3 Best Sights in Akita, Tohoku

Akita City Folklore and Performing Arts Center

If you are not in town for Akita's famous Kanto Festival, this museum is the next best thing. Try balancing one of the poles topped with paper lanterns on your palm—local veterans will coach you, but it's more difficult than it looks. There is also an informative video about this and other Akita festivals. Your ticket also includes entry to the former residence and kimono-fabric shop of the Kaneko family, along a corridor beside the entrance. Don't miss the bats carved above the sliding doors.

Oomachi 1--3--30, Akita, Akita-ken, 010-0921, Japan
sights Details
Rate Includes: ¥100, Closed Dec. 29–Jan. 3

Akita Museum of Art

One of the best reasons to visit this museum is the building, designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando. The museum's highlight is the enormous Annual Events in Akita, painted by local artist Fujita Tsuguharu (1886–1968) in just 15 days. The painting of three local festivals merged into a single scene was rendered on one of the world's largest canvases at the time, measuring 11 feet by 66 feet. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions relating to Akita life and art.

1--4--2 Naka Dori, Akita, Akita-ken, 010-0001, Japan
sights Details
Rate Includes: ¥310 (some exhibits are extra), Check in advance for closures

Senshū Park

The site of the now-ruined Kubota Castle, Senshu Park is a large, shady respite from the sun where cherry blossoms, lotus, and azaleas add color in season. Large koi carp swim lazily about the ponds and moats, white egrets stand like statues, and turtles bask in the sun. A reconstructed tower with an elevated lookout floor stands in the northwest corner of the park.

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