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Located in northwestern Honshu on the Sea of Japan coast, Akita Prefecture has long been thought of in Tokyo and especially western Japan as remote — part of poet Matsuo Basho’s famed “The Narrow Road to the Deep North.”

The prefecture is well-known for the Akita Kanto Festival — one of three great summer festivals in the Tohoku region — and kiritampo nabe, a hot pot dish. It’s also famous for its so-called Akita bijin (beautiful local women).

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