Top things to do in Kakunodate

Cultural in Kakunodate

Kakunodate Sakura

On the river embankment, a 2km stretch of cherry trees becomes a tunnel of pure pink during the hanami (blossom viewing) season. Some of the shidare-zakura (drooping cherry) trees in the buke yashiki (samurai distri…
Soba in Kakunodate


The best noodles in town are found in this 250-year-old Edo-era wooden schoolhouse. The house speciality is buke-soba served with takenoko (bamboo shoots) and tempura-fried ōba (large Japanese basil leaf). Little ha…
Cultural in Kakunodate

Kakunodate O-matsuri

As they have done for 350 years, festival participants haul around enormous 7-tonne yama (wooden carts) to pray for peaceful times, accompanied by folk music and dancing.
Brewery in Kakunodate

Andō Brewery

Rows of Hinamatsuri dolls welcome visitors to this centuries-old brewery overseen by one of the oldest families in Akita Prefecture. Andō makes soy sauce and miso (sorry, tipplers, not that kind of brewery!) in a be…
Historic Building in Kakunodate

Bukeyashiki Ishiguro-ke

Built in 1809 as the residence of the Ishiguro family, advisers to the Satake clan, this is one of the oldest buildings in the samurai district. Descendants of the family still live here, and offer tours around part…
Museum in Kakunodate

Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum

The restored Aoyagi family compound is impressive in its own right, but inside each well-maintained structure is a fascinating exhibition of family heirlooms. The collection spans generations and includes centuries-…
Japanese in Kakunodate


Halfway between the train station and the sightseeing district, this samurai house has been partly converted into a stylish cafe. The menu spans the ages, but mostly serves elegant yōshoku (Japanese-style Western fo…
Arts Centre in Kakunodate

Kakunodate Cherry-Bark Craft Center

Inside this elegant building you'll find exhibits and demonstrations of kabazaiku, the craft of covering household or decorative items in fine strips of cherry bark. This pursuit was first taken up by lower-ranking …
Japanese in Kakunodate

Sakura no Sato

This buzzing tourist restaurant has a range of plastic dishes on display for point-and-smile ordering. No award-winning dishes here – mostly don sets (meat on rice) – but it's right near the main sights and the food…