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Akita Prefecture

akita prefecture japan, akita prefecture map
Akita Prefecture 秋田県, Akita-ken is a prefecture of Japan located in the Tōhoku region of northern Honshu, the main island of Japan2 The capital is the city of Akita3


  • 1 History
  • 2 Geography
    • 21 Cities
    • 22 Towns and villages
    • 23 Mergers
  • 3 Economy
  • 4 Culture
    • 41 Food
  • 5 Tourism
  • 6 Famous festival and events
  • 7 Transportation
    • 71 Railroad
    • 72 Road
      • 721 Expressway
      • 722 National Highway
    • 73 Airport
  • 8 Education
    • 81 Universities in Akita Prefecture
  • 9 Media
    • 91 Television
  • 10 Notes
  • 11 References
  • 12 External links


See also: Historic Sites of Akita Prefecture

The area of Akita has been created from the ancient provinces of Dewa and Mutsu4

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 tribescitation needed

The first historical record of what is now Akita Prefecture dates to 658, when the 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 Ezo people 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 Province2 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 Akita

The famous Heian period waka poet, Ono no Komachi, is said to have been born in Yuzawa City, Ogachi Town, located in the southeast of the prefecture


Mount Chokai

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 the south

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

The Oga Peninsula is a prominent feature of the coastline

Akita City Yokote


Thirteen cities are located in Akita Prefecture:

Towns and villagesedit

Map of Akita Prefecture

These are the towns and villages in each district:


Main article: List of mergers in Akita Prefecture


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 cities Akita Prefecture is where declines in population are most severe in Japan; it is one of four prefectures in Japan registering declines in population since 1945citation needed It also has the lowest number of children as a percentage of the population, at 112%5 As of 2010update, it has a population of just over 1 million people6


Akita is famous for rice farming and its sake breweries7 It is well known for having the highest consumption of sake in Japan,8 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 desirable9 Ono no Komachi is a famous example of an Akita bijin


  • Kiritanpo Nabe
  • Gakko10
  • Rice – Akita komachi
  • Sake


Samurai house in Kakunodate

Near Lake Tazawa, there are a number of hot springs resorts onsen These are popular with tourists from all over Japan In addition, its numerous seasonal festivals matsuri offer a glimpse of rural or traditional Japan Some famous examples are the Akita Kantō, the Omagari Fireworks, 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 GAO Aquarium11

Famous festival and eventsedit

  • Kariwano Big Tug Festival, Daisen February12
  • Amekko Festival, Odate February13
  • Kamakura Snow Statue Event, Yokote February14
  • Tsuchizaki Shinmei Festival, Akita July
  • Akita Kanto Festival, Akita August
  • Nishimonai Bon Dancing Festival, Ugo August1516
  • Kemanai Bon Dancing Festival, Daisen August17
  • All Japan Firework Competition, Daisen August18
  • Kakunodate Festival, Senboku September



  • JR East
    • Akita Shinkansen
    • Gono Line
    • Hanawa Line
    • Kitakami Line
    • Ōu Main Line
    • Uetsu Main Line
    • Oga Line
    • Tazawako Line
  • Akita Trans Inland Railway Akita Nairiku Jyukan Railway
  • Yuri Plateau Railway Yuri Kogen Railway



  • Akita Expressway
  • Nihonkai-Tohoku Expressway
  • Tohoku Expressway
  • Yuzawa-Yokote Road

National Highwayedit

  • Route 7 -Nikaho-Yurihonjō-Akita-Katagami-Ikawa-Gojōme-Hachirōgata-Mitane-Noshiro-Kitaakita-Ōdate-
  • Route 13 -Yuzawa-Yokote-Misato-Daisen-Akita
  • Route 46 -Senboku-Daisen-Akita
  • Route 101 -Happō-Noshiro-Mitane-Oga-Katagami-Akita
  • Route 103 -Kosaka-Kazuno-Ōdate
  • Route 104 -Kazuno-Ōdate
  • Route 105 Yurihonjō-Daisen-Senboku-Kitaakita
  • Route 107 -Yokote-Yurihonjō
  • Route 108 -Yuzawa-Yurihonjō
  • Route 282 -Kazuno-Kosaka-
  • Route 341 Kazuno-Senboku-Daisen-Akita-Yurihonjō
  • Route 342 Yokote-Higashinaruse-
  • Route 397 -Higashinaruse-Yokote
  • Route 398 -Yuzawa-Ugo-Yurihonjō
  • Route 454 -Kazuno-Towada, Aomori-Kosaka-


  • Akita Airport
  • Odate-Noshiro Airport
JR Akita Station Odate Noshiro Airport


Universities in Akita Prefectureedit

  • Akita International University
  • Akita Prefectural University
  • Akita University
  • Akita University of Nursing and Welfare
  • North Asia University



  • NHK Akita Broadcasting NHK
  • Akita Asahi Broadcasting AAB
  • Akita Broadcasting System ABS
  • Akita Television AKT


  1. ^ National Census 2015 Preliminary Resultspermanent dead link
  2. ^ a b Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric 2005 "Provinces and prefectures" in Japan Encyclopedia, p 780, p 780, at Google Books; "Tōhoku" in p 970, p 970, at Google Books
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Akita" in p 20, p 20, at Google Books
  4. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in p 780, p 780, at Google Books
  5. ^ "Number of children in Japan falls to record low for 29th year in row" The Japan Times Kyodo News May 4, 2010 Archived from the original on June 6, 2011 Retrieved May 26, 2011 
  6. ^ 県人口108万5845人に減少 落ち込み幅最大、国勢調査速報 in Japanese December 28, 2010 Archived from the original on July 17, 2011 Retrieved December 28, 2010 
  7. ^ Omura, Mika November 6, 2009 "Weekend: Sake breweries go with the flow to survive" Retrieved December 29, 2009 dead link
  8. ^ The Appellation System for Sake in Akita Prefecture and Development Program for Akita Shun-ginjo, Kyuichi Saito, Journal of the Brewing Society of Japan; Vol 87, No11, 1992 Archived June 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ http://nihonscopecom/japan-geography/akita-prefecture-culture-sightseeing-history/
  10. ^ Akita Prefectural Guide, AKITA Prefecture Archived January 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ 笠井 Kasai, 哲也 Tetsuya; 矢島大輔 Yajima Daisuke April 21, 2010 韓国人ファン、秋田に殺到 ドラマ「アイリス」効果 Asahi Shimbun in Japanese Japan Archived from the original on April 23, 2010 Retrieved April 22, 2010 
  12. ^ "刈和野の大綱引き" pdf in Japanese Daisen City Retrieved November 26, 2015 
  13. ^ "大館アメッコ市 - 秋田県大館市" in Japanese Odate City Retrieved November 26, 2015 
  14. ^ "(冬)横手のかまくら|横手市" in Japanese Yokote City Retrieved November 26, 2015 
  15. ^ "総合案内|羽後町" in Japanese Ugo Town Retrieved November 26, 2015 
  16. ^ "English|羽後町" Ugo Town Retrieved November 26, 2015 
  17. ^ "毛馬内の盆踊" in Japanese Kazuno City Archived from the original on November 26, 2015 Retrieved November 26, 2015 
  18. ^ "全国花火競技大会「大曲の花火」オフィシャルサイト|大曲商工会議所" in Japanese Omagari Entrepreneurs Group Retrieved November 26, 2015 


  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth 2005 Japan encyclopedia Cambridge: Harvard University Press ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128

External linksedit

Media related to Akita prefecture at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official Akita Prefecture website in Japanese
  • Official Akita Prefecture website
  • Akita Sightseeing Guide

Coordinates: 39°43′7″N 140°6′9″E / 3971861°N 14010250°E / 3971861; 14010250

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