Exampla kabazaiku items. Kabazaiku objects are made using the bark of a cherry tree, and have a lustrous patina.

©Manami Okazaki/Lonely Planet

Kakunodate Cherry-Bark Craft Center

Northern Honshū (Tōhoku)

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 and masterless samurai in times of hardship.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Honshū (Tōhoku) attractions

1. Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum

0.09 MILES

The restored Aoyagi family compound is impressive in its own right, but inside each well-maintained structure is a fascinating exhibition of family…

2. Bukeyashiki Ishiguro-ke

0.12 MILES

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…

3. Andō Brewery

0.62 MILES

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…

4. Tatsuko

8.82 MILES

Legend has it that long ago, a local maiden, Tatsuko, believing that the spring water would make her beauty last forever, drank so much that she turned…

5. Tazawa-ko

11.76 MILES

The under-visited beach at Shirahama (白浜) is a real find for open-water swimmers and beach bums due to its clear-blue water, shallow entry and…

6. Senshū-kōen

24.76 MILES

Locals flock to this lush, leafy oasis on sunny days. The grounds were originally home to Akita's castle, built in 1604, which was destroyed with other…

7. Akita Museum of Art

24.82 MILES

Akita's most famous artwork, Tsuguharu Foujita's Events of Akita, is reputed to be the world's largest canvas painting, measuring 3.65m by 20.5m and…

8. Akarenga-kan Museum

25.09 MILES

Once the opulent headquarters of Akita Bank, this brick structure built in 1912 is now a local history museum. On the top floor you'll find beautiful…