Not far from Akita City there is a Samurai Village called Kakunodate.
About Kakunodate ( skip this if u don wana know :P)
About 400 years ago, there are several samurai families moving into the Kakunodate area. They decided to build the castle and the town at the current place because the area was solidly protected by nature- two rivers running west and south, and the hills on the north and east.
The traditional buildings in Kakunodate are beautifully preserved.
The house of Aoyagi family, for example, stands with its long history. The internals of the house is currently used as an archive museum, and visitors can see and learn about the life of a samurai family. Apart from the houses, the yards of sophisticated Japanese garden around proofs how Japanese love nature and coexist with it.
After getting dressed up in traditional Japanese Kimono( my 1st time!!!), we walked gracefully in those wooden Japanese slippers along these Samurai houses embracing the beauty of their olden houses and garden.
Well, we sure came at the right time where we had the perfect weather in autumn.
Samurai homes were typically modest dwellings but with the significant distinction that only samurai houses were allowed to have walls and gates.
The background of traditional samurai houses and the colourful autumn leaves was surely the perfect picturesque place for those whom would love to have a memorable picture together.
After several generations, there are only 6 samurai houses in this area which are open to public and visitors to see how middle class and wealthy samurai families lived in the past. Among these houses, there are two famous known ones for their size and quality : The Aoyagi and Ishiguro House.
The other four open houses are free to enter but there are limited levels of accessibility. They are smaller than the other 2 famous ones and are mostly examples of middle class Samurai residences.
They are the
Odano Samurai House, Kawarada Samurai House, Iwahashi Samurai House and Matsumoto Samurai House
My utmost favourite samurai house was the Kawarada Samurai House.
Whereas, the tall fiance would probably need to kneel or bow super low to get through this door.
We sure had some fun time teasing about our huge size difference.The Japanese garden in different houses differs in many ways. Yet , all were beautiful in their peak autumn colours and nicely shaped bonzai trees. Their effort in creating the zen feel in these garden sure pays off as it brings so much calmness towards every visitors that steps into their premises.
Other than traditional houses, along the roadsides were some souvenir shops selling local delicacies.
It was sure interesting to stopover and have a taste of their local made products.
As we stroll around admiring these traditional samurai houses,
we also had some time to just sit down relax and just enjoy the beautiful autumn colours surroundings.
We sure never expected the day to be so short and as time flies,
night fall arrived.
And it was time for us to say goodbye and do some snack shopping in 7-Eleven.
It was such an unforgettable experience to blend into the Japanese culture a day.
If you asked me will I do it again, I would say Yes.
For more info of this tour
and check out their website