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Travel Kakunodate (角館)

Kakunodate (角館) is a former castle town and samurai stronghold in Akita Prefecture, sometimes referred to as the small Kyōto of Tōhoku' (みちのくの小京都 Michinoku no sho-Kyōto). It is located southwest of Lake Towada and was merged with other towns and villages in 2005 to form the town of Semboku (仙北). Kakunodate was founded in 1620 and is famous for its samurai tradition and its hundreds of weeping cherry trees (枝垂桜 shidarezakura). The town has preserved its historical buildings and streets remarkably well since its founding. While Kakunodate Castle no longer remains, it is still a popular tourist destination for its samurai district and beautiful cherry blossoms.

History:

Kakunodate was established as a castle town in 1620 by Ashina Yoshikatsu (1575–1631), the younger brother of the daimyō of the Akita Domain. Along Bukeyashiki-dori, only a few of the formerly 80 samurai residences and 350 merchant houses survived and can be visited for a small admission fee.


Other sights:
  • Suzuki Shuzōten, a 300-year-old sake brewery famous for the Hideyoshi brand.
  • The ruins of Kakunodate Castle (角館), demolished in 1620.
  • Kakunodate-matsuri (角館祭り), a Japanese festival celebrated from 7 to 9 September, centring around the Shinmei-sha shrine and featuring a procession and traditional dances.

Kakunodatemachi - 角館町


Kakunodate Station


Bukeyashiki-dori

Access:
By Shinkansen: a 50-minute train ride from Akita Station to Kakunodate Station on the Akita Shinkansen.
By local train: via JR Ou Line to Omagari Station and transfer to the Tazawako Line to Kakunodate.


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