When Lord Satake of Ibaraki was reassigned to Akita, the Ashina followed him deciding to settle in Kakunodate. The ruins of the original castle are on top of Mt. Furushiroyama North of the samurai quarter, but there is nothing left to see today.
The town of Kakunodate was originally located to the North of Mt. Furushiroyama. When Ashina Yoshikatsu became lord of Kakunodate he relocated the town to a more suitable location for developing a castle town. It's new location is surrounded by mountains on three sides and open to the Senboku plains to the South by the Tamagawa River. Kakunodate was once the largest castle town in the Akita region. The famous weeping cherry blossom trees were also brought to Kakunodate by the Ashina, descendents of Kyoto aristocrats.
The samurai quarter is a must see any time of the year if you are in Akita, but it is most famous for its cherry blossoms. Hundreds of cherry blossom trees line the streets of the samurai district and the nearby river. The weeping shidarazakura cherry trees from Kyoto add an especially historic feel to the samurai homes. It is worth making the trip here from far away for the cherry blossom season. I visited during that time in 1998, but have no pictures available.
|English Name||Kakunodate Castle|
|Alternate Names||Asakura-jo, Ryugasaki-jo|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Features||samurai homes, castle town|
|Access||Kakunodate Station (Akita Shinkansen); 15 minute walk|
|Location||Kakunodate, Akita Prefecture|
|Coordinates||39° 36' 24", 140° 33' 46"|
|Year Visited||1998, 2004|
|Visits||April, 1998; Aug 8, 2004|