Kakunodate is a quiet town in the eastern region of Akita Prefecture. 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.