Kakunodate is a town in Semboku, Akita. Known as Samurai town (武家屋敷) and “The Little Kyoto of Tohoku”.(みちのく小京都) On 2005, Kakunodate, along with the town of Tazawako, and the village of Nishiki was merged to create the city of Semboku.

Snowy streets of Kakunodate

. . . Kakunodate . . .

The Akita Shinkansen Komachi (こまち) from Tokyo, Sendai and Morioka makes a regular stop at the JR Kakunodate station. Komachi provides hourly service from Tokyo and the journey takes roughly 4hrs from Tokyo, 2.5hrs from Sendai and 1hr from Morioka. Please make sure to book your seat in advance, as seats on all Komachi trains are all reserved. Japan Rail Pass is accepted.

Walking is really the only viable option in this small, compact city.

Kakunodate is well known for well preserved Samurai Houses scattered around along Bukeyashiki Street (which means Samurai House Street) and forming as a Bukeyashiki Samurai District. Some of these houses are open to public.

  • Samurai houses
    • Aoyagi House. Apr-Oct 9AM-5PM, Nov-Mar 9AM-4PM. ¥500. 
    • 39.601198140.5616781 Ishiguro House. 9AM-5PM. ¥300. 
    • Odano House. Mid Apr-Oct 9AM-5PM. Free. 
    • Kawarada House. Mid Apr-Oct 9AM-5PM. Free. 
    • 39.598686140.5627351 Iwahashi House. Mid Apr-Oct 9AM-5PM. Free. 
    • Matsumoto House. Mid Apr-Oct 9AM-5PM. Free. 
  • 39.60671140.562691 Kakunodate Castle Ruins (古城山), Furushiroyama, Kakunodate-machi. Pile of old castle ruins. Castle tower does not remain, only stone wall remains. 
  • Cherry Blossom. Best time to see late-Apr – early- May.. There are 400 Prunus yedoensis (ソメイヨシノ) trees on the embankment of Hinokinai River spans 2km, and 150 Prunus pendula (シダレザクラ) trees in Samurai town street. 

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