms. Toyoko Inns are, in general, very uniform affairs. They're basic, cheap and clean and you get a free, basic Japanese breakfast in the mornings. They also have an English booking site, which is nice, though don't expect the staff to speak English. ¥5000 - 6000.
  • 5 ANA Crowne Plaza Akita (ANAクラウンプラザホテル秋田), 2-6-1 Nakadori (a 3 minute walk from Akita Station West Gate), +81 18-833-2221, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Also has a buffet restaurant called Sora (open for lunch on weekdays 11:30 - 15:00, weekends and holidays 11:30 - 15:05; dinner on weekdays 17:30 - 21:00, weekends and holidays 17:00 - 21:15), a Chinese restaurant called Karin (lunch 11:30-15:00, dinner 17:30-21:00) and a bar called St. Christina (open 18:00-23:00).  

Stay safe


There are bears in Akita. You won't find one trundling along Chuo Odori outside Akita Station, but visitors who are in Akita to enjoy its semi-rural outskirts such as Akita Onsen or the Our Lady of Akita Convent should familiarise themselves with bear safety. You will see signs scattered around warning of bear danger but if you cannot read Japanese they won't be much good to you. It's always best to assume that bears may be in the area, including in the colder months.

The Asian black bear is a retiring kind of beast. It's unlikely to bother you if you don't bother it and for that reason its best to avoid startling a bear, so make noise as you walk and keep a look out. Having said that, it could easily maul you to death so caution is advised. See Dangerous animals.

Go next

Routes through Akita
END  N   S  → Omagari → KakunodateMorioka
AomoriNoshiro  N   S  → Omagari → YokoteYamagata
END  N   S  YurihonjoNiigata

This city travel guide to Akita is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.