Shopping in Akita City

This is a non-exhaustive list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with updated entries.

The following is a guide to shopping in Akita City based on the experience and recommendations from the Akita JET community.

General Information

Akita City is the economic center of the prefecture, making it relatively easy to find a wide variety of goods and services. However, due to its comparatively small size relative to other major Japanese cities, it might be difficult to find certain specialty goods in Akita—particularly when it comes to imported products that aren't common in Japan. This guide is a resource intended to help visitors and residents of Akita City discover stores and shopping centers that may be useful.

Shopping

Clothes

When buying clothes in Japan, many foreign visitors and residents may find that they don't fit the same sizes that they do at home. Often, stores may only stock clothes in sizes no larger than a US medium, so many foreigners might not fit in the largest sizes available. However, there are several stores throughout the city, such as Uniqlo or Mujirushi Ryouhin (Muji), that carry clothes in a variety of styles for all ages, sexes, and sizes.

  • Uniqlo (ユニクロ, Barajima branch). website. ☎ 018-896-7950. In Barajima, down the road from Round One, past Nitori. 茨島1丁目1-35. (map). A growing brand internationally, Uniqlo is one of Japan's foremost clothing retailers. Uniqlo specializes in carrying a wide variety of styles for reasonable prices, and their company-wide use of English makes it easy for foreigners to navigate their selection. Uniqlo's Heattech line of clothing is particularly useful for staying comfortable in the cold winters of Akita. 11:00-20:00, Sat & Sun 10:00-8:00.

Food

There are many grocery stores throughout the city that carry the essentials. For small things, convenience stores carry a wide variety of food as well. In general, it isn't difficult to find everything necessary for a well-rounded diet, but specific foods and certain styles of food that are common elsewhere may be hard to come by in Japan, particularly concerning dairy. Several import stores in the city may carry things that standard grocery stores do not, but the selection is often limited.

  • Cheese & Wine Abe (チーズ&ワインアベ). website. ☎ 018-884-0093. 千秋明徳町2-6. (map). A great little shop for lovers of life, of cheese, wine, a decent selection of microbrews and various things that taste great with the latter. They also have the most extensive selection of high-end whisky in the prefecture. The couple who run the shop are very knowledgeable and friendly. 10:00-20:00, Sun 10:00-18:30, closed Sat.
  • Jupiter (ジュピター). website. ☎ 018-833-2416. In Topico, a small shopping center attached to the west side of Akita Station. 中通7丁目2-1. (map). A nice variety of imported foreign snacks and beverages. A limited selection relative to Yamayal, but Jupiter has a much better selection of spices and basic ingredients. 8:00-20:00.
  • Hirasawa's Rice Shop (平沢商店). website. ☎ 018-862-4032. 大町5丁目7-18. (map). This is an authentic Japanese rice shop located near Don Quijote. Run by five generations of the Hirasawa family, this shop carries various kinds of high quality rice, including brown rice. Customers can even buy freshly-milled rice from the store's mill machine. The shop employs English-speaking staff, making it easily accessible for foreign residents. 8:30-19:00, closed Sun.
  • Yamaya (やまや). website. (map). A liquor store that also has great selection of imported food. It also probably has the largest liquor selection of any one store too. Akita City has three branches: Hiromote, Sanno, and Tsuchizaki. 10:00-22:00 (Sanno), 09:00-21:00 (Hiroomote, Tsuchizaki).

Entertainment

  • Iwaya (いわや). ☎ 018-846-4775. 土崎港北4丁目10-25. (map). This shop is a very standard shop for trading card games. Located around 7 minutes away from Mansaido, this shop sells most card games under the sun, along with various supplies. It is one of the very few places in Akita that sells and supports Magic: The Gathering by selling packs and hosting prerelease events. 10:00-22:00, closed Tue.
  • Mansaido (万SAI堂). website. ☎ 018-880-2652. 飯島堀川10. (map). This store has a large selection of everything: games, manga, action figures/models, clothes, accessories, music, DVDs, capsule games, slots, musical instruments, various electronics, ski/snowboard gear (in winter months), fishing gear, and more. Stop in and browse until you are ready to pass out and then take a break on the free console displays. 9:00-1:00 (next day).

Recreation

  • ICI Ishii Sports (ICI石井スポーツ). website. ☎ 018-892-7291. Next to AEON Mall in Goshono. 御所野元町1-1-15 フレスポ御所野1F. (map). A specialist outdoor shop that carries top brands and equipment for hiking, camping, winter sports, and generally surviving the apocalypse. Also offers ski and snowboard repair and maintenance services. 10:00-19:00, closed Wed.

Department Stores and Malls

  • AEON Akita Central Store (イオン秋田中央店). website. ☎ 018-837-3000. Across the Kyuomono River from Round One. 楢山川口境5-11. (map). A medium-sized shopping center that has a variety of stores and small restaurants. This branch of AEON is much smaller than the AEON Mall located in Goshono, but its relative proximity to the station and stores around Barajima make it convenient for those who are traveling from the heart of Akita City. 8:00-22:00.
    • Bread Factory (パン工場) — A shop that sells freshly-baked bread.
    • Craft Park — A crafts store.
    • Daiso — A general goods store.
    • Mister Donut — A donut shop.
    • Mos Burger — A chain burger restaurant with a wide menu.
    • Village Vanguard — An eclectic store that sells novelty products, books, and character goods.
  • AEON Mall Akita (イオンモール秋田). website. ☎ 018-889-6500. In Goshono, accessible by bus from Akita Station. There is a free shuttle bus from the east exit on Sundays, Tuesdays, public holidays, and the 20th and 30th of each month. 御所野地蔵田1丁目1-1. (map). The largest shopping center in Akita City. AEON Mall is a popular destination for all-day shopping. With the variety of stores and restaurants available, there’s always something here for everyone. 9:00-21:00.
    • ABC Mart — A large shoe retailer.
    • AEON Style — An interior home goods retailer.
    • Baskin Robbins — An international restaurant chain specializing in ice cream.
    • Daiso — A general goods store.
    • JiNS — A glasses store.
    • KFC — The Akita branch of the internationally famous fried chicken fast food restaurant.
    • Muji (無印良品) — A nationwide clothing retailer specializing in brand-free, minimalist apparel.
    • New Tokyo Manpuku Ramen (新東京まんぷくラーメン) — A popular ramen restaurant.
    • Rakuten Mobile — A phone retailer and MVNO service provider.
    • Shimamura Instruments (島村楽器) — A store that sells musical instruments, sheet music, and music accessories.
    • Softbank — A phone retailer and nationwide service provider.
    • Soyu Game Field — A medium-sized arcade.
    • Sports Authority — A sporting goods retailer. Defunct in the US, but still operating in Japan.
    • Starbucks — The world’s most prolific coffee shop.
    • Sukiya (すきや) — A fast food restaurant specializing in beef bowls.
    • Toho Cinemas — The largest movie theater in the area. Screens most major releases.
    • Uniqlo — One of Japan’s largest clothing retailers.
    • UQ Mobile — A phone retailer and MVNO service provider.
    • Village Vanguard — An eclectic store that sells novelty products, books, and character goods.
    • Y!mobile — A phone retailer and service provider.
  • Fonte. website. Near Akita Station and has huge red 'Fonte' kanji signs. Basically similar to the Ito Yokado that inhabited the building before it — a depato of reasonable quality and price compared to the slightly more expensive Seibu across the street.
    • Loft — A store that carries office and school supplies, cosmetics, toys, and holiday goods.
    • The Garden — A medium-sized grocery store located conveniently by the station.
  • Opa.
  • Seibu. Near Akita Station, opposite Fonte. The Akita branch of Seibu is the city's "higher end" department store to Fonte's more utilitarian one. Things can get pricy, but this is the place to go if you're looking for a really fancy gift or something really high-quality for yourself, though it's definitely not for everyday shopping. This is where you'll find Coach, Godiva, Chanel, and a lot of foreign cosmetics and fashion brands. The basement floor has several reasonable restaurants and an up market hair salon. Seibu also has seasonal sales, especially at New Year's or when the Seibu Lions win an important baseball game.
  • Topico.

Traditional Japanese Goods

  • Akita Ningyō Kaikan (秋田人形会館). website. ☎ 018-863-5963. Near Round One, between Akita Maruloto and Kojima Denki.. 〒010-0061 秋田県秋田市卸町2-3-1. (map). The most famous shop in Akita for traditional Hina dolls. 09:00-18:00.

Housing Goods and Furniture

  • Nitori (ニトリ). Nitori is a home goods retailer that carries products roughly equivalent to an IKEA. They provide a home delivery and setup service for those who lack the means to conveniently transport and assemble purchases themselves. The first floor contains general goods, while a furniture showcase may be found on the upper floors.

See Also