A northern slice of the far-flung Tohoku region, it’s no surprise that Akita’s attractions are nature-based. Akitans live their lives according to the rhythm of nature, celebrating events to a distinctly agricultural calendar – you’re likely to encounter some kind of festival when you’re there. Throughout the year, trekking, camping, boat cruising, swimming, climbing and hot springs abound.
Akita city is the prefectural capital. Year-round it’s known for its beautiful women but every August their beauty is temporarily upstaged by the spectacular Akita Kanto Matsuri, a harvest festival where skillful participants balance huge bamboo stacks of lanterns on their hands, shoulders, and foreheads to the beat of traditional taiko drum music.
Just north of the city is the axe-shaped Oga peninsula, offering far-reaching views from Mount Kampu and at Nyudo-zaki Point on the peninsula’s tip. On clear days, you can see the edge of North Korea. Spot the Godzilla rock, which actually looks a lot like the iconic monster. If you’re there in the winter, you can see the Namahage Sedo festival where people dressed as demons and bearing flaming torches descend from the mountains to the town to admonish badly behaved children.
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