Kakunodate is a small town with a well-preserved samurai district in Akita
Previously housing about 80 families, the Kakunodate samurai district is a fine example of samurai architecture. Its wide streets and large courtyards are shaded by weeping cherry trees that bloom in early May. The wide streets are filled with Hanami tourists during this time.
It is possible to see how middle-class and wealthy samurai families might have lived in six of the samurai houses that remain intact. The Aoyagi House and the Ishiguro House stand out for their size and quality among the six open houses.
There are numerous centuries-old gardens and houses, including the Aoyagi Samurai House, one of the best-preserved samurai manor houses in Japan. Featuring a main house, armory, antique museum, tea room, gift shops, and a beautiful garden, this open-air museum is a must-see attraction. Ishiguro House, where descendants of samurai live, is another impressive building. Here, you can view a collection of samurai clothing and armor, along with some drawings and artwork.
With dozens of trees lined along the wide streets and thatched residences hidden behind black fences, the town has remained relatively unchanged since its founding in 1620.
An impressive museum complex, Aoyagi House (Aoyagi-ke) contains restaurants, gift shops, and museum collections. Presented in both English and Japanese, the displays offer insight into samurai traditions, lifestyles, and Japan's historical context. Samurai history enthusiasts will enjoy visiting Kakunodate's Samurai Museum.
There is also the samurai home of Ishiguro (Ishiguro-ke). Due to the fact that the family still lives in the rest of the house, the area open to visitors is much smaller than that of the Aoyagi House. On display are samurai armors, clothing, and anatomical drawings. There is also a well-preserved storeroom in the Ishiguro House.
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