Thursday, April 8, 2010

Kakunodate

A very small train stop along the Akita Shinkansen line..

Kakunodate is a samurai town in Prefecture and it is famous for samurai houses and weeping cherry trees called shidarezekura.

The historic samurai houses are all clustered around a particular part of town.. and the Japanese styled houses and streets make Kakunodate one of the more popular "Little Kyotos" in Japan.

Of the samurai houses that remain intact, six are open to the public and offer visitors the chance to see how middle class and wealthy samurai families might have lived. Of the six, the Aoyagi House is perhaps the best and most well preserved. We really liked the place and was surprised to see a pretty good collection of exhibits in the house. Exhibits include samurai clothing, armour, maps and drawings. There is even a room with a very good collection of gramophones and classic records.

Kakunodate is a very small and walkable town. We stayed there for 2 days and really enjoyed the pretty and very quiet town. Maybe because we went there during off peak travelling season... but we didn't really come across many people at all during our 2 days there - except when we went into shops or restaurants.. but even those were pretty quiet.

It is a very highly recommended place to visit in North Japan, especially in the middle of winter for the snow or in late April for the cherry blossoms.

Charming streets

Aoyagi House and garden

The garden was really charming with all the snow..

The snow and ice were melting so it was really cold..
I liked this photo of the melting snow a lot..

We were pretty fascinated by the interesting exhibits.. especially the classical records..

How the streets look like at Kakunodate in late April 
(Photo from Kakunodate Tourism Association)

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