For those of you who are here for the first time, welcome! I am Akiko Tanaka, a regular contributor to “Futarigoto Bunko.”
Looking back at my last article, I was born in Tochigi Prefecture, but my from my education up to now I’ve been living in Akita.
This time, I would like to tell you all about the “This is Akita! Food and Art Festival 2018,” which was held on May 25, 26, and 27 in downtown Akita!
I am certain that after reading this article you all will definitely want to visit Akita! (lol)
For that reason, please be sure to read to the very end!”
Characteristics of the Event“Now, to begin, on the two days of the “This is Akita! Food and Art Festival 2018” I attended, the 26th and the 27th, the crowd was quite amazing!
The venue encompassed everything from Akita Station to “Area Nakaichi,” location of the Akita Museum of Art and the local exchange building.
This area is usually quiet, even on holidays, but everyone from high school students to families turned out for this event. So many people were there I don’t even know where they all came from!
The venue was broken up according to theme, with portions specifically dedicated to food, arts, crafts, and story performances, to name a few!”
The Delicious Foods of Akita“Moving forward, one aspect of the event which I would be remiss should I fail to mention, is the incredible assortment of delicious specialty foods, assembled from all over Akita prefecture! I must admit that I did spend a lot of time over my two days at the event sampling a lot of the foods there (lol).
Allow me to now introduce a few of them!
First, I’ll start with a classic any guest ought to try in Akita- babahera ice cream!
This is something you can mainly see in the summer, but you can expect it to be sold in the parts of the year whenever snow isn’t falling. The pink is strawberry-flavored and the yellow is banana-flavored.
At the festival, they were also selling it in blue! The flavor was soda and one other flavor I’m forgetting… but, at any rate, if you come to Akita in the summer time, why don’t you go ahead and try some babahera ice cream for yourself?
There’s one other delicious food I have to mention, and that is Misotanpo!!
It’s cooked rice that has been kneaded in miso and wrapped around a stick. It’s a quick and delicious snack!
As far as I was able to see, at least three vendors were selling this Misotanpo. Of course, I tried all three (lol).
Be sure to have these two local specialties in mind when you come to visit Akita!”
The Akita Festival and the Akita Ken“I just introduced a few of the foods you can try in Akita, but now for some activities to check out while you eat them!
The traditional arts of Akita!!
There were so many people there, I could only take this picture from the back of the crowd. There were many parades displaying the various traditional arts practiced in all the various regions of Akita Prefecture, with the summer seasonal “Akita Kanto Festival,” an event truly representative of summer.
The event pictured above usually takes place sometime between July and September, so those whose curiosity is piqued should feel free enjoy the festivities when they come for the food!
Now, one final topic I’d like to introduce here is a topic that has been of increasing interest lately. That topic is… the Akita Inu!
This is surely something you’d want to see to complete a trip to Akita.
For those of you who do, I have good news! They have Akita Inu you can meet at the “Akita Inu Station” located in Area Nakaichi as well as in the “Akita Inu Satellite Station” inside Akita Station.
Truth be told, I was unaware of this until I attended this event.
The Akita Inu that has attracted much attention not just in Japan, but on a global scale, actually faces some challenges regarding its conservation. For this reason, a conservationist society called the “ONE FOR AKITA Project” is taking various measures to protect and save these dogs.
The focus is on the fluffy and cute dogs themselves, but we mustn’t forget those people working behind the scenes whose actions make our meeting them possible.
Though we may not be able to do much on our own, even if it’s only a little we should do what we can to protect and support the future of the Akita Inu.
When you come to Akita, please do come to meet the Akita Inu as well!Lastly, I’ll leave you all with the image of an Akita Inu from behind (lol).
That being all said and done, I would like to thank you all for reading my article to the end! When you come visit Akita, please enjoy the delicious foods, fun festivals, and Akita Inu!!
Until next time!”
Name: Ayako Tanaka
Occupation: Graduate Student
Hometown: Toshigi Prefecture
“Using lacquer, I produce a wide variety of objects ranging from lacquerware, to sculptures, and even accessories. I am currently researching to create a place to connect young people and crafts.”
◆Translated by Christopher Koontz, Wake Forest University◆