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#LetsMET: HOTEL METROPOLITAN AKITA

#LetsMET: HOTEL METROPOLITAN AKITA

While Akita Prefecture (秋田県 Akita-ken) is probably most famous for the breed of dogs known as ‘Akita Inu’, the prefecture certainly isn’t shy of popular sightseeing spots and delicious local cuisine. Located in northern Tohoku, Akita is known for its natural beauty and hot springs dotted around the majestic Lake Tazawa (田沢湖 Tazawako) as well as old samurai districts like Kakunodate (角館). In August, many local and foreign tourists flock to Akita City to witness the Kanto Festival (秋田竿燈まつり Akita Kanto Matsuri), one of Tohoku’s largest summer festivals.

 

(Image credit: JR-EAST HOTELS)

 

Akita is 4 hours away from Tokyo by the Akita Shinkansen, and Akita City is a great base for your travels around the prefecture as well as to neighbouring prefectures Aomori (青森県 Aomori-ken) and Iwate (岩手県 Iwate-ken) of Northern Tohoku. If you’re looking for an accommodation near the prefecture’s transport hub and major shinkansen station that is Akita Station (秋田駅 Akita-eki), it doesn’t get any nearer than HOTEL METROPOLITAN AKITA. Here’s a simple video on how to navigate to the hotel from the station’s gantries:

 

(Video credit: JR-EAST HOTELS)

 

As seen in the video, even whilst on your way to HOTEL METROPOLITAN AKITA, there are plenty to shop and buy within Akita Station. Make your stay in Akita a more convenient one with this list of four recommended restaurants and three must-visit sightseeing spots accessible from HOTEL METROPOLITAN AKITA.

 

Food

1. Ougiya (扇屋)

(Image credit: Ougiya)

 

  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Cuisines: Beef, pork
  • Suitable for: Families, Couples
  • Distance: 1-minute walk from Hotel
  • Recommended item: Katsudon (かつ丼)

 

Eager to try premium local Akita food? At Ougiya, you will get to try Akita beef as well as the rare Mitsunashi beef brand, which you can pair together with locally-brewed Japanese sake that have been carefully and strictly selected from 34 local breweries around the prefecture. You can also enjoy the famous local breed of pork called Kazuno pork.

 

Just a short 1-minute walk from Akita Station, Ougiya is the best dining option for you after exploring the rest of the city.

 

2. Akita Hinaijidoriya (秋田比内地鶏や)

(Image credit: Akita Hinaijidoriya)

 

  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Cuisines: Chicken
  • Suitable for: Families, couples
  • Distance: 1-minute walk from Hotel
  • Recommended item: Hinaijidori Oyakodon (比内地鶏親子丼)

 

Another popular Akita delicacy is the Hinaijidori, a local free-range chicken breed whose meat is high in quality. Akita Hinaijidoriya is a specialty store where you will get to enjoy the delightful Hinaijidori Oyakodon (parent-and-child bowl), a comforting rice bowl of Hinaijidori chicken and egg. The perfect combination of the juicy Hinaijidori chicken meat with the softly-cooked Hinaijidori egg on top of the famous Akita brand of rice “Komachi'' in this Oyakodon makes for the perfect Akita meal that you simply have to try in your next visit.

 

Akita Hinaijidoriya is conveniently located on the 3rd floor of TOPICO, an in-station shopping mall that is connected to HOTEL METROPOLITAN AKITA.

 

3. Akita Nagaya Sakaba (長屋酒場)

(Image credit: Akita Nagaya Sakaba)

 

  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Cuisines: Chicken, fish
  • Suitable for: Families, couples
  • Distance: 3-minute walk from Hotel
  • Recommended item: Kiritampo Nabe (きりたんぽ鍋)

 

Of course, there are also plenty of dining options outside the station and hotel’s vicinity as well. Just 3 minutes away from HOTEL METROPOLITAN AKITA is the local izakaya-restaurant Akita Nagaya Sakaba. It’s not difficult to find this restaurant—in fact, you will be greeted by the big Namahage (生剥) ogre masks upon your arrival at the restaurant’s entrance! 

 

At Akita Nagaya Sakaba, you will be served plenty of Akita’s local food including the must-try Kiritampo Nabe and local sake. Making a special appearance in this restaurant during certain times of the day are the pair of Namahage who are mythical creatures known for “catching” naughty children. So, kids, be in your best behaviour! 

 

4. (Akita Jizakana Ookama Meshi) Isaba-ya (いさばや)

(Image credit: Isaba-ya)

 

  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Cuisines: Fish
  • Suitable for: Families, couples
  • Distance: 1-minute walk from Hotel
  • Recommended item: Isabaya Special Sashimi Set Meal & Fried Oysters and Horse Mackerel Set Meal (いさばや特選刺身定食 & 牡蠣フライとアジフライ定食)

 

Get your seafood fix at this cozy izakaya joint Isaba-ya. Located conveniently on the 1st floor of TOPICO, the connecting mall to HOTEL METROPOLITAN AKITA and Akita Station, Isabaya is well-liked amongst its regular patrons who wish to enjoy fresh and delicious seafood without breaking the bank. Their recommended set meals include the Isaba-ya Special Sashimi Set Meal (¥980) and the Fried Oysters and Horse Mackerel Set Meal (¥880) which are affordably-priced, considering the shop’s accessibility and cozy ambience!

 

Attractions

1. Kakunodate

(Image credit: JR-EAST HOTELS)

 

  • 50-minute by Shinkansen

 

While there’s plenty of famous sightseeing spots to visit in Akita, we’d like to recommend three spots that are ideal for day trips from HOTEL METROPOLITAN AKITA. 

 

For one, if you’re visiting Akita in spring or autumn, a visit to the samurai town Kakunodate is a must! Get transported back in time while you walk along the Samurai Residences Street where old houses from the olden days are still standing and well-preserved. In spring, don a kimono and pose with the blooming Cherry Blossom Willow Trees. On the other hand, autumn in Kakunodate boasts red and yellow leaves that go well with the rustic architecture in this village.

 

2. Lake Tazawa

(Image credit: JR-EAST HOTELS)

 

  • 60-minute by Shinkansen

 

With a depth of 425m, Lake Tazawa is Japan’s deepest lake. Getting to Lake Tazawa is easy—simply hop onto the Akita Shinkansen or the local train on the Tazawako Line and alight at Tazawako Station (田沢湖駅). The golden Tatsuko Statue is a popular landmark of the lake, depicting a beautiful robed-lady which many have likened to the iconic Little Mermaid statue in Denmark. Many have believed for the lady to be the guardian of Lake Tazawa. 

 

You can get around the lake with the daily sightseeing tour boats available, but if you’re more adventurous, make a 4-hour round trip around the lake with your bicycles instead!

 

3. Odate

(Image credit: 秋田県観光連盟)

 

  • 90-minute by JR Local Train

 

What’s a trip to Akita without interacting with the prefecture’s lovable and loyal Akita Inu? In Odate City, one of the must-visit attractions is the Akita Dog Museum and Visitor Center. Learn more about the history of Akita Inu and how the locals have been looking out for their iconic dog breed. Woof woof!

 

(Image credit: JR-EAST HOTELS)

 

With so much to eat and so many attractions to visit, it’s no wonder that visitors make returning trips to Akita! For a seamless trip, why not stay the night at HOTEL METROPOLITAN AKITA? 

 

HOTEL METROPOLITAN AKITA (ホテルメトロポリタン 秋田)
Address: 7-2-1 Nakadori, Akita, 010-8530
Nearest station: Akita Station (秋田駅)
No. of rooms: 115
Check-in 3:00 PM / Check-out 11:00 AM
Tel: +81-18-831-2222

 

Header image credit: JR-EAST HOTELS

 

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