Kakunodate

The boundaries of old Kakunodate Town

Kakunodate (角館町; -machi) is a district located in Semboku, Akita.

Sightseeing

Samurai Mansions

Kakunodate is known for its samurai residence district which has a large number of well preserved old samurai houses. The most famous of these is the Aoyagi Manor

  • Aoyagi Samurai Family Manor (角館歴史村 青柳家) 〒014-0325 秋田県仙北市角館町東勝楽丁26 (map) ☎ 0187-54-3257
    Homepage (English), Homepage (Japanese)

History

  • On September 20th, 2005 Kakunodate Town merged with the town of Tazawako and the village of Nishiki to form the new city of Semboku.
  • Kakunodate is also the birthplace of Norihisa Satake, the current governor of Akita Prefecture.

Festivals

  • Kakunodate Cherry Blossom Festival (角館さくらのお祭り) Mid April to early May. (Website)
    Kakunodate is very famous for its cherry blossoms which draw tourists from all over Japan during the Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival). Cherry trees are planted all along the Samurai street and the Hinokinai river and they usually look their best during 'Golden Week' which is in late April to early May.
  • Kakunodate Festival (角館のお祭り) September 7th, 8th, 9th. (Website)
    The largest festival in Kakunodate. The festival is to pay respect to the Gods of the nearby mountain shrine. On the first two days, 18 floats created by each neighborhood in Kakunodate parade to the shrine to pray. On each float are musicians. The climax of the festival occurs on the final day, and it is called "ヤマぶつけ." The floats travel down the narrow streets of Kakunodate and battle each other for passage along street. Usually, the festival lasts until dawn on following day (Sept. 10).
  • Hiburi Kamakura Festival (火振りかまくらのお祭り) February 13th & 14th.
    The Hiburi Kamakura Festival is a traditional New Year Festival which is held in order to ensure gokoku-hojo (五穀豊穣; “prosperity of five grains”), mubyo-sokusai (無病息災; “avoidance of diseases”), and kanai-anzen (家内安全; “family safety”).
    The festival starts with a fire lit in a snow fort. There is also a Shinto ceremony to burn New Year decorations like shimekazari and daruma, in order to ensure safety for the new year. The main event, hiburi is when people light a tenpitsu(天筆; a bundle of rice ears) and swing it around their body. Anyone can try it.
    The festival is held on February 13th and 14th. On the 13th the event is held in Sakura-namiki chushajo (a parking area) on the Hinokinai River. The park is illuminated with candles and surrounded by food tents. On the 14th, it is held in different locations around Kakunodate.

Onsen

  • Kakunodate Onsen (角館温泉) Groovy onsen in the samurai town. Open 07:00 ~ 23:00, admission is ¥500, Closed the 3rd Thursday of every month
    〒014-0317 秋田県仙北市角館町下中町28 Map ☎ 0187-52-2222
  • Kayoukan Onsen (花葉館温泉) 10-15 minute drive from Kakunodate proper. Open in the morning from 05:00 ~ 07:30, then from 09:00 to 22:00. Last entry 21:30. 〒014-0344 秋田県仙北市角館町西長野古米沢30−19 Map ☎0187-55-5888 Website
    This onsen has a good selection of baths including a rotenburo. On one of the bathing sides (that alternates every Monday) there is even a "denki buro" (電気風呂), or electric bath. If you were raised to believe that water and electricity don't mix, then prepare to be surprised.
    The denki buro works by sending with a low-level electric current running between electrode plates installed below the water surface on either side of the bath. The bather then sits in the bath between the plates. Apparently the bather feels the electric current as a pins-and-needles tingling, expressed in Japanese as piri piri. Some people seem to find this sensation relaxing, while others describe it as frightening.
    Supposed (unproven) benefits include relief from stiff shoulders and back pain. Equally unproven is the rumour that denkiburo reduces sperm count.

Transportation

  • Shinkansen
    The shinkansen stops in Kakunodate. There is free long term parking available here, just 2 minutes walk from the station.

Schools

High Schools

Junior High Schools

  • Kakunodate Junior High School (角館中学校)

Elementary Schools

  • Kakunodate Elementary School (角館小学校)
  • Shiraiwa Elementary School (白岩小学校)
  • Nakagawa Elementary School (中川小学校)

See also


Semboku City
Kakunodate • Tazawako • Nishiki