Have you ever heard of “Akita Dog”? It’s one of the types of dogs which is well known for its loyalty to the owner as shown in a famous Japanese movie, “Hachiko Monogatari” (1987). This movie has got a remake in the U.S., “HACHI: A Dog’s Tale” (2009). In 2018, a puppy of Akita dog was given to a Russian gold medalist in figure skating, Alina Zagitova. This news also made Akita dogs more popular!
I’m happy to find that Akita dogs are getting more popularity not only in Japan but worldwide.
About Akita dogs, they have adorable face, rolled tail and triangular upright ears. I especially like their fluffy ears and “kawaii” (meaning “cute” in Japanese) face!
Today, I’m going to show you a newly opened Akita Dog Visitor Center in Odate city, the northern part of Akita, Japan!
Akita Dog has been designated as National Natural Monument of Japan in 1931. In the past, Akita dogs used to work with “Matagi”, a group of traditional bear hunters in this area.
A Japanese movie, “Hachiko Monogatari” (1987), tells us a touching story of an Akita dog named “Hachi” who kept waiting for his owner until his death. This shows how Akita dogs are faithful to their masters.
At Akita Dog Visitor Center, you can enjoy watching the real Akita dogs and learn about them in depth. There are a lot of information written in both Japanese and English. Also, Chinese and Korean translations can be seen once you visit the website through QR code shown at the site.
Until I read the information, I didn’t know that such a historically famous person as Helen Keller loved Akita Dog! Did you know that? hummm… I should learn more about my hometown!
In addition to Akita Dog Visitor Center, you can learn more about them in Akita Dog Museum located near the visitor center.
＊Akita Dog Museum (13-1 Sannomaru, Odate city, Akita, Japan)
【Access】About 10 minutes by car or 15 minutes by bus from Akita Dog Visitor Center
This is today’s Akita Dog, “Gin”!
He is 2 years old. How cute!
The staff told us that he has been there almost all day… So, he looked a bit tired but kindly showed us his cute face. Thank you, Gin!
Akita Dog has a gentle personality. So, visitors can see them up close through a fence in Akita Dog Room! We can’t touch or pet them by considering the dogs’ health condition and visitors’ safety according to the facility’s rule. Anyway, just watching them made me so happy! I especially love their fluffy ears! Which parts do you like?
There are big posters of Akita dogs inside the exhibition room. Characters, history, stories of other Akita dogs living around Japan and interesting information are also exhibited there. Please take a careful look at them! Have fun!
The big Akita Dog doll tower is attractive, too!!
After having a tour, you can enjoy shopping at the souvenir shop or take a break at café area. They sell Akita Dog dolls, items, sweets, local Sake, and so on. My recommended item is Edamame soft serve ice cream! It tastes as Edamame, that is, green soybeans which are one of the local specialties of Akita. In addition, you can drink coffee of a local coffee brand, “NAGAHAMA COFFEE”.
You can enjoy day trips to this Akita Dog Visitor Center and the neighboring zoo park, “Kuma Kuma Bear Park”, in Kitaakita city! It’ll take about 1 hour and 30 minutes by car. Kuma Kuma Bear Park is also a fun place to go! It has only bears! Only bears!!
Don’t worry, bears in this zoo park are rather cute and goofy than scary.
I hope you will have a great time with our local cute animals. Have fun!
＊＊Check them out! by KUMANEKO TRIP＊＊
Kuma Kuma Bear Park (Kitaakita city, Akita, Japan) ＜ https://kuma-neko-trip.com/en/archives/1573＞
NAGAHAMA COFFEE in Soto-asahikawa shop (Akita city, Akita, Japan) ＜https://kuma-neko-trip.com/en/archives/1277＞
Akita Kanto Festival (Akita city, Akita, Japan) ＜https://kuma-neko-trip.com/en/archives/1478＞
~~~ Facility Info ~~~
Akita Dog Visitor Center
1 Chome 13-1 Onaricho, Odate City, Akita, Japan
Open 9:00～18:00 (April to October) / 9:00～17:00 (November to March)
＊Akita Dog Room 9:30～16:15 (Except 12:30～13:15)
Closed on Mondays (*Closed on December 31st and January 1st)
【Access】In front of Odate Station
＊By car: From Akita city: Akita-minami IC (Akita Expressway) ～ Futatsui Shirakami IC ～National Route 7 (About 2 hours in total)
＊By train: JR Akita Station ～ Odate Station ～ About 3 minutes on foot (About 1 hour and40 minutes in total)
＊By airplane: Odate Noshiro Airport ～ About 25 minutes by car / About 45 minutes by shuttle bus
Written by Naomi in Ugo
*As of November, 2019.