Nikaho City Tourist association
Zip code: 018-0121
36-1 Ooshiokoshi Kisakata, Nikaho City, Akita Prefecture, Japan
Business hour: 9:00-21:00
Phone: +81 184-43-6608
FAX: +81 184-43-6609
History and Events
Said to have been built by Jikaku Daiji, who came from Hieizan Enryakuji Temple, Kanmanji Temple is a historically symbolic site with a rich cultural heritage.
Many litterateurs such as Noin Hoshi and Saigyo Hoshi visited this temple to compose their tankas as early as the Heian period. Later, this temple became more eminent as a destination for writers and poets after its mention in Matsuo Basho's travel memoir, Oku no Hoso michi ("Narrow Road to the Deep North").
Kanmanji temple was once at the center of the scenic "Eighty-eight Lagoons and Ninety-nine Islands." The temple precincts are densely covered in ancient trees appropriate for its 70-year history and houses in its tranquil environment several tourist highlights called the Seven Wonders of Kanmanji Temple. The temple gate enshrining statues of the guardians of the temple is said to have been built in the Edo period.
Kisakata once had several islands floating in its cove. These islands were formed by the seawaters eating away at the liquid mud that came from earlier eruptions of Mt. Chokai. In 1804, however, the Great Kisakata Earthquake, with an estimated magnitude of 7.1, caused a 2.4 meter uplift of land, thereby changing the famous waters around the islands to dry land overnight. The Tsukumo Islands are designated as a natural monument for their geologically rare qualities. Years after the waters were covered in dry mud, the islands still resemble their ancient image reflected on the surface of the water-filled rice paddies before planting season.
Nikaho Summer Festival
Nikaho Sanya Monogatari (Nikaho Three-Night Story)
This is an event to mark the opening of the "Nikaho Sanya Monogatari" on August 14th of each year and includes bon-odori (the obon festival dance), Yatose and other fun events.
Marking the finale, a display of 3000 fireworks (mainly starmines and number-10 fireworks) is held.
Inaugurated in 1991, the "Bayhead Festival" is held on August 15th of each year. Both locals and visitors come to the festival, making for a great success each year. Abundant foods from the sea and mountains, kushiyakis and beer are provided by the Federation of Commerce and Industry, the Fisherie Cooperative Association, and the Agricultural Cooperative. Performances of Konoura Shinto music and dance as well as Kanto (a traditional dance to pray for a plentiful harvest characterized by carrying a pole strung with lanterns), are held near the tower located at the center of the festival site. Also, everyone is invited to join the bon-odori dance. The 30 minutes of fireworks conclude the festival by embellishing the Konoura skies with beautiful lights.
This is the only opportunity where the Kanto, one of the three large festivals of the Tohoku region and fireworks can be enjoyed at the same event.
Sea of Japan Fireworks Festival in Kisakata
Inaugurated in 1948, this is a fireworks festival with a long history. More than ten thousand people visit this evening event to enjoy the summer tradition in the Kisakata beach area.
The "Niagara," covering the full length of the shoreline, is a 350 meter-long display, depicting the Tohoku region's prominent Mt. Chokai. The light from the waterfall falling before the eye is a sight that cannot be missed. The marine fireworks, starmines shot above the water, appear as unique semicircles. Half of the normally circular fireworks disappear into the dark shadows of the water. The ambiance of the lights reflected in the water is designed to create the best view for spectators.
This 51.5 kilometer triathlon race is Tohoku's premier regional race with participating triathletes from not only Akita prefecture, but all over Japan. The race commences on the Kisakata beach, chosen as one of the top 100 beaches in Japan for its beauty and sunset viewing. The course winds through the natural beauty of the Mt. Chokai area as well as through local historical areas before finishing back at the beach. Over 1500 volunteers assist with the triathlon to provide a memorable experience for the participants. Many guests come to cheer them on. The race is held annually on the third Sunday in July. A junior triathlon also takes place, making this a great event for the entire family. Come and join us some time!
Mountain Bike Race
This unique, non-competitive race is a 150-kilometer trip around the base of beautiful, majestic Mt. Chokai. The course runs through both Akita and Yamagata prefectures, offering spectacular views of Mt. Chokai, the Sea of Japan, and the natural environment. The course also tours through local historical areas. Aid and refreshment stations are set up along the course to assist the athletes. This annual event is held the day before Sports Day, Japan's national recreational day in October. Come and enjoy the thrill of the sport while taking in the picturesque scenery.