The capital city of the Akita Prefecture has been settled for thousands of years. It wasn't a capital city then, of course, but the Jizoden remains are one of the area's foremost archaeological sites. The early medieval tribes, the Emishi, were united when the Akita Castle was built in the 8th century. The Sakate Clan, which gained power during the Edo period, suffered great shame for being on the losing side of the Sekigahara Battle against the alliances of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
The prefecture was officially established in the Meiji period. Much of the city's heritage was lost in a town wide fire in 1886. The city grew under the influence of oil drilling operations and financial market emergence. During WWII, this was one of the last cities bombed before Japan surrendered. In 1973, the city was the site of a famous Marian apparition.
Today, it is still heavily agriculture, forestry and mining dependent for its economy. All the sightseeing happens in the lands outside of the city.
Essential travel information and Akita tips for your visit
- Time Zone: Japan Time Zone UTC+09:00
- Currency: Yen
- Languages: Akita-dialect Japanese; some basic English.
Electricity and Internet
- 100 Volts
- Plug types A and B
- Ungrounded two pins/ grounded three pins
- Police: 110
- Ambulance/Fire: 119
- Do not tip waiters or taxi driver or any service staff.
- Tipping tour guides is alright, but present the money in an envelope. It’s rude to hand it right out of your wallet or hand.
- Bow when greeting.
- Learn Japanese honorifics. Add a suffix ‘-san’ to most people’s names.
- Slurp soupy, wet foods.
- The small wet cloth before meals is for your hands ONLY.
- Remove shoes before entering dwellings; remove slippers before getting onto tatami; and don’t wear bathroom slippers anywhere outside the bathroom.
- Don’t be too outspoken or gregarious. It’s rude.
How safe is Akita for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in Akita.
Burglary and Theft 50 (Moderate)
Safety walking alone during daylight 100 (Very High)
Safety walking alone during night 100 (Very High)
Safety Index 97.06 (Very High)
Climate Index 77.97 (High)
Health Care Index 50 (Moderate)
Indices such as Quality of life, Climate & Healthcare index are good to be high whereas others such as Property price, Traffic & Cost of living Index are good to be low.
Here's how much it will cost to shop in Akita
Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.37 USD
International Movie per seat 15.21 USD
Summer clothing in a chain store 32.27 USD
Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 64.53 USD
Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 55.31 USD
*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced and subjected to change without notice.