VIDEO| Virtual Vacation: Akita, Japan

View of Akita Port and the Port Tower Selion (photo courtesy of Akita City); other photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
View of Akita Port and the Port Tower Selion (photo courtesy of Akita City); other photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

VIDEO| Virtual Vacation: Akita, Japan

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Guam

Welcome to virtual vacation video series where we can explore destinations from the comfort of our homes.

Join us as we take a short virtual journey to Akita, Japan.

The great thing about this destination is that it is easily accessible from Tokyo via the Shinkansen bullet train which runs up to 200 miles per hour within less than four hours. From Misawa, Akita is a four-hour drive away, as well.

Located up north in mainland Japan, Akita is a fascinating city, as it is home to both natural, cultural, and old and new attractions packed into the city center. It is a great place for walking and sightseeing.

Some of the must-see spots in Akita include:

Weeping Virgin Mary at the Handmaids of the Holy Eucharist - Located on a hill, the Institute of the Handmaids of the Holy Eucharist is home to a wooden statue of the “Weeping Virgin Mary of Akita.” This wooden statue has gained global fame when it seemed to weep in 1975. Up until 1981, the statue, carved by a Japanese sculptor 55 years ago, was observed to weep a total of 101 times. Enjoy a stroll around the vast and peaceful garden on the grounds here.

• Akita City Port Tower Selion - The 469-feet high Akita City Port Tower Selion located on the Akita Port is made of steel frames and 6,272 pieces of enforced glass reminiscent of a space craft. From its observatory deck, take in the view of port and city along with the blue sea, Mt. Chokai and portions of the Oga Peninsula. On the ground floor, browse souvenirs and local products in the large market.

• Center City of Akita - Senshu Park is the site of the Kubota Castle ruins and also where you’ll see many beautiful flowers in bloom, a waterfall, and impressive buildings like a bell tower and tea house. The Akarenga Kyodokan is a 93-year-old building which is a museum featuring local products, artwork and other exhibits on the city’s history and culture. The former home of the Kaneko Family, kimono dealers, is another point of interest. Take a look inside the chic, black wooden interior where the family made kimonos, stored them and lived.

While you're there, don't forget to experience holding the pole of “Kanto,” 15 to 50-feet long bamboo poles bearing 24 through 46 lanterns at Akita City Folk Arts Center. Akita is famous for its traditional “Kanto Matsuri” festival featuring such unique bamboo poles in hopes of a good harvest season.

I hope you enjoyed a look at Akita through my travel photos and that it's inspired your next trip. Stay safe and get ready to travel with us in our next video. Thanks for watching!

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