Kakunodate is a quiet town in the eastern region of Akita. It is enclosed on three sides by mountains and Hinokinai-gawa River that runs to the south. The town has been developed into a castle town after the original township arrangement in the early 17th century. The town has a refined ("miyabi") and elegant ("iki") atmosphere, as is called the Little Kyoto of Michinoku.Many samurai houses remain in Kakunodate, making it one of the best places to see an example of a Japanese castle town. Today the houses are privately owned by the descendants of the samurai warriors; however, some of the residences such as the Ishiguro, Aoyagi, and Nishinomiya are open to the public.There remains shrines, temples, and merchants' storehouses as well, which are located in the southern part of town. The presence of these historical buildings gives you a feeling that the history of Kakunodate is still alive today.
Akita Prefecture2 Videos
The Shirakami Mountains spread 130,000 hectares over Aomori and Akita, and the central part has been listed as a World Natural Heritage Site since 1993. The untouched primeval beech forest in the range is one of the world's largest and provides an important environment for vegetation and animal habitats. Anmon-no-taki Falls, the most beautiful scenery in the Shirakami Mountains, is a must-see. You can stroll along the nature trails through the lush woods and along the river where crystal clear water flows. At the Shirakami Mountains Visitor Center and the Shirakami World Heritage Center, you can learn a lot about the nature of the Shirakami Mountains. There are many exhibition rooms and a film/video theater as well. Lake Juni-ko, a lake of mystery in the northwestern foothills of the Shirakami Mountains, is surrounded by a dense beech forest. Lake Juni-ko actually consists of a group of 33 lakes and marshes. Among them, Ao-ike Pond is particularly beautiful, and fascinates visitors with its mysterious cobalt blue water.