The town of Kakunodate, also known as Little Kyoto, is full of charming historical samurai residence streets which have been preserved since the Edo period. It takes about 3 hours by train to reach this town, from Tokyo station with the JR Akita Shinkansen Komachi train.
Located here in the charming Kakunodate, wanoi KAKUNODATE is a hotel with historical charm that lets you experience traditional Japanese culture and lifestyle, and your stay will be a memorable one.
Kakunodate is a town where samurai history is still vividly remembered.
The Kakunodate Samurai Residence Street (Uchimachi) dates back to 1620, the beginning of the Edo period, when the town flourished as a castle town of the governing Satakekita family. The main street of the town is designated as a National Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings, since its gate, houses, and storehouses retain their Edo era look.
Another Samurai Residence Street is the Tamachi Samurai Residence Street, in the south part of the town, which once housed about 80 families, mostly samurai who were admitted by a district retainer of the Satake family, the feudal lord of Akita. This area is not designated as a National Preservation District like Uchimachi, but the preserved black walls on the street and the old trees with their sakura cherry blossoms in spring, and red colored leaves in autumn are a sight to behold.
There’s more to the historical area of Kakunodate, in addition to its samurai heritage, as it is also known as a traditional storehouse town. The most representative storehouse is Nishinomiyake. An ancestor of the Nishinomiya family was a highly regarded samurai and a landowner, living in the Tamachi Samurai Residence Street from the end of the Meiji period to the Taisho era. 5 storehouses and main houses were built during that time, and in March 2020, 2 out of the 5 storehouses were renovated and opened as a hotel. That hotel is “wanoi KAKUNODATE”.
Run by the JR EAST Group, wanoi KAKUNODATE is a hotel brand which revamps historic buildings like old Japanese-style houses, and their hotels let guests experience traditional Japanese culture and way of life. The word “wanoi” means “Japanese way of life,” with “way of life” written in an archaic style to represent their dedication to authenticity.
Bushigura real samurai armor
wanoi KAKUNODATE has 3 rooms in total – the“Nishinomiyake Bushigura”, “Nishinomiyake Gakkogura” and “Tanmonogura” – each one having its own concept.
“Nishinomiyake Bushigura”, originally built back in 1919, encapsulates the culture and the lifestyle of samurai. The room is decorated with various samurai era objects that the guests are free to touch. This is a two storey wooden house with 150㎡ total floor space and this spacious room can fit 6 guests.
“Nishinomiyake Gakkogura” was also built back in 1919 and it’s on two floors, its total floor space being 101㎡ and housing up to 4 guests. Treasuring the history as a storehouse for Gakko (pickles), Akita’s signature fermented food, the cozy space is decorated with tools related to pickles. The bathtub is inspired by a barrel for pickles, and while soaking, the guests can enjoy the view of cherry blossoms in spring.
Gakkogura entrance gate
“Tanmonogura” was built at the end of the Edo period (1603 – 1868). Based on the villa’s history of originally being a fabric store, fabrics and tools are displayed as interior decoration. Perfectly located right next to the samurai residence street, this two storey wooden house is the largest of the three with 186 ㎡ total floor space. Up to 6 guests can enjoy and relax at this roomy house.
Tanmonogura living room
Kakunodate is a beautiful town with superb seasonal sceneries like the weeping cherry trees coloring samurai residences in spring, and the red leaves in autumn. wanoi KAKUNODATE is there through all the seasons, welcoming you to a piece of Japanese history.
Samurai Residence Street
Hotel name: wanoi KAKUNODATE
11-1 Tamachi Kamicho, Kakunodate-machi, Semboku-shi, Akita
15 Yokomachi, Kakunodate-machi, Semboku-shi, Akita
Check-in: 15：00 – 19：00
Check in for wanoi KAKUNODATE will be at the Hotel Folkloro Kakunodate, a group hotel adjacent to JR Kakunodate Station.
※If you are going to arrive significantly later than 7:00 pm, please let us know in advance.
Check-out: until 10：00