Odate Amekko-Ichi (Odate Amekko Fair)
Schedule: Every year on the second Saturday of February and the day after.
Venue/Site: Omachi Hachiko Street
※There will be traffic restriction near the site.
〇There is a shuttle bus between JR Odate Station and the site
Odate Amekko-Ichi Executive Committee Facebook Page
・Odate Amekko-Ichi Executive Committee Office: 0186-42-4360
・Main office on the day: 090-6623-7671
・Odate Tourist Information (Inside JR Odate Station): 0186-57-8120
Amekko-Ichi originated in 1588 and it is been said that “if you eat the sweet on this day, you will not catch a cold”.
It used to be a local custom event and it had been held since 1972 on Omachi Hachiko Street.
There are events such as ‘Shirahige Ookami Junko (Shirahige God Parade)’ and “Akita-Inu Parade” to perform that God is coming to buy sweets from the highest mountain in Odate city, Tashirodake.
At the venue, there are plenty of stalls that sell lollipops and sweets which attracts tourists from in and out of Akita prefecture.
Origin of Amekko-Ichi
There are customs to eat sweets all over Japan. Due to the oldest record, this custom started when a lollipop was made to offer at the altar instead of ears of rice. In Odate’s area, it is been said that they used to drive evil spirits away by eating sweets.
Initially, since 1588 a market was held and at the same time this fair was organised too.
The changes of the present and the past’s contents
Omachi Hachiko Street is filled up with approximately 100, 000 tourists who come to buy sweets from street stalls.
Odate Amekko-Ichi executive committee organises events to entertain the visitors, such as, huge lollipop exhibition, Shirahige Ookami Junko, Karami-ame service, local performance of Shishimai (lion dance), Odate Magewappa Taiko performance and folk songs performances.
Odate city is a hometown of faithful dog, Hachi, and where the head quarter of Akita dog’s preservation society is located. Countless number of tourists and dog-lovers enjoy the Hachiko parades and the opportunities to touch Akita dogs.
Shirahige Ookami and Amekko Okou
As a legend, it is been said that there is a snowstorm on the day of Ameko-Ichi. After Shirahige Ookami (Shirahige God) finishes buying sweets, it will snow on his return journey so the snow can hide his footprints.
During this Amekko-Ichi period, surprisingly it snows often and it is still held although it snows heavily.
Story about ‘Amekko Okou’ （PDF：802KB）
It is a story about a girl named Okou, who created medicated sweets. She had a dream of Shirahige God guiding her to make it so she could help the people with illness.
The events on the day ※ There may be some changes due to weather conditions.
〇 Shirahige Ookami Junko (Shirahige God Parade)
〇 Akita-Inu Parade
〇 the corner to touch Akita dogs.
〇 Karami Ame Service
〇 Marumage Queue (going back and forth on Hachiko Street )
〇 Eda-ame (lollipop) making experience [Nearby the Shrine, Executive Committee Store: First 75 people]
〇 On-the-spot sales of sweets. [Nearby the Shrine, Executive Committee Store]
〇 Stage Event [Hachiko Street Special Stage Prepared]
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