Aki-shi is a small city located in the east of Kochi Prefecture with a population of about 20,000 people. The total area is 317.34 km². The heart of Aki city is located along the Japan National Route 55 and faces the Pacific Ocean to the south. The city was founded on August 1, 1954.
Aki city has six stops on the Tosa Kuroshio Railway Asa Line (also known as the Gomen-Nahari Line (ごめん-なはり線)), and the city office can be reached by stopping at Aki City's main station. The stations within Aki city include Akano, Ananai, Jyũjōmae, Ioki, Aki, and Shimoyama.
Kochi-Ryoma Airport is a 35 minute drive from Aki city. By train, you can get on at Aki station and get off at Noichi station in Konan city. You would then have to take a taxi to the airport.
You can take a bus to and from Kochi city/Muroto city from Aki station. There are also night buses in service to Kobe, Osaka, and Kyoto.
By car, it takes 1 hour to get to Kochi city and 1 hour to get to Muroto city. It takes aproximately 2 hours to reach the border of Tokushima-ken (along route 55) and 3 hours to reach Ehime-ken (along route 55 and route 33).
There are two JETs that work in the Aki City Office (located in central Aki City) and are in charge of teaching at all the municipal elementary schools (11) and junior high schools (2). There are two more JETs that work for the prefectural high schools (2) and junior high school (1) that also live in Aki City. The municipal JETs live within a two minute walk from the city office and are transported to and from school by car. The prefectural JETs live closer to the ocean and work directly at the high schools/junior high school with no need to check in with the city office.
- Akidaiichi E.S (安芸第一小)
- Shimoyama E.S (下山小)
- Higashigawa E.S (東川小中)
- Inokuchi E.S (井ノ口小)
- Ioki E.S (伊尾木小)
- Akano E.S (赤野小)
- Ananai E.S (穴内小)
- Kawakita E.S (川北小)
- Doi E.S (土居小)
Jr. High Schools
- Aki Junior High School (安芸中)
- Seisuigaoka Junior High School (清水ヶ丘中)
- Aki Prefectural Junior High School
- Aki High School (安芸高)
- Sakuragauka High School (桜ヶ丘高)
- Iwasaki Yatarō (岩崎 弥太郎): (founder of Mitsubishi) His childhood home is located in Aki, north of the Aki City Train station off of Route 29 in Inokuchi, Aki.
- Noradokei Clock (野良時計): Located in Doi, Aki along Route 213.
- Samurai Residence (武家屋敷): Located in Doi, Aki.
- Sugio Shrine (杉尾神社)
- Ryutaro Hirota's music monuments: There are 10 music monuments, each engraved with a different song of Ryutaro's. They are located all around the city.
- Kariyon Clock (カリヨン時計): Large clock monument to Ryutaro Hirota. At certain hours, the clock plays music and has mechanical dolls that come out and dance.
- Uchiharano Pottery Center: This pottery center sells locally made pottery and blown glass art. With an appointment, you can make your own pottery in the studio.
- Aki City Station Chiba-San Market (安芸市ちばさん市場): Located within the station's main building, local produce, plants, bakery goods, Aki City omiyage, and home-made bento are brought/made fresh every day and sold cheaply.
- Aki Dome: This is where the Hanshin Tigers practice in the spring (beginning in February) and play their first game of the season. It draws Hanshin Tigers fans every year from all over Japan. The Dome is located in Sakuragoka Machi and is visible along Kokudo Route 55. One can also access the Dome by going to Jyũjōmae Station (球場前駅).
- Aki City Calligraphy Museum (安芸市書道美術館): Located in Doi-Cho, Aki City along Route 29 next to the History Museum. The Museum is a two floor establishment that displays and hosts many different calligraphy exhibitions and contests.
- Aki City History Museum (安芸市歴史民俗資料館): Located in Do-Cho, AKi City along Route 29 next to the Calligraphy Museum. The Museum contains information on the evolution of Aki City through history, as well as an extensive history of Iwasaki Yatarou.
- Aki Fishing Port (安芸市漁港)
- Kikusui Sake Brewing Company (菊水酒造株式会社): Located in Hon-machi, Aki City, is a local sake brewery well-known around Shikoku and the second largest producer of sake in Kochi Prefecture. The company constantly comes up with new and innovative products and is sold widely around the prefecture. Along with their constantly updating product list, they are well-known for their "Shimanto Gawa" (四万十川）sake.
- Arimitsu Brewing Company: A very small sake brewery located in Akano-cho, Aki City (along the border of Geisei Village) that produces sake using traditional methods. Production is minimal and sales are limited to Aki City and select retail stores around Kochi City. The most well-known sake they produce is called "Aki Tora" (安芸虎), which is not named after the Hanshin Tigers but instead, after Kunitora Aki who resided in the Aki Castle.
- Nasu Park and Uchiharano Park: Located in Uchiharano-Cho, Aki City. Nasu park is known for the playground equipment shaped like vegetables (among which is eggplant). Uchiharano park is a large public park with a man-made lake. In the spring and Summer, it is a good place to go for flower viewing while picnicking. Boats are also able to be rented for a row around the lake.
- Doyo Washroom: The Doyo Washroom is located next to the Aki City Office and is a bathroom known for playing the famous nursery rhymes that where created in Aki City.
- Yosakoi festival every year during the first weekend in August.
Aki City is an agricultural city where many farmers reside and thus, is well known for its locally grown eggplant (なす), dekopon, yuzu, and tobacco. It is also well-known for a dish called chirimendon (ちりめん丼), a bowl of rice covered in tiny sardines, green onions, and tsuyu sauce.
Every August, Aki City holds a Yosakoi (よさこい) festival and parade in the city. Since Yosakoi dance originated in Kōchi Prefecture, many cities around the prefecture hold smaller-scale festivals in relation to the main three-day Yosakoi festival in Kōchi, which draws groups of performers from all over Japan. Aki City's festival is one of the larger festivals held on the east side of Kochi Prefecture, and takes place over two weekends in August. Various groups from around the city, nearby cities, as well as groups from Tokushima Prefecture and Ehime Prefecture come and perform in the Aki City Yosakoi festival in preparation for the three-day festival in Kōchi.
Another well-known festival held in AKi City is the Aki City Candle-Light Festival and Illumination Event. This event takes place over two days and is held around the mid-end of December. The festivities take place in front of the Aki City train station where local music groups, Junior High school bands, and High school bands perform while various local restaurants set-up stalls to sell food, drinks, and other local products. The event takes place around the birthday of Iwasaki Yatarō and is thus included in the festivities. There is also a very large display of handmade candles set up around the station, and nearby residence often participate by setting up Christmas "illuminations" and elaborate light displays.
Since Kōchi Prefecture is well known for shodo (書道) or calligraphy, the Aki City Calligraphy Museum holds a nation-wide calligraphy contest every May, and another contest for High school students every July/August. Calligraphy from all over Japan is sent in to be judged by highly regarded calligraphy teachers from the prefecture, and later displayed in a public exhibition. Along with this contest, Aki City also holds a general arts (photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, wood-work) contest every September/October in the Aki City Shuminkaikan.
Other than these larger events, Aki City is also the host to various small festivals, local music performances, art exhibitions, and events. In addition, every November, Aki City is host to the "Turtle Marathon," a marathon held for people ages 30 and over from all over Japan.
- Marunaka Supermarket
- Sunshine Supermarket (x2)
- Kusuriya (5+) (drug stores)
- Maruni Home Center (furniture, gardening, hardware, kitchenware)
- Magical Station Game Shop (games and consols)
- ZA SHOES (cheap shoes)
- バッグ Bag Shop (only sells bags)
- Shimamura Clothing Shop
- Cheap Liquor Store
- Kitamura Camera (sells cameras and processes film)
- Glasses Shop (x2)
- Yamada Denki (electronics and appliances store)
Smile Aki Mall
- Tsutaya (buy and rent CDs, DVDs, manga, and games)
- Daiso (100 yen shop)
- Jewelry Store
- Clothing Store
- Beauty Shop
- Chez Nous: Located along Route 55 in Ioki-Cho, Chez Nous is well known for their Soup Curry and macha pound cake.
- Iokiya: Located along Route 55 in Ioki-Cho, this restaurant is well known for Udon, especially the store's "Bukkake Udon."
- Furusatokan: Located in Doi-Cho near Route 29, this restaurant/shop is well known for Chirimendon and baked eggplant ice cream. This zakka also sells home-made bento and hand-made goods. There is also an "ice crean" (a creation of Kochi Prefecture which combines ice cream and sorbet) stand in front of the shop which sells experimental flavors of ice crean including egg, tomato, baked eggplant, pumpkin, and baked sweet potato.
- Oncahnchi: This restaurant is well known for their fried chicken (karage).
- Blue Moon Cafe: Located along the 55 above the "Magical Station" game store.
- Pieno + Ajito: Pieno is an italian-themed izakaya with great pizza and pasta on the first floor. The second floor of the building contains a bar called Ajito that has a 400 yen cover charge on the weekend and free karaoke on Fridays. Drinks range from 400-500 yen and the cover charge includes snacks/edamame. Karaoke is priced at 100 yen per song every other day. You are also able to order any of the food from the Pieno menu in the upstairs bar.
- Yoronotaki: Popular izakaya chain restaurant with cheap fried food and drinks. Their kimchi cha-han is to die for.
- Haten: izakaya located across from the Tamai Hotel. Good food and drinks though not as large of a selection as Yoronotaki.
- Mon Pere: Italian restaurant that serves unique varieties on pasta dishes.
- Fujimura Bakery: Great bread and has a small cafe attached to it.
- Cheese-ya: Cheese cake shop that does pre-orders for whole cheese cakes and sells slices in the shop (although they sell-out quickly).
- Shinatora: Ramen shop in front of Yamada Denki that has EXCELLENT tonkotsu ramen and gyoza.
- Shikoku Bank
- Kochi Bank
- Dot Com Bank
- Post Office (x3)
- Barber shops/hair salons (10+)
- Laundrymats (x3)
- Lawsons Combini (x2)
- SURIEFU (3F) Combini (x3)
- AU Retailer
- Softbank Retailer
- DINO Pachinko
- Aki city official homepage (Japanese)