Kakunodate is a former castle and samurai town in Akita Prefecture. It’s located in a remote area of northern Honshu, the main island of Japan. Though the castle no longer remains, its samurai and merchant districts are relatively unchanged from its founding in 1620. At one time about 80 families lived in Kakunodate’s samurai district. Several well-preserved houses dating back to the town’s early years provide a glimpse into the life of a samurai. The Aoyagi House, with its thatched roof, is one of the most interesting. Part of an estate, its warehouses have been turned into museums that contain historical artifacts such as old bicycles, farm equipment, and samurai armor. The cherry tree in its garden is almost 300 years old. The Ishiguro House has a collection of samurai armor and clothing on display.
Weeping cherry trees were imported from Kyoto to Kakunodate during the Edo Period (1603 – 1868). Cherry blossoms are symbolic within the Japanese culture and are often depicted in various art forms. Their short-lived beauty is a reminder of the ephemeral quality of life. Somei Yoshino, Japan’s most popular variety of cherry tree, has white flowers tinged with pale pink. Hundreds of these were planted along the Hinokinai River, which runs through Kakunodate. In Japan, hanami refers to the national pastime of viewing cherry blossoms. Kakunodate is one of the region’s most popular places to enjoy these spring flowers.
The art of kabazaiku originated in Kakunodate more than 200 years ago. Kabazaiku uses cherry bark as a veneer for a variety of items such as storage containers for tea and tobacco, decorative boxes, and furniture. The craft has been carried on by local artisans, and visitors can see kabazaiku demonstrations as well as exhibits of other regional crafts at the Denshokan Museum.
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It was our first trip to Japan. Working with Jeff was a pleasure. His knowledge of the country and local contacts were very helpful. Choice...
Working with Jeff at Rediscover Tours was a wonderful experience. He helped me plan a 10 day trip of a lifetime to Japan with my mother...
I would like to take this opportunity to commend and thank you for the marvelous vacation we recently enjoyed in Japan. The entire experience exceeded...
Our team of Japan experts have all lived in Japan for years and know its the hidden treasures. Our team is here to answer all your questions and to build your tour just the way you want it.
Jeff was born in a south suburb of Chicago named South Holland and lived in Japan for 14 years. He now lives in Commerce Township, Michigan with his wife Yoshimi, son Shota, and daughter Mina. He enjoys playing with his kids, volunteering with his daughter’s marching band, cycling and training and teaching Aikido.
Michiyo was born in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture though currently lives in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. Her main passions in life is traveling all around the world and enjoying their cultures.
Izumi has spent most of her life in the Kansai region, except for the 10 years that she enjoyed in the UK. Living abroad has made her appreciate her own culture and local beauty even more. She currently lives in Osaka with her family, including two cats and two dogs.
Great trips don't just happen; it takes expert knowledge and years of experience to create a truly memorable holiday. You can rely on Rediscover Tours to make your perfect Japanese experience. Our dedication to excellence makes the difference.
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