Yokote

Where to go, where to eat and stay, what to see and do

By Christie Petrakopoulou    - 3 min read

Tired of the hustle and bustle of the big city? Interested in a short getaway? Yokote city in Akita Prefecture is the perfect destination for an autumn/winter excursion.

Access

Located in the southeast corner of Akita Prefecture, JR East Yokote Station can be accessed by the Kitakami Line and Ou Main Line. If you want to get there by car, then you have many options: The Akita Expressway and Japan’s National Routes 13, 107, 342 and 397.

Tourist attractions

Since Yokote is a small city, you won't need more than two days to visit all of its major tourist attractions. The 'must see' spots are: Yokote Park, a 20-minute walk from the train station, and where Yokote Castle is also situated. Yokote Castle is a reconstruction of the castle that originally stood there. It has three levels and four stories with the top floor used as an observatory with a wonderful view over the city. Kamakura Hall in Fureai Center where a “kamakura”, a snow built hut, is preserved all year round. The Manga Art Gallery in Matsuda town, where the lifeworks of Takao Yaguchi, the creator behind a local animated figure called Sanpei, are displayed. Last but not least, Akita Furosato Village or Kakamuland, is a theme park with different attractions for all ages. It includes several buildings that include an art museum, a small cultural center with traditional crafts, the Akita Museum of Modern Art, a planetarium with a dome theater, and the Wonder Castle. There is also a large shopping arcade with products from all over Akita Prefecture.

Cultural activities/Festivals

In Yokote, their local heritage is really important and is passed down from one generation to the next. There are culture related festivals all year round. The most popular festival that attracts both Japanese and foreigners is the Kamakura Festival, which takes place every February. During Kamakura, huts built from snow that house a little shrine inside are dedicated to the water god “Oshizu”.

Food

Akita Prefecture’s local specialties include Yakisoba (boiled thick wheat noodles with cabbage, bite-size pork pieces, pickles and topped with a half fried egg), fruits and sake (alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin made from fermented rice).

Accommodation

Hotel Wellness Yokoteji is a 15-minute drive from JR East Yokote Station. Surrounded by nature, the first class hotel provides all comforts to its guests including Japanese style rooms with tatami flooring, an onsen (public bath) with hot springs and a sauna and a restaurant with delicious food.

JR East Pass

This location is easily accesible via the JR East train network – why not consider a JR East Pass, which offers flexible 4-day and 5-day travel options at affordable rates.

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Christie Petrakopoulou

Christie Petrakopoulou @christie.petrakopoulou

Hi! My name is Christie and I’m a journalist/blogger. Originally from Athens, Greece but living in Stockholm, Sweden I’m doing my Masters in Media and Communication Studies at Stockholm University. For one year I’ll be living and traveling around Japan in search of new challenges and experiences. I am a Japan, dance and life enthusiast. I believe in traveling, positive energy and the power of ice-cream. I love telling stories. Stories are not only for children but for adults too! In my world stories can be told with words, photos and videos.  What do I do? I photograph and video shoot as I go. Basically my everyday life could be summed up in an endless series of pictures. I believe that photographs and videos are all about story-telling. Recreating real life inspired stories through my photographs, videos and texts is what inspires me the most and keeps me going.

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