This summer, I had the opportunity to discover more of the Tohoku area as I got invited to a couple of events organized in collaboration with the Japan Rail Café Tokyo.

One of them was about Yamagata, where I also had the pleasure to taste the sake from the Yonetsuru sake brewery and find out more of the area's recommendations (food and travel-wise). If you're interested, you can check my article here.

This time, I got an invitation to an event highlighting some of the charms of Akita Prefecture.


Photo by cinnamonellie

We also had a sake tasting corner and a traditional craft workshop, where we had the opportunity to paint our very own wooden fans.

We had a briefing about Tohoku, then switched to one of the things Akita is famous for: the adorable Akita dog!

Photo by cinnamonellie

Through the atelier, I discovered that Akita is one of the top producers of sake in Japan. We received a bag of goodies that included a bottle of sake, a pack of Nagahama Coffee, Namahage-shaped snacks, traditional sweets, and even pumpkin pie!

Photo by cinnamonellie

I was most excited about the painting atelier! Each participant received a wooden fan. Some had the adorable Akita dog breed, while others had the Nishimonai Bon Odori. I got the latest and then had to pick from the multitude of colors and bring it to life.

There was a time limit, and unfortunately, I couldn't finish it in time, but I took it back home and continued my work of art afterward.

A wooden fan comes in handy, especially during the hot Japanese summers, so I was happy to receive one with such a unique design.

The Nishimonai Bon Odori 西馬音内盆踊り is one of the three most known Bon Festivals in Japan and is held annually during mid-August. The dancers cover their faces with woven hats called amigasa 編笠 and black hoods, also known as hikozukin 彦頭巾, then dance with the spirits of the dead.

They have colorful patterns and elegant moves, so hearing about them made me eager to go and visit Akita during the Nishimonai Bon Odori. However, I will need to be patient a bit more until everything settles down and we can travel again.

For now, I am grateful to at least have one item that illustrates the beauty of the dance festival and more knowledge regarding the Tohoku area and Akita Prefecture that I yet have to visit.

Related Links

Access to Japan Rail Café Tokyo:

By - cinnamonellie.