Top things to do

Cultural in Akita

Akita Kantō Matsuri

At summer's height, Akita celebrates its visually stunning Pole Lantern Festival. As evening falls on the city centre, more than 160 men skilfully balance giant poles, weighing 60kg and hung with illuminated lantern…
Park in Akita

Senshū-kōen

Originally constructed in 1604, Akita's castle was destroyed with other feudal relics during the Meiji Restoration. The moat still guards the entrance to this leafy park; though hardly sinister, it becomes choked wi…
Izakaya in Akita

Nagaya Sakaba

Highly regarded by locals, Nagaya Sakaba is easy to spot due to the massive red-faced Namahage demon overlooking the entrance. Sake flows freely once you've negotiated the Japanese-only menu. If in doubt, just shout…
Udon in Akita

Kanbun Gonendō

This well-regarded inaniwa udon (thin wheat noodle) speciality shop is very popular among locals who seek out the chewy delicacy, often served cold with various sauces, while on shopping forays around the Naka-Ichi …
Museum in Akita

Akita Museum of Art

Akita's most famous painting, Tsuguharu Fūjita's Events of Akita, is also reputed to be the world's largest canvas painting, measuring 3.65m by 20.5m and depicting traditional Akita life through the seasons. It's th…
Cafe in Akita

Cafe Pamplemousse

This peculiar concept cafe enjoys a lovely riverside locale and is run by a busy young team of foodies who specialise in desserts, fancy teas and organic produce. The cafe's signature is enormous fluffy pancakes (to…
Tonkatsu in Akita

Tonkatsu Ichiban-tei

Finding a decent tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet) joint can be a transcendental – or at least rather comforting – Japanese culinary moment. Ichiban is number one in town. It's adjacent to the train station in the T…
Japanese in Akita

Hinai Jidoriya

Yummy oyako-don (chicken and egg on rice) set meals are the pick of this busy train station restaurant, plus a decent crack at the local hotpot speciality (kani; crab) often sold for far more yen elsewhere in town.
Museum in Akita

Akarenga-kan Museum

Once the opulent headquarters of Akita Bank, this brick structure built in 1912 is now a folk museum. Inside, you'll find fascinating woodblock prints of traditional Akita life by self-taught artist Katsuhira Tokush…
Cocktail Bar in Akita

Bar Rosso

Stylish new wine bar with leather couches, knowledgeable staff, punchy jazz tunes and wasabi-laced complimentary snacks. Go for a few signature highballs (from ¥1000) and hold on for the 3am curfew.