About Akita Souvenirs
Akita Prefecture is located on the coast of the Sea of Japan in the northeastern part of Japan and is a land of heavy snowfall.
It is home to many famous and delicious foods such as namahage, iburigakko, kiritanpo, kamakura and Akita dogs!
Many of the souvenirs from Akita Prefecture are sweets that have been traditionally eaten for decades or are based on local specialties.
In this article, Rien, a souvenir writer who is from and lives in Akita Prefecture, will introduce some of the best souvenirs in Akita Prefecture, as well as some that she has actually tried.
Five recommended classic souvenirs from Akita
The most popular souvenir from Akita is the kinman.
The “I ate 28 Kinmans! The original was a sponge cake wrapped in white bean paste.
The original confection was called “Miyako Manju,” which was made by wrapping white bean paste in sponge cake.
There are many similar sweets with different names all over the country.
With its dusty skin and white bean paste, and the simple sweetness of egg and honey, you can eat two or three pieces at a time.
You can use the fresh type when you want to eat it right away, or the vacuum type when you want to take it with you.
Morokoshi” is a traditional candy that got its name because it was said to be “more delicious than many other candies” when it was presented to the Satake clan, the feudal lord of Akita at the time, during the Edo period.
Sugiyama Jusando in Akita City has been making Morokoshi for over 300 years.
The basic ingredients are red bean flour and sugar, and the morokoshi are baked in special wooden molds.
There are different patterns and flavors depending on the shop, and you can feel the culture and history of Akita in these souvenirs.
Although the name may be unfamiliar, Sanazura is an Akita dialect word for “mountain grapes.
Sanazura is a sheet jelly made from concentrated juice of mountain grapes and natural agar.
Eitaro, a confectioner in Akita City, began selling this jelly in 1957.
A sheet of jelly is sandwiched between two sheets of paper, which are cut into bite-sized pieces with a skewer attached.
It has a rich wine-like flavor with a crisp aftertaste and is similar in texture to yokan (bean jelly).
Because of their long shelf life, Ichinoho’s Shitogimamegaki were often a staple of gifts received at home.
These long, thin rice crackers are made from glutinous rice produced in Akita Prefecture, filled with black soybeans, and baked until crispy.
In the past, rice was a precious commodity eaten only on special occasions.
People soaked raw rice in water, ground it into a powder, and used it as a daily snack or rice cake.
Shittogi-mamegaki has been produced for many years to promote the goodness of Akita Prefecture’s rice.
The crisp, light texture, moderate saltiness, and crunchiness of the black soybeans are addictive.
Akita Prefecture is located next to Aomori Prefecture, a major apple-producing area. Akita Prefecture used to be an apple-growing area as good as Aomori.
In an effort to make effective use of the damaged apples, Takasago-do began selling apple cakes in 1930, and they are still popular among the people of Akita Prefecture as a “nostalgic taste.
The retro wrapping paper and soft, pale pink rice cake.
The aroma of fresh apples spreads as you bite into it, making it a souvenir loved by people of all ages, from children to the elderly.
Recommended souvenirs by region within Akita Prefecture
Akita Prefecture is the sixth largest of Japan’s 47 prefectures.
With sights scattered from north to south, there are many souvenirs unique to each region.
Therefore, we would like to introduce souvenirs in Akita Prefecture, divided by region.
Please take a look at them for reference when you travel or go on a business trip.
Senboku City, Akita Prefecture
Yukarido Seika Ochiba Karinto
Kakunodate in Senboku City, known as “Michinoku’s Little Kyoto,” is a tourist destination famous for its samurai residences, weeping cherry trees, and rows of cherry trees along the embankment.
Outside the station, confectionery shops such as Yukarido Seika, Karado-an and Kurakichi line the streets.
Ochiba Karinto is made by Yukarindo Seika, a shop in Kakunodate that makes traditional handmade karinto.
The center of the karinto is cut and twisted to resemble a falling leaf.
The crunchy texture and volume make it a satisfying snack.
In addition to the plain type, there is also a type that is sprinkled with brown sugar.
Karadoan NamaMorakoshi Tsumeawase
Karado-an’s raw morokoshi has been improved from Akita’s famous “morokoshi” to make it easier to eat for everyone from children to the elderly.
Because it is not baked, it is soft and crispy, and can be stored at room temperature for up to 30 days.
The cute design of the package, which is inspired by the cherry blossoms and samurai residences in Kakunodate, makes it a popular souvenir, especially among young people.
Noshiro City, Akita Prefecture
Sekito no Shinko Mochi
Noshiro City is located by the sea in northern Akita Prefecture.
The city is also famous as a basketball town, with Noshiro Technical High School, a prestigious basketball team that has won 58 national championships, located in the city.
The most popular souvenir of Noshiro City is Sekito’s “Shinko Mochi” (rice cake).
It is a sweet made of a sticky rice cake made of Uruchi rice and filled with a refreshing Koshi-an (sweetened red bean paste).
Although it only lasts for one day, some people go out of their way to buy it for the taste.
In addition to gift packages, the store also sells mochi by weight for home consumption.
Odate City, Akita Prefecture
Odate Edamame Monaka
In fact, Akita Prefecture is Japan’s largest exporter of edamame.
Odate City, under the slogan “Edamame Town Odate,” is making a citywide effort to promote sweets and souvenirs made from edamame.
The Odate Edamame Monaka was jointly developed by eight confectionery shops in the city.
The edamame-shaped monaka is filled with edamame bean paste made from edamame beans produced in Akita Prefecture.
The packaging, depicting an Akita dog and a bent wooden doll, is also adorable and makes a perfect souvenir from Odate.
Kita Akita City, Akita Prefecture
Miura-an Mochimochi Sankaku butter Mochi
Butter rice cakes have been enjoying a bit of a boom since they were featured on a TV show in 2012.
Originally, they were a portable food for matagi (hunters who shoot bears and other animals) to take into the mountains, as butter keeps them from getting hard and is nutritious.
Today, a variety of butter rice cakes are made in many shops and businesses in Kita-Akita City.
The sticky texture and the buttery aroma that spreads softly… a strange confection with a Western atmosphere, even though it is a rice cake.
Miura-an’s butter rice cakes are also available at Akita Airport, and there are many shops selling them in Kita-Akita City, so they are relatively easy to find.
Kamikoani Village, Akita Prefecture
Miyaden Yamabuki Manjuu
Kamikoani Village is a small village with a population of less than 3,000 located in the mountains in the northern part of the prefecture.
Yamabuki manju, made in Miyaden, is an important souvenir sold at Akita Station and Akita Airport.
The small, bite-sized buns with a thin crust and a filling of sweet bean paste are addictive.
They come in two varieties, white and black bean paste, and can also be used as small tea cakes.
Six souvenirs that Akita residents tried and really enjoyed.
From here, I would like to introduce some of the really tasty souvenirs recommended by a souvenir writer from Akita Prefecture who actually ate some of them.
This impressive souvenir consists of three layers of mochi (fluffy rice cake), smooth sweet bean paste, and a generous amount of black sesame seeds, all packed together in one package.
It is a specialty of Hataei in Hachirokata Town, and customers flock to the shop on weekdays and weekends.
It looks like a “black box”. But once you take a bite, you will surely be captivated by the taste!
The taste and amount of mochi, anko (red bean paste), and sesame seeds are perfectly balanced, and no matter how much you eat, you will never get tired of it.
You can sometimes find them at Akita Airport or Atrion, but since their stock is irregular, it is best to go to the store in Hachirokata Town.
Awayuki Fuwari, Kogashi Shotsuru Flavor
Shotsuru” is a type of fish sauce. In Akita Prefecture, where there has always been an abundance of hatahata (grouper), it was one of the most popular condiments.
Awasetsu Fuwari Togashi Shotsuru Flavor is made from crisply fried Uruchi rice produced in Akita Prefecture and covered with shotsuru powder.
The light-colored rice crackers are hexagonal in shape, like snowflakes.
The slightly burnt aroma and taste of dashi (Japanese soup stock) mixed with the flavor of shotsutsuru (a type of citrus fruit) give the crackers a lingering taste.
It would be a useful souvenir for those who do not like sweets or those who like to drink.
Mimatsudo An Doughnut
The Retro Egg Carton is a cute confection from San Shodo in Akita City.
Instead of eggs, there are egg-shaped bean jam doughnuts in a row.
Donuts are usually thought of as hard, but Sanshodo’s are soft and fluffy, making them very easy to eat.
They have just the right amount of sweetness, and the oil is refreshing.
The best thing about them is that they have a striking appearance, so we recommend them as souvenirs for people who like retro things.
Yama no Hachimitsuya Hachimitsu Roll Cake
Located by Lake Tazawa in Senboku City, Akita Prefecture, Yama no Hachimitsu-ya is a popular store for its original products made with honey.
The shop uses 100% domestic honey, which is rich in nutrients, and the light sweet cream and fluffy sponge are a perfect match.
The sweetness of the honey is used while the cream and vanilla give it a rich, mouth-watering flavor.
This is a must-try souvenir for honey lovers.
Oranda Senbei Kiritanponabe Flavor
Originally, “Dutch senbei” was made by a manufacturer in Yamagata Prefecture.
Perhaps because it is a neighboring prefecture, I used to buy them at the supermarket and eat them often since I was a child.
The Kiritanpo flavor is only sold in Akita Prefecture.
It has a thin, crispy texture and a taste similar to snacks with fish sauce and garlic powder.
We hope you will enjoy the difference in taste along with the regular Dutch Rice Crackers.
JA Oogata Village Pumpkin Pie
This pastry is made with pumpkin, a specialty of Oogata Village, which was created by the reclamation of Hachiro Lake.
The white bean paste filled with lots of pumpkin is wrapped in a pastry and baked.
The red bean paste with cream has a rich, full-bodied, not-too-sweet, rustic flavor.
The somewhat retro packaging is also very atmospheric.
7 souvenirs that make the most of Akita’s unique specialties and specialties
In addition to the souvenirs introduced so far, there are many other souvenirs that make use of Akita’s specialties and specialties.
Please check out the souvenirs that you can feel the “Akita-ness” of Akita.
Iburi Gakko, an Akita specialty made from smoked pickled takuan (pickled radish), is an easy-to-eat snack in stick form.
The package is also a good point, as it is small enough and heavy enough to carry around easily.
It looks like deep-fried pasta, but the more you bite into it, the more the taste of iburigakko spreads.
Its salty flavor makes it a perfect snack for alcoholic beverages.
Okashininatta Kiritanpo Kiritanpo soup flavor
Kiritanpo nabe is a dish of soft-cooked rice that is crushed, wrapped around a stick, baked, and eaten in a pot with other ingredients.
Kiritanpo nabe is the soul food of the people of Akita Prefecture.
Kiritanpo is reproduced in the form of candy, and the name of the product is “Kiritanpo that became candy”.
In addition to its crunchy texture, Kiritanpo is baked to look just like a Kiritanpo.
The soup flavor of Kiritanpo uses burdock root powder and chicken extract powder to reproduce a deep flavor.
Whether you have had kiritanpo hot pot in Akita or not, why not enjoy it with this simple snack?
Miso dipping Tampo flavor is also available as a sister product.
Fujita Seika Namahage-manju
Namahage” is a well-known year-end tradition in Oga City.
The Namahage go from house to house wearing demon masks and straw costumes to scare away evil spirits by shouting, “No crying children!
The manju is made in the shape of the Namahage mask, but with a charming expression on its face.
The fluffy sponge dough is combined with a sweet red bean paste, a flavor that is sure to be popular with children.
Hachiko pudding (plain)
Like Namahage, Akita Inu (Hachiko) is a popular souvenir character.
Akita Inu (Hachiko) is a dog born in Odate City, Akita Prefecture, and is famous for the bronze statue of Hachiko at Shibuya Station.
Akita dogs are popular for their large bodies, fluffy fur, and curly tails, and Akita dog exhibitions are held in Akita every year.
Hachiko Pudding is a rich pudding made with eggs from Hinai Jidori chickens and milk and cream from a farm in Kita Akita City.
It can be stored at room temperature for almost a year, making it a perfect souvenir to take to distant places.
Aomame no Dragee
Edamame, the nation’s largest shipment of soybeans, is covered in white chocolate in a fashionable candy shop.
Dragees” are French candies used for weddings and births.
They come in a variety of sizes and are available in pale yellowish green, pink, yellow and white.
Pop one in your mouth and enjoy the crunchy texture of the beans and the soft sweetness.
The design and taste are sure to be popular with women, and since these candies were originally intended for celebrations, they make great gifts.
Kanaeya’s Inaniwa Karinto
Inaniwa udon, one of the three great udon noodles of Japan, is characterized by its flat, thirst-quenching noodles.
Kanaeya’s Inaniwa Karinto is a candy made from this Inaniwa Udon.
The thin, short noodles are cut into chunks to give them a crunchy texture, and they are very satisfying to eat.
There are two varieties, honey and brown sugar, so you can easily enjoy this Akita specialty in the form of sweets.
Ajidoraku no Sato Rusk
In every prefecture in Japan, there must be a “seasoning” that is unique and famous only there.
In the case of Akita Prefecture, it is undoubtedly “Ajidoraku”.
It is an all-purpose seasoning made by adding honjozo soy sauce and katsuo dashi (dashi stock), and it is said that “Akita people use aji-doraku for all kinds of dishes.
Aji-Doraku no Sato Rusk is a crispy snack with a generous coating of Aji-Doraku.
The easy-to-eat size and the savory-sweet taste of aji-doraku are addictive.
Ajidoraku no Sato Walnut Yubeshi is also available as a sister product.
Souvenirs that showcase Akita’s culture and history are recommended.
Akita Prefecture has many souvenirs, ranging from the big ones whose names are known outside the prefecture to the more crazy ones.
You can use them in various ways, such as giving the standard “Kaneman” and “Morokoshi” souvenirs to your boss or superiors, and “Namahage,” “Iburi Gakko,” and “Akita Inu” souvenirs to your casual friends or lovers.
As a resident of Akita Prefecture, I would be very happy if you could learn a little about Akita’s culture and history through Akita souvenirs!
If you are visiting Akita for sightseeing or on a business trip, please refer to this page to find a souvenir of your choice.