|Kitaakita in Akita|
|Population||30,008 (as of 2022-02-28)|
|Tree||Japanese Beech (椈)|
|Bird||Black Woodpecker (熊啄木鳥)|
|Mayor||Eikou Tsuya (津谷 永光)|
Kitaakita, Akita 018-3392 (〒018-3392 秋田県
Kitaakita (北秋田市; -shi) is Akita Prefecture's second-largest city by area. Clockwise from the north, it shares a border with Odate and Kazuno in the north-east, Semboku in the south-east, Akita City and Kamikoani in the south-west, and Noshiro and Fujisato in the north-west.
- Note: This page is about Kitaakita City the municipality as a whole. For detailed information on restaurants and entertainment in "downtown" Kitaakita, see: Takanosu!
Kitaakita is located in the north-central part of Akita prefecture. Kitaakita's area is 1,152.76 km², making it the second largest (by area) municipality in Akita prefecture after Yurihonjō. The area is easy to remember because in Japanese wordplay (語呂合わせ; goroawase) it can be read イイコニナロ（ウ）, or "let's be good kids." As of April 1st, 2017 the population was estimated to be 32,216, giving the city a population density of only 27.9 people per km². Among the cities of Akita prefecture, Kitaakita is second only to Semboku in lowest population density. 155 foreigners live in Kitaakita.
The city was formed in March of 2005 with the consolidation of the four former towns, Takanosu Town (鷹巣町; -machi), Moriyoshi Town (森吉町; -machi), Ani Town (阿仁町; -machi), and Aikawa Town (合川町; -machi). Today, the names of the four former towns are frequently used without the -machi (町) suffix to identify the regions of Kitaakita, but are no longer independent towns in the political sense. Each of these regions are now sometimes referred to with the suffix -chiku (地区) instead. Alternatively the regions may continue to be referred to with their suffix -machi if the prefix Kyuu- (旧; former) is also added in front. Despite the merge, each of Kitaakita's four towns maintains a local atmosphere as well as their own festivals and charms.
Being located in the very center of northern Akita, Kitaakita serves as a hub for many modes of transportation.
Currently the Takanosu area serves as the south-western terminus of the Akita Expressway (秋田自動車道; E7). As of the completion of the December 2020 extension, the highway starts at Kanisawa IC in western Takanosu, cuts across Takanosu east/west, and continues through Odate before reaching the Kosaka Junction (which connects with Hirosaki and Aomori to the north, and Morioka and Sendai to the south).
Currently Takanosu is home to the following exits/ICs, from east to west:
- Kanisawa IC (in western Takanosu, near Route 7)
- Isedōtai IC (near the Isedōtai Site)
- Odate-Noshiro Airport IC ("Ōdate-Noshiro Kūkō IC"; in front of the Odate-Noshiro Airport)
- Takanosu IC (near Seiyō ES)
Route 7 runs east-west through Takanosu, connecting to Odate and Noshiro.
Route 285 runs east-west through Takanosu and Moriyoshi, connecting to Kazuno and Akita City.
Route 105 runs south from Takanosu, through Moriyoshi and Ani, connecting to Kakunodate and Daisen.
Buses in and around Kitaakita City are operated by Shuhoku Bus.
Fixed Route Bus
Shuhoku Bus offers several bus routes through Kitaakita City. Thee buses are easily distinguished by their distinctive green or red color. You can find more information on the Shuhoku Bus website (Japanese). Click 時刻表 (jikokuhyou) for times. The English timetable for the Takanosu ↔ Odate line can be found on this page.
They operate several buses per day on routes with high ridership:
- Takanosu Station ↔ Odate Station (English Timetable)
- Takanosu ↔ Aikawa
- Takanosu Station ↔ Choju no Yu
- The Takanosu Loop Line (servicing City Hall, several shopping centers, Jomon no Yu, etc.)
Shuhoku Bus also operates highway buses from and through Kitaakita. Of course you can find more information on their Highway Bus website (Japanese). These buses require a reservation unless otherwise noted.
- Jupiter Line
- This line connects Noshiro, Takanosu, and Odate with Tokyo. This is an overnight bus. You can pick this bus up from the Itoku Plaza at 9:30pm, arriving at Ikebukuro Station at 7:25am the following morning.
- Michinoku Line
- This line connects Odate, and Kazuno, with Morioka. Shuhoku Bus operates one bus every hour (14 per day) to and from Odate Station (reachable by fixed route bus from Takanosu Station). You don't need a reservation for this line.
- Odate-Sendai Line
- Two buses per day depart Odate Station in the morning for Sendai. It might be difficult to arrive at Odate Station early enough if departing from Takanosu!
Takanosu is also the northern terminus of the Akita Nairiku Line. The Nairiku Line provides service south from Takanosu through all four of Kitaakita's towns, continuing into Semboku. It's headquarters is located at Aniai Station in Ani. It's southern terminus is Kakunodate, where one can transfer to the Komachi Shinkansen.
Odate-Noshiro Airport, which is located in neither Odate nor Noshiro, can be found in Takanosu. Kitaakita Citizens affectionately call this airport "Akita North Airport." This airport operates two flights each to and from Tokyo Haneda Airport each day. Parking is free.
Kitaakita, being a landlocked municipality, cannot be reached by sea. It does, however, offer the Lake Taihei Ferry in Moriyoshi. It offers service to the other side of the lake, which is also in Moriyoshi. At the other side of the lake is the trailhead which leads to Sankai Falls.
Regions / Former Towns
- See: Takanosu
- See: Moriyoshi
- See: Ani
The most mountainous and rugged town in the city. Also the largest in area, yet the least populous. Claims the southern half of Mt. Moriyoshi as well as waterfalls, hiking trails, and bears! It is also the home of Ani Ski Resort, the largest ski resort in Kitaakita. Ani is separated into two primary areas: Aniai in the north, and Ōani in the south.
- See: Aikawa
Smallest in area, yet most densely populated town of the city. Set in southwestern Kitaakita with a public park and loads of rice fields.
|"Shōwa Merger"||"Heisei Merger"|
Ani Dōzan Village
*From the Edo period up until 1888, approximately 70,000 hamlets existed nation-wide. 1889 saw the reconfiguration of these hamlets into towns and villages of "approximately 300 to 500 households each" (the "Meiji Merger"). The hamlets in the area which would later become Kitaakita City were reconfigured into the 14 villages listed in the table above at the time of this merger.
*The Takanosu Town merger occurred on April 1st, 1955. On October 1st of the same year, the Aso (麻生) and Kotsunagi (小繋) hamlets in the former Nanakura Village separated from Takanosu Town and were incorporated into Futatsui Town. Futatsui Town merged into Noshiro City in March, 2009.
The name "Kitaakita City" was decided upon from the following list of 11 potential name candidates:
- 北秋田市 (Kitaakita City)
- 北あきた市 (Kitaakita City)
- 秋田北市 (Akitakita City)
- 秋北市 (Shūhoku City)
- 北秋市 (Hokushū City)
- 秋田内陸市 (Akitanairiku City)
- 大野台市 (Ōnodai City)
- 米代市 (Yoneshiro City)
- 鷹阿市 (Takaa City)
- 北央市 (Hokuō City)
- 北杜市 (Hokuto City)
Nationally Accredited Sites
- Yasu Falls: Waterfall in Ani selected #2 out of the 100 best waterfalls in Japan
- Isedōtai Site: Stone circles in Takanosu from the Jōmon period - the largest such site in the country
- Mount Moriyoshi: Mountain in Moriyoshi and Ani selected as one of the 100 best flower mountains in Japan
- Nekko: Hamlet in Ani selected as one of the 100 most quintessential hamlets of Japan
Festivals & Events
This is an overview of the various festivals across Kitaakita City. For more detailed information on these festivals, please see the relevant towns' pages.
|Ani Frozen Tree Festival (阿仁の樹氷まつり)||Mid Jan-mid March||Ani|
|With the winds and the snow build-up throughout the winter, snow is cast and stuck onto the trees, making them into snow monsters.|
|Kuzoguro Kamakura Fire Festival (葛黒の火まつりかまくら)||Mid-February||Takanosu|
|A chestnut tree is chopped down, erected by hand, and set ablaze in a snowy field while surrounded by kamakura in this festival.|
|Akita Nairikusen Vehicles Festival (秋田内陸線のりものまつり)||Mid-May||Ani|
|This Nairikusen-sponsored event is aimed at children. Buses, police cars, JSDF transports, and many more vehicles are on display.|
|Aikawa Station Spring Festival (合川駅春まつり)||Last weekend in May||Aikawa|
|This Nairikusen-sponsored, modern festival features food, music, dancing, and the crowd favorite: the butter mochi toss.|
|Yoneshiro River Fireworks Festial (米代川花火大会)||Early July||Takanosu|
|This Tanabata festival, which is held on the river not far from downtown, is Takanosu's largest fireworks festival.|
|Tsuzureko Shrine Odaiko Festival (神社例大祭)||July 14-15||Takanosu|
|This drum festival is for the praying of abundant rain, good harvest, and no crop-destroying pests.|
|Aikawa Hydrangea Festival (あじさい祭り)||Mid-late July||Aikawa|
|Come view the hydrangeas, the symbol of Aikawa, in full bloom.|
|Tanabata Fire Festival (たなばた火まつり)||August 7||Moriyoshi|
|Watch traditional dancing and view the spectacle of 1000 fireworks at this festival near Animaeda Station.|
|Aikawa Matobi and Furusato Festival (合川まとび & ふるさとまつり)||August 14||Aikawa|
|This festival is a Shinto/Bhuddist fire cleansing ritual for the river and the surrounding rice fields.|
|Ani Fireworks and Lantern Festival (阿仁の花火と灯籠流し)||August 16||Ani|
|Watch the floating of the lanterns before enjoying the fireworks display at Kasen Park.|
|Foreigner House Festival (異人館フェスティバル)||August 16||Ani|
|This festival is to celebrate the house of German engineers who lived in Aniai during the 19th century.|
|Takanosu Drum Festival (たかのす太鼓まつり)||Second Sunday in September||Takanosu|
|Come experience this celebration of percussion outside Odaiko Hall in Takanosu featuring Tsuzureko's own giant taiko drums.|
Kuzoguro Fire Festival - Takanosu
Tsuzureko Odaiko Festival - Takanosu
The Tanabata Fire Festival - Moriyoshi
Aikawa Matobi - Aikawa
Floating of the Lanterns - Ani
- Main articles: Takanosu (Restaurants), Moriyoshi (Restaurants), Ani (Restaurants), and Aikawa (Restaurants)
The Kitaakita City Tourism Promotion department has compiled this database map which lists restaurants, cafes, bars, etc. in Kitaakita City (Japanese only). You can search by area by clicking on the map, or by establishment type from the list on the left.
Alternatively, Akita Prefecture has also compiled a directory of restaurants in Kitaakita (Japanese only).
- This izakaya is down the street from the large Family Mart, across from Banbai. This is one of the top watering holes in Takanosu. Their flagship menu item is their chicken karaage, however you won't leave dissatisfied with anything you order. In addition to the karaage they offer delicious sashimi, pickles, meat dishes, etc. all at reasonable prices. When in doubt, you can't go wrong with Kokoro. Good luck remembering how to write the kanji, though.
- Address: 秋田県北秋田市住吉町5-24
Hours: 5:00pm ~ late
- Affectionately known as the マタギの湯 ("Bear-hunting Onsen"), this onsen offers two indoor hot pools, with bubble jets in the floor. Additionally, there is a sauna and a cold water bath. The outdoor bath overlooks a nice valley of trees with a river running through the valley bed. Water flows from the mouths of stone bear heads. Soap and shampoo are provided. There are also two small private baths. These are reservable for ￥1000 for the first hour, and ￥500 for each additional half-hour.
- If going by Nairikusen, get off at Ani Matagi Station - it's an unmanned station. If you call ahead of time, they will pick you up from the station for free. The latest drop-off back at Ani Matagi is 18:33 for customers bound for Takanosu, and 18:01 for customers bound for Kakunodate.
- Address: 秋田県北秋田市阿仁打当字仙北渡道上67
Price: ¥400 (¥300 with same-day Ani Ski Resort lift ticket)
- Main articles: Takanosu (Sightseeing), Moriyoshi (Sightseeing), Ani (Sightseeing), and Aikawa (Sightseeing)
Mt. Moriyoshi & Ani Ski Resort (森吉山＆阿仁スキー場)
- This mountain in Kitaakita, at 1,454 meters above sea level, is one of the highest points in northern Akita Prefecture. On a very clear day one can see as far as Ōdate, Noshiro, and the Sea of Japan from its peak. It was chosen as one of the 100 greatest flower mountains (花の百名山) because of the beauty of its alpine plants.
- Ani Ski Resort is located on its south side. This ski resort is one of the best and most easily accessible ski resorts in Akita. The resort has two lifts and one gondola. The gondola allows access to the peak nearly year-round for sightseeing. In winter you can use it to ski/board, or to take theIce Monster Tour (Ice Monsters are a phenomenon which can only been seen on three mountains in all of Japan). A one-day pass at Ani is ￥3,300 and a four-hour pass is ￥2,500 for adults. If you want to take the gondola for mountain climbing or viewing the frozen trees, it is ￥1,500 roundtrip for adults. The resort includes a ski rental shop and cafe.
- Kitaakita's brand-new public pool is located in Takanosu near Takanosu Elementary School.
- Above the pool is a small training room that has treadmills, recumbent bikes, and some specialized weight machines and a section with free weights. One-time admission to the training room is ¥210, while one-time admission to the pool is ¥520 (but this will allow you to also use the training room if you wish). You can also get a year-long membership for ¥20,590 to use both the pool and the training room.
- Address: 秋田県北秋田市鷹巣字東中岱21-1
Hours: Open 7 days a week (excluding holidays) from 10am to 9pm on Monday-Friday, 10am to 5:30pm on weekends and holidays.
Admission: ¥210 for gym (¥2100 for a 13-ticket booklet), ¥520 for pool; or ¥20,950 for a year-long membership.
- Right next to the public pool is the Takanosu gymnasium.
- Address: 秋田県北秋田市鷹巣字東中岱11
Admission: ¥100 for adults
Fureai Plaza Komukomu (ふれあいプラザ コムコム): (website).
- Community center with seminar rooms available for reservation. Also has public computers and Wi-Fi. There is free parking available. Open from 9:00am - 10:00pm.
Kitaakita Community Center (北秋田市交流センター; Kitaakitashi Kōryū Sentā)
- A public building available for conferences, events, etc. This building has hosted the Ōdate Kitaakita JHS Recitation and Speech Contest in the past.
- Address: 〒018-3311 北秋田市材木町2-2
- Phone: 0186-63-2321 (Fax: 0186-63-2322)
Kitaakita Bunkakaikan, "Falcon" (北秋田市文化会館ファルコン; Kitaakita-shi Bunkakaikan Farukon)
- The Bunkakaikan (Cultural Center) in Kitaakita, located next door to the Community Center listed above. This building has a large auditorium which hosts concerts and plays. It plays host to the Ōdate Kitaakita JHS Recitation and Speech Contest on alternating years. This building also contains the Takanosu Public Library on the second floor.
- Address: 〒018-3311 秋田県北秋田市材木町2-3
- Phone: 0186-62-3311 (Fax: 0186-62-2337)
Kitaakita City currently employs three Local Ambassadors (ふるさと大使; furusato taishi). Local Ambassadors are famous people who are connected with Kitaakita, who promote Kitaakita both from within and from without.
- Oshiogawa Stable Master (押尾川親方) (formerly Akira Takekaze; 豪風 旭)
- February 2018~present
- Takekaze is a retired sumo wrestler from Yonaizawa in Moriyoshi. Since January 2019 he has taken on the role of stable master (親方; oyakata) of the Oshiogawa Stable (押尾川部屋; Oshiogawa-beya), changing his official form of address from Takekaze to "Oshiogawa Stable Master" (押尾川親方).
- Hello Kitty (キティちゃん)
- April 2018~March 2022
- In 2018 Kitaakita City had entered into a partnership with Sanrio to appoint Hello Kitty as Local Ambassador. The partnership concluded in 2022.
- Katsunori Takahashi (高橋 克典)
- October 2018~present
- A famous actor who's father was from Tsuzureko in Takanosu.
- Main Article: North Block Doctor/Dentist Recommendations
- See this page on the Kitaakita City official website for information on COVID-19 vaccines in Kitaakita City.
- ☎ 0186-62-7001
- 〒018-4221 秋田県北秋田市下杉字上清水沢16-29
- The doctor speaks some English and is willing to explain your condition and answer any questions you may have.
- ☎ 0186-60-1055
- 〒018-3331 秋田県北秋田市北中家下81-1
- Hours: 8:30~12:00 (Mon ~ Sat)
- 14:00~18:00 (Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri)
- ☎ 0186-62-1155
- 〒018-3454 秋田県北秋田市脇神塚ノ岱57
- Optometrist in Takanosu. He offers Lasik eye surgery.
- ☎ 0186-62-2544
- 〒018-3312 秋田県北秋田市花園町７−１２
- Kagaya Dental Clinic (加賀谷歯科医院; Kagaya Shika Iin) Location
- Good dentist in Takanosu, but very popular, so make sure you get a reservation early. (Improperly labeled "Kagatani" on Google)
- ☎ 0186-63-2772
- 〒018-3312 秋田県北秋田市花園町4-26-1
Japanese Beech (椈)
The Kitaakita City Tree
- English Name: Japanese Beech
- Japanese Name: 椈 (ブナ; buna)
- Scientific Name: Fagus crenata
- Description: This tree can reach heights of 35 meters with a rounded top that thrives in colder climates. You can see them widespread on Mt. Moriyoshi. Its seeds are small and in the shape of a three-pointed star. They are edible if you remove the shell - recommend roasting them first!
The Kitaakita City Flower
- English Name: Hydrangea
- Japanese Name: 紫陽花 (アジサイ; ajisai)
- Scientific Name: Hydrangea macrophylla
- Description: This blue flower is widely seen in Aikawa. Indeed it was the Aikawa Town Flower before the Kitaakita merger. The most impressive view of the Hydrangeas can be found in Hydrangea Park (in Aikawa)!
Black Woodpecker (熊啄木鳥)
The Kitaakita City Bird
- English Name: Black Woodpecker
- Japanese Name: 熊啄木鳥 (クマゲラ; kumagera)
- Scientific Name: Dryocopus martius
- Description: This jet-black bird is distinguished by its red crown. It thrives in forested areas. It mainly feeds on ants and other tree-boring grubs. The holes it carves in trees are utilized by many other species as nesting areas, making this bird a cornerstone of the local ecology.
City Crest (市章)
The Kitaakita City Crest
- Description: This green-and-orange symbol on a white background is the crest of Kitaakita City. It's a stylized hiragana character「き」, which is the first character in Kitaakita. This crest is in the tradition of many other municipal crests across Akita Prefecture, in that it uses a stylized version of the first character in the municipality's name. The character is stylized to suggest spread wings which are open to the future.
|The colors in the city crest are as follows|
Decimal: R244 G114 B22
Decimal: R11 G144 B75
|Kitaakita City Song|
|Sora wo aogeba
Mine wa Kedakaku
Wakai chikara to
Kibō ni kagayaku
|When you gaze up at the sky|
Moriyoshi stands towering
With young strength and
We march on the path
Aah, with pride we shout
You shine bright with hope
|Mizu wa kirameku
Ani no nagare ga
Meguru kisetsu mo
Yutaka na Megumi
Inochi wo irodoru
|The shimmering waters of|
Ani - their currents
The passing of the seasons
And full of grace
Aah, with joy we shout
You bring color to our lives
Haruka na rekishi
Bunka no hana mo
Mirai he habataku
|Feel it in the air - the romance|
We are the humble heirs
We embrace our ideals
The sweet fragrance from
Aah, with love we shout
Spread your wings to the future
- Main article: Education in Kitaakita
Board of Education
Kitaakita City Board of Education Kitaakita City Hall 2nd Building (2F) 15-1 Hanazono-cho Kitaakita, Akita 〒018-3312 JAPAN 北秋田市教育委員会 北秋田市役所第二庁舎 ２Ｆ 〒018-3312 秋田県北秋田市花園町15-1 学校教育課（School Education Division） ☎ 0186-62-6617 📠 0186-63-2678 ✉ email@example.com
- Akita Hokuyō High School (秋田県立秋田北鷹高等学校)
Junior High Schools
- Takanosu Junior High School (鷹巣中学校)
- Moriyoshi Junior High School (森吉中学校)
- Aikawa Junior High School (合川中学校)
- Takanosu Elementary School (鷹巣小学校)
- Takanosu Higashi Elementary School (鷹巣東小学校)
- Tsuzureko Elementary School (綴子小学校)
- Seiyō Elementary School (清鷹小学校)
- Yonaizawa Elementary School (米内沢小学校)
- Maeda Elementary School (前田小学校)
- Aikawa Elementary School (合川小学校)
Compulsory Education Schools
- Compulsory Education School Ani Gakuen (義務教育学校阿仁学園)
- Kitaakita official site (Japanese)
- Kitaakita Hello Kitty homepage (Former link; now a redirect to the Kitaakita official site) (archived link)
- Kitaakita garbage collection
- Education in Kitaakita
|Top Page||Kitaakita City|
|Former Municipalities||Takanosu • Moriyoshi • Ani • Aikawa|
|Sightseeing||Yasu-no-Taki Falls • Mt. Moriyoshi • Moriyoshi Tire Man • Hokuōnomori Park|
|Skiing/Snowboarding||Ani Ski Resort • Yakushizan Ski Area • Moriyoshi Ski Resort|
|Food and Drink||Doburoku|
|Transport||Takanosu-Odate Bus Schedule • JR Ōu Line • Akita Nairiku Line • Odate-Noshiro Airport|
|Driving||Roadside Stations||Takanosu • Odate-Noshiro Airport • Ani|
|Roads||Route 7 • Route 105|
|Living||Education in Kitaakita • Kitaakita garbage collection|
|Northern Akita||Fujisato • Happō • Kamikoani • Kazuno • Kitaakita • Kosaka • Mitane • Noshiro • Ōdate|
|Central Akita||Akita City • Gojōme • Hachirōgata • Ikawa • Katagami • Oga • Ōgata • Semboku|
|Southern Akita||Daisen • Higashinaruse • Misato • Nikaho • Ugo • Yokote • Yurihonjō • Yuzawa|
|Schools in Kitaakita|
|High Schools||Akita Hokuyō|
|Junior High Schools||Takanosu • Moriyoshi • Aikawa|
|Elementary Schools||Takanosu • Takanosu Higashi • Tsuzureko • Seiyō • Yonaizawa • Maeda • Aikawa|
|Compulsory Education Schools||Ani Gakuen|
|Other Schools||Hinai Special Education School Takanosu • Akita Refresh Academy|
|High Schools||Takanosu • Takanosu Agricultural • Yonaizawa • Aikawa|
|Junior High Schools||Takanosu Minami • Ani|
|Elementary Schools||Takanosu Chūō • Takanosu Minami • Takanosu Nishi • Ryūshin • Tenjin • Urata • Aniai • Ōani • Aikawa Higashi • Aikawa Nishi • Aikawa Minami • Aikawa Kita|