Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

Kakunodate: Explore samurai housing district

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Learn more about samurais right outside of Akita at Kakunodate, a samurai housing district. The cherry tree-lined streets with traditional samurai houses will transport you to feudal Japan.

The town is also famous for its local cherry-bark crafts, called “Kabazaiku.” On our stroll along the street, we dropped by the Kakunodate Kabazaiku Center and checked out the unusual artworks in display. Here, we watched a cherry-bark artist working on his craft while he explained his work and how it is made.

Kakunodate Kabazaiku Center

LOCATION: 10-1 Kakunodatecho Amotemachi, Senpoku City, Akita Pref.
HOURS: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
ADMISSION: 300 yen, ages 14 or younger: 150 yen
URL: www.city.semboku.akita.jp/sightseeing/densyo/shisetsu.html
TEL: 0187-54-1700

Our last stop was Lake Tazawa a 30-minute drive from Kakunodate. This lake is known as a “caldera lake,” meaning it was formed inside a volcanic crater. With a depth of 1,388 feet, the lake with its crystal-clear deep blue water is the deepest in Japan. A statue of “Tatsuko” located on the lakeside reminds us of a legend, saying that a beautiful girl who wished to retain her beauty was cursed instead, and turned into a dragon. The deep blue water and the golden statue give an otherworldly feeling to the beautiful landscape.

Lake Tazawa

LOCATION: Tazawako, Senpoku City, Akita Pref.
URL: www.city.semboku.akita.jp/sightseeing/spot/04_tazawako.html
TEL: 0187-43-2111 (Lake Tazawa Sightseeing InformationCenter)

takiguchi.takahiro@stripes.com

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