|Mitane in Akita|
|Population||16,958 (as of 2018-4-30)|
Mitane (三種町; -cho）is a town in the Northwest of Akita prefecture. The modern town of Mitane was created on March 20, 2006, by merging the towns of Hachiryū, Koto'oka, and Yamamoto, all from Yamamoto District.
- Sandcraft is an event held every summer where impressive sand sculptures, sometimes measuring over 5 meters high, are put on exhibit. Artists and teams come from all over Japan to build the sand sculptures. There is also a high school competition, and sand sculpting events for people of all ages. There are also various other events held throughout the weekend, including fireworks, live music, tug of war, a swimsuit competition, and "nagashi junsai".
- 2019 Sandcraft Festival: Sand sculpting starts on July 16th. The Sandcraft Festival will be held on July 27th and 28th. The sculptures will be left up until August 31st. This year's theme is "Renew" 「更新」. Event information can be found at the Official Sandcraft Event Homepage.
- The World Junsai Picking Championship Series (世界じゅんさい摘み採り選手権大会)
- Held the first full weekend of July annually, this is the world championship of Junsai picking. Fun, and open to everyone. No prior experience is necessary, as experts hold a quick crash course in the art of Junsai before the competition starts.
- There are two different ways to enter: solo, or in a pair (2 people in the same boat).
- This year's 6th annual championship will be held on Sunday June 30th, 2019.
- Event information http://junsaijapan.com/event/01621/ Registration fills up fast every year, those wishing to register should do so A.S.A.P.!
- Junsai Picking Workshop (じゅんさい摘み採り体験)
- Offered regularly during the junsai harvest season (Between May and August)
- Whether you are practicing for the World Championships or just can't get enough of that sweet sweet junsai, boats are made available for those interested in going out into the ponds and harvesting on their own.
- Group registration is welcome.
- Those interested are advised to phone ahead, prices and contact information can be found at http://junsaijapan.com/price/
- Moritake Onsen Summer Festival (森岳温泉夏まつり), Aug 24ish, noon-8pm
- Small town affair involving food stalls, a stage, and lots of junsai, finished up with fireworks at 8pm. Join people from the town in some Bon Odori dancing. Festivities start at noon.
- Moritake Kabuki, early August
- The hachiman shrine and kabuki theater have stood in Mitane for hundreds of years. So too, has the tradition of kabuki been kept alive. This is kabuki in some of its purest form, and is an absolute must do while in Mitane.
Places to See
Mitane Town, particularly the Yamamoto area, is known for its specialty crop - junsai (じゅんさい); Yamamoto is one of only two areas in Japan that produce junsai. The slimy vegetable is grown in flooded fields and usually harvested by hand from a small wooden boat. You can see people tending the ponds and picking junsai in early summer (late May-early June). Also, without fail, at local izakaya and family meals you can try various junsai dishes - including miso soup (味噌汁), junsai stew (じゅんさい鍋), etc. And of course, during summer festivals, you can do nagashi junsai.
- Ōgi Waterfall (扇滝, ougitaki) - info
- Boju san Located near Ogi Waterfall. Great for climbing and hiking. There is a beautiful mountain trail, as well as an area for mini golf, and コテージ村 (Kote-ji Mura) or "Cottage Village". Ogi waterfall is also at the base of Mt. Boju. This is also the site of the hidden Buddhist statues of Kotooka. (Please see Legends section) Reservations to stay overnight at Bojusan in one of the cottages in the Cottage-mura for the day or overnight can be made at this number: 0185-88-2427
- Kamayahama Beach （釜谷浜海水浴場） Consistently ranked the best beach in Tohoku. Not only is this the sight for the epic sandcraft festival, but it offers a beautiful view of the Sea of Japan, the Shirakami mountains, Kampuzan and Shinzan in Oga, as well as impressive wind turbines on the beach. It is famous for incredibly breathtaking sunsets. This is also a great place to grab lunch on the beach.
- Hanegawa Koen (はねがわ森林公園) This beautiful park is located in the Kado area of Mitane-cho and is excellent for nature hikes, scenic views, camping and having a BBQ. It also has an obstacle course, and a beautiful reservoir lake. There is a pavilion/information center overlooking the lake that can be rented for the day with both a Japanese and a western style room, that both offer panoramic views.
- Oyama House (大山家住宅)Right on Rt. 211. This Edo period thatched rough house is a registered national historic landmark. It was once a place where village leaders gathered. It has been preserved, and restored. Further information about the house, and arranging visits can be found on the Mitane town website, or by calling this number: ☎0185-85-2177
- Hachiman Shrine and Moritake Kabukikaikan Located next to the Mitane River, this beautiful shrine is home to the legendary Moritake Kabuki Stage. Performances are held every year, and during special events. within a 5-10 minute walking distance from Moritake station.
Mitane-cho is home to many local legends. Some of which are listed here.
- The moving Jizo of Mikurahana Long, long ago, before Mitane was one town, Hachirogata-ko was once a vast lake. Many people lost their lives on the lake. And so, a large stone Jizo was placed on Mikurahana hill in Amasegawa in both memory of those who past, and to pray for the safety of the living.
The people of what was then, the village placed the statue facing due North, and left it on the hill. The next day, they came back and the statue was facing due south. The people of the village were surprised and would change it back to face North, but the following day it would always face south again! It is said that this Jizo still moves to this day...
- The Tsuchibue of Kotooka In 1978, while construction work was being done for what would become the future Koikawa JR station, in what was then Kotooka machi. While digging to make way for the station's future foundation, an ancient clay flute called a "tsuchibue" dating back to the Jomon period in Japan 4000 years ago was unearthed. This clay flute is able to play 5 notes, and is still on display at the Kotooka michinoeki (Kotooka road station)
- The Buddhist statues of Bochu-san In the east of Kotooka, near Ogi waterfall, there is a mysterious, and sacred mountain named Bochu-san. There are many legends and traditions surrounding this mountain. One of them comes from long ago, in the Edo period. There was a great famine. In hopes for food and a better harvest, Buddhist statues were put on Bochu-san in different places on the mountain for people to pray. The legend says that 33 statues stand on Bochu-san. To date however, over 42 statues have been found. It is said that there are even more hidden within the forgotten areas of the mountain, waiting to be discovered.
Mitane-cho is serviced by 4 train stations on the Ou line. All of these stations offer free parking.
- Koikawa (鯉川駅）
- Kado (鹿渡駅）
- Moritake （森岳駅）*Moritake is an express stop, and also offers service for the scenic リゾートしらかみ (Resort Shirakami train) which runs along the Sea of Japan
- Kita Kanaoka （北金岡駅）
There are many local roads, and national highways that offer access into and around Mitane-cho. The main ones are rt. 7, rt. 4, rt. 37, rt. 101, rt. 210, rt. 211, rt. 212 and rt. 217
There are also two highway exits in Mitane-cho.
Exit 11 (Kotooka-Moritake) 琴丘森岳IC and Exit 12 (Hachiryu) 八竜IC *Exits 12-15 (Hachiryu to Futatsui are free of charge) The toll paying section ends at the Kotooka-Moritake IC. You can use the expressway from Hachiryu to Futatsui and vice versa for free.
Junior high schools
- Kotooka Junior High School (三種町立琴丘中学校)
- Yamamoto Junior High School (三種町立山本中学校)
- Hachiryū Junior High School (三種町立八竜中学校)
- Kotooka Elementary School (三種町立琴丘小学校)
- Shimoiwakawa Elementary School (三種町立下岩川小学校)
- Moritake Elementary School (三種町立森岳小学校)
- Kanaoka Elementary School (三種町立金岡小学校)
- Hamaguchi Elementary School (三種町立浜口小学校)
- Kohoku Elementary School (三種町立湖北小学校)
Restaurants, Cuisine and Eateries
- Warau Kado (わらうかど). ☎ 0185-88-8237. On Route 7 at the michi no eki with a saucer-shaped building to the south. 〒018-2104 秋田県山本郡三種町鹿渡高石野１２３−２. (map). Waffle cafe. Has some amazing waffles, ice cream, and drinks like coffee and tea. Kind of small, but good atmosphere and nice staff. Great place to stop when passing through! 10:00-17:00.
- Restaurant Tonton (レストラン東東). ☎ 0185-85-4043. Just off Route 7 at the intersection with Route 101 toward Ōgata. 〒018-2401 秋田県山本郡三種町鵜川無頭５０−１０. (map). Chinese restaurant. Menu includes your typical ramen, gyoza, etc. plus such favorites as sweet and sour pork. 11:00-22:00.
- Kawai Nōjō (かわい農場). website. ☎ 0185-83-2076. 〒018-2303 秋田県山本郡三種町森岳街道西３８. (map). A butcher in the beautiful hills of Moritake that sells hand made German sausage. The owner spent a great deal of time in Germany, and all meat sold is local, and high quality. If you have ever wondered where the famous German beer garden in Akita city gets their sausage, this is the place!
- Onchako (おんちゃこ). ☎ 0185-87-35. About 12 minutes walk from Kado Station. 〒018-2104 秋田県山本郡三種町鹿渡町後６０. (map). Great food, very friendly owners. Nabe is fantastic.
- Shimada Baniku (嶋田馬肉). ☎ 0185-87-2373. 秋田県山本郡三種町鹿渡八日市１７１. (map). Shimada Baniku is a local "baniku" (horse meat) butcher. Extremely well priced, and some of the best meat available. Perfect for making the Japanese delicacy "basashi". (Horse sushi)
- Pieno Di Sole (ピエーノディソーレ). website. ☎ 0185-88-8820. 秋田県山本郡三種町森岳字柳田1-4. (map). This Napoli style brick oven pizza place is walking distance from Moritake Station. The pizza is fantastic, and many have called it the best pizza that Akita has to offer. Owners are extremely friendly, and the décor is very nice. 11:00-16:00. Open on Sundays, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
- Bois de Boulogne (ブローニュの森). ☎ 0185-88-8820. 〒018-2303 秋田県山本郡三種町森岳長田２５−３. (map). A French bakery in the Moritake area of Mitane-cho, walking distance from Moritake station. Great cakes, tarts, and pastries. Also serves coffee and tea. 10:00-19:00.
- Nanshuya (南秋屋). ☎ 0185-83-2356. Address: 〒018-2303 秋田県山本郡三種町森岳字木戸沢235−14. (map). Nanshuya is located in the Moritake onsen and hotel District of Mitane-cho. This restaurant and izakaya is famous for its sushi. It also has a great wa-shitsu that can be booked for large parties.
- Herberry (〒農園りすとらんてherberry(ハーベリー)). website. ☎ 0185-85-3232. 〒018-2406 秋田県山本郡三種町大口西山根170. (map). simply known as "Herberry" by the locals, this café has been described by many as having a fairytale like quality to it. Nestled between the forested dunes in the Hachiryu area of Mitane-cho, this café features a beautiful flower garden, amazing interior décor, and takes private dinner reservations. They even have an enclosure where they keep pet goats, for guests to pet. Staff are extremely friendly. 11:00-16:00, 18:30-21:30. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
- Cafe Liason (カフェ・リュゾン). website. ☎ 0185-83-2702. 〒018-2303 秋田県山本郡三種町森岳石倉沢１−２. (map). This café, in the Nageshida Mori is a great place to enjoy great drinks at reasonable prices, as well as daily lunch specials. Décor is very pleasant, and is surrounded by a beautiful forested area. 11:30-16:00. Closed on Sundays and Thursdays.
- Waikiki (ワイキキ). 〒018-2406 秋田県山本郡三種町大口釜谷地内. (map). This small seasonal restaurant on Kamayahama beach is a great place to grab a quick snack, Kakigori or enjoy a great katsu curry. Owners and staff are very friendly. Open in summer.
- Moritake Onsen Hotel Restaurant (森岳温泉ホテルレストラン). Great restaurant for lunch or dinner. Can be reserved for drinking parties. They also have reasonably priced yakiniku lunch specials for under ¥1000.
- Sakyū Onsen Yumeron (砂丘温泉 ゆめろん).秋田県山本郡三種町大口字上の沢１７−４.
☎ 0185-85-4336. ¥400. Located on Mitane's "Melon Road" (from which the onsen takes its name), this is your basic onsen. The hotel has large windows overlooking forest, power-generating windmills, and a little slice of the Sea of Japan. There is also a small park. Water is on the hot side. Homepage
- Moritake Onsen Hotel (森岳温泉ホテル). Nestled in the foothills of Mitane (in the area formerly know as Yamamoto-machi), this onsen is popular with both locals and tourists. Features a great Korean Restaurant. Homepage
- Moritake Onsen Yūparu (森岳温泉ゆうぱる) A local favorite that recently underwent a rennovation, and now offers brand new rooms to stay in. Info ☎ 0185-83-4641
- Moritake Onsen Kappa no Ashiyu (森岳温泉カッパの足湯) These two free footbaths have become even more popular after their recent renewal including tables and renewed decor. Open 24hours, though the lights are turned off at 21:00. Info
- Hotel Moriyamakan (ホテル森山館) Excellent hotel for a day trip or a night's stay. Conveniently close to the Ashi no Yu (footbath) as well. Also has a banquet hall which can be rented for events, as well as a 家族風呂 (family bath) that can be rented by couples or families.Homepage ☎ 0185-83-3300
- Kuahausu Hanatomi (クアハウス花富) Closed in Feb 2007. Info
- Marutomi Hotel (丸富ホテル) Maybe closed down. Info
- Mitane official website (Japanese)
|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|