Akita Prefecture (秋田県, Akita-ken) is a prefecture located in the
Tōhoku region of Japan. The capital is the city of Akita.
2.2 Towns and villages
6 Famous festival and events
7.2.2 National Highway
8.1 Universities in Akita Prefecture
12 External links
See also: Historic Sites of Akita Prefecture
The area of Akita has been created from the ancient provinces of Dewa
Separated from the principal Japanese centres of commerce, politics,
and population by several hundred kilometres and the Ōu and Dewa
mountain ranges to the east, Akita remained largely isolated from
Japanese society until after the year 600. Akita was a region of
hunter-gatherers and principally nomadic tribes.
The first historical record of what is now
Akita Prefecture dates to
658, when the
Abe no Hirafu
Abe no Hirafu conquered the native
Ezo tribes at what
are now the cities of Akita and Noshiro. Hirafu, then governor of
Koshi Province (the northwest part of Honshū bordering the Sea of
Japan), established a fort on the Mogami River, and thus began the
Japanese settlement of the region.
In 733, a new military settlement—later renamed Akita Castle—was
built in modern-day Akita city at Takashimizu, and more permanent
roads and structures were developed. The region was used as a base of
operations for the Japanese empire as it drove the native
from northern Honshū.
It shifted hands several times. During the
Tokugawa shogunate it was
appropriated to the Satake clan, who ruled the region for 260 years,
developing the agriculture and mining industries that are still
predominant today. Throughout this period, it was classified as part
of Dewa Province. In 1871, during the Meiji Restoration, Dewa
Province was reshaped and the old daimyō domains were abolished and
administratively reconstructed, resulting in the modern-day borders of
Heian period waka poet, Ono no Komachi, is said to have
been born in Yuzawa City, Ogachi Town, located in the southeast of the
Located in the north of Honshu,
Akita Prefecture faces the Sea of
Japan in the west and is bordered by four other prefectures: Aomori in
the north, Iwate in the east, Miyagi in the southeast, and Yamagata in
Akita Prefecture is rectangular in shape, roughly 181 km from
north to south and 111 km from west to east. The Ōu Mountains
mark the eastern border of the prefecture, and the higher Dewa
Mountains run parallel through the center of the prefecture. Like much
of northern Japan, the prefecture has cold winters, particularly away
from the sea.
Oga Peninsula is a prominent feature of the coastline.
Thirteen cities are located in Akita Prefecture:
Towns and villages
Map of Akita Prefecture
These are the towns and villages in each district:
Main article: List of mergers in Akita Prefecture
Note: Data in the chart above was taken over the course of five years
(2003-2008). The graph shows how many people migrated to Akita City
from other prefectures. Overall the net gain of new residents was
4,981 people, or 1.5%.
Like much of the Tōhoku Region, Akita's economy remains dominated by
traditional industries, such as agriculture, fishing, and forestry.
This has led many young people to migrate to
Tokyo and other large
Akita Prefecture is where declines in population are most
severe in Japan; it is one of four prefectures in
declines in population since 1945. It also has the
lowest number of children as a percentage of the population, at
11.2%. As of 2010[update], it has a population of just over 1
The high rate of depopulation in
Akita Prefecture has led to the
merging of smaller communities, which has affected the smallest of the
merged communities. As depopulation in these communities and the
migration to larger communities continues, educational and health
facilities have closed in some areas, leading to the continuation of
the migration of families to larger cities for better access to health
and educational opportunities. The decline in younger generations has
led to concerns for sustaining rural communities facing issues of
aging and depopulation.
Akita is famous for rice farming and its sake breweries. It is well
known for having the highest consumption of sake in Japan, and
thought to be the origin of the Akita breed of dog which carries the
prefecture's name. The women of the region, referred to as Akita bijin
(秋田美人, 'beauties of Akita'), have also gained widespread
renown for their white skin, rounded faces and high voices, all of
which are considered highly desirable.
Ono no Komachi
Ono no Komachi is a famous
example of an Akita bijin.
Rice – Akita komachi
Samurai house in Kakunodate
Recently there have been efforts to revitalize rural communities
facing depopulation with different forms of green tourism as well as
agritourism. These efforts primarily aim at urbanites and in some
cases foreign tourists, advertising the pristine forests of Akita
prefecture as well as its many intangible cultures and sprawling rice
fields. In Akita there has been a push for home stays, farmers
markets for locally produced foods, and the integration of outsiders
into local cultural practices, for example the
Namahage ritual on New
Year’s Eve, which draws a large number of tourists to Akita
Prefecture every year.
Near Lake Tazawa, there are a number of hot springs resorts (onsen).
These are popular with tourists from all over Japan. In addition, its
al festivals (matsuri) offer a glimpse of rural or traditional Japan.
Some famous examples are the Akita Kantō, the
Namahage Festival, and the
Yokote Kamakura Festivals.
Kakunodate is a particularly charming old town, known as the little
Kyoto, full of preserved samurai houses. The Aoyagi house is the
former residence of Odano Naotake, the man who illustrated Japan's
first modern guide to the human anatomy. The house is now a museum and
gallery of medical illustrations and traditional crafts.
Starting in 2009, Akita began experiencing a huge surge in Korean
tourism after the airing of the popular drama Iris, which featured
several scenes shot in Akita, most notably at
Lake Tazawa and Oga's
Famous festival and events
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Kariwano Big Tug Festival, Daisen (February)
Amekko Festival, Odate (February)
Kamakura Snow Statue Event,
Tsuchizaki Shinmei Festival, Akita (July)
Akita Kanto Festival, Akita (August)
Nishimonai Bon Dancing Festival, Ugo (August)
Kemanai Bon Dancing Festival, Daisen (August)
Japan Firework Competition, Daisen (August)
Kakunodate Festival, Semboku (September)
Ōu Main Line
Uetsu Main Line
Akita Trans Inland Railway (Akita Nairiku Jyukan Railway)
Yuri Plateau Railway (Yuri Kogen Railway)
Route 13 (-Yuzawa-Yokote-Misato-Daisen-Akita)
Route 46 (-Semboku-Daisen-Akita)
Route 101 (-Happō-Noshiro-Mitane-Oga-Katagami-Akita)
Route 103 (-Kosaka-Kazuno-Ōdate)
Route 104 (-Kazuno-Ōdate)
Route 105 (Yurihonjō-Daisen-Semboku-Kitaakita)
Route 107 (-Yokote-Yurihonjō)
Route 108 (-Yuzawa-Yurihonjō)
Route 282 (-Kazuno-Kosaka-)
Route 341 (Kazuno-Semboku-Daisen-Akita-Yurihonjō)
Route 342 (Yokote-Higashinaruse-)
Route 397 (-Higashinaruse-Yokote)
Route 398 (-Yuzawa-Ugo-Yurihonjō)
Route 454 (-Kazuno-Towada, Aomori-Kosaka-)
JR Akita Station
Odate Noshiro Airport
Universities in Akita Prefecture
Akita International University
Akita Prefectural University
Akita University of Nursing and Welfare
North Asia University
NHK Akita Broadcasting (NHK)
Akita Asahi Broadcasting
Akita Asahi Broadcasting (AAB)
Akita Broadcasting System
Akita Broadcasting System (ABS)
Akita Television (AKT)
^ National Census 2015 Preliminary Results[permanent dead link]
^ a b Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Provinces and prefectures"
Japan Encyclopedia, p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books; "Tōhoku" in
p. 970, p. 970, at Google Books.
^ Nussbaum, "Akita" in p. 20, p. 20, at Google Books.
^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in p. 780, p. 780, at Google
^ a b c Quinones, C. Kenneth. “Chapter 2: Akita City.”
Akita-Beyond the Road's Narrow End, Mineo Nakajima, 2011, pp. 26–27.
^ "Number of children in
Japan falls to record low for 29th year in
Japan Times. Kyodo News. May 4, 2010. Archived from the
original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
(in Japanese). December 28, 2010. Archived from the original on July
17, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
^ Omura, Mika (November 6, 2009). "Weekend:
Sake breweries go with the
flow to survive". Retrieved December 29, 2009. [dead link]
^ The Appellation System for
Akita Prefecture and Development
Program for Akita Shun-ginjo, Kyuichi Saito, Journal of the Brewing
Society of Japan; Vol. 87, No.11, 1992 Archived June 16, 2007, at the
Akita Prefecture - Culture, Sightseeing and History -".
nihonscope.com. August 24, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
^ Akita Prefectural Guide, AKITA Prefecture Archived January 17, 2011,
at the Wayback Machine.
^ Sznajder, Michal, Przezborska, Lucyna, Scrimgeour, Frank, et al.
“Agritourism.” AbeBooks, CABI, 1 Jan. 1970,
^ Foster, Michael Dylan. “Inviting the Uninvited Guest: Ritual,
Festival, Tourism, and the
Namahage of Japan.” Journal of American
Folklore, American Folklore Society, 1 Aug. 2013,
^ 笠井 (Kasai), 哲也 (Tetsuya); 矢島大輔 (Yajima Daisuke)
(April 21, 2010).
Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese). Japan. Archived from the original on
April 23, 2010. Retrieved April 22, 2010.
^ "刈和野の大綱引き" (pdf) (in Japanese). Daisen City.
Retrieved November 26, 2015.
^ "大館アメッコ市 - 秋田県大館市" (in Japanese). Odate
City. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
^ "（冬）横手のかまくら｜横手市" (in Japanese). Yokote
City. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
^ "総合案内｜羽後町" (in Japanese). Ugo Town. Retrieved
November 26, 2015.
^ "English｜羽後町". Ugo Town. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
^ "毛馬内の盆踊" (in Japanese). Kazuno City. Archived from the
original on November 26, 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
Omagari Entrepreneurs Group. Retrieved November 26,
Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan
encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Akita (prefecture).
Media related to Akita prefecture at Wikimedia Commons
Akita Prefecture Official Website (in Japanese)
List of mergers in Akita Prefecture
Regions and administrative divisions of Japan
Coordinates: 39°43′7″N 140°6′9″E / 39.71861°N
140.10250°E / 39.71861; 140.10250
ISNI: 0000 0004 0402