Shiba inu may be the most recognisable Japanese breed at the moment, due to online antics such as running their own sweet potato stands or frolicking in flowers.

But one of Japan's other breeds Akita inu may be hot on the shibe's heels in terms of popularity. They have become another one of Japan’s ‘it’ dogs, with everyone, from gold medalist Olympians to politicians, wanting their own big fluffy Akita.

The most iconic Akita inu is probably Hachiko, the unshakingly loyal dog that still went to Shibuya station every day to meet his owner, even long after the owner had passed away. Hachiko is immortalised as a statue outside the station in Tokyo which has become a super popular tourist attraction.

Akita prefecture, the original home of these dogs, know that Akita inu are probably their hottest export right now, and are looking to tempt more visitors to the prefecture with an Akita inu museum.

The museum just opened up, and gives tourists a crash course in the history and characteristics of Akita dogs, as well as the chance to see one up close.

The exterior of the building is based on Taisho era Shibuya station, the site of Hachiko’s daily wait. There’s a statue of Hachiko himself outside too, in a loving tribute to the famously loyal dog.

The museum will be conveniently located in front of JR Odate station.

As part of the campaign, the museum has released a charming original video called ‘Odate Lesson by Akita Dog’. The video shows an adorable team consisting of an Akita dog and a little girl showing off various poses to demonstrate the specialties and attractions of the prefecture.

This isn't the first time Akita have tried to tap the power of the beloved Akita dog to promote the prefecture. Previously they also introduced potential tourists to the snowy countryside through Google Dog Street View, letting some Akita inu show you around little known areas of their home town.

The Akita inu museum is called 'Akita Inu no Sato' meaning 'Hometown of Akita Dogs' and the official website can be found here (Japanese only).

By - grape Japan editorial staff.