Akita

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

Understand

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

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 3 4 8 14 20 24 27 29 25 19 12 6
Nightly lows (°C) -2 -2 0 5 11 16 20 21 17 10 5 0
Precipitation (mm) 114 92 93 118 123 128 178 182 178 161 184 164

Source: Japan Meteorological Agency.

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.

Get in

Akita Port Tower

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 Shinkansen service from Tokyo to Akita resumed on April 29, but trains have to slow down around areas where repairs are being made. Allow an extra hour or so if traveling between these two cities.}}

The Akita Shinkansen provides hourly service from Tokyo station to Akita station. These trains, called the Komachi (こまち) trains, have only reserved seating. The Komachi stops at Ueno, Omiya, Sendai, Morioka before slowing down to travel to Shizukuishi, Tazawako, Kakunodate, Omagari, and finally Akita over conventional rail lines. Trains also reverse direction once at Omagari, the stop before Akita. Komachi trains from Tokyo reach Akita in four hours and cost ¥16,800 each way. Beware that the Komachi trains are coupled to Aomori-bound Hayate 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.

The Nihonkai overnight train from Osaka and Kyoto stops in Akita before terminating in Aomori. The Akebono overnight sleeper train from Tokyo's Ueno station also stops here, but the Akebono will only run seasonally starting in March of 2014.

By bus

By boat

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.

See

Do

Buy

  •   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.

Eat

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.

Grilling kiritanpo

Drink

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 in the basement of the Atorion Concert Hall.

Sleep

Go next

Routes through Akita

END  N  S  Omagari → Kakunodate Morioka
Aomori Odate  N  S  Omagari → Yokote Yamagata
END  N  S  Yurihonjo Niigata


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, December 09, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.