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Kakunodate (p) is a former castle town and samurai stronghold in today's Akita Prefecture. While Kakunodate Castle no longer remains, the town is famous for its samurai tradition and its hundreds of weeping cherry trees (shidarezakura).

Apart from the loss of its castle, Kakunodate remains remarkably unchanged since its founding in 1620. The town was built with two distinct areas, the samurai district and the merchant district. Once home to 80 families, the samurai district still has some of the best examples of samurai architecture in all of Japan.

Kakunodate is also well known as the location of one of the Tohoku Region's most popular cherry blossom spots. Around late April and early May, large crowds of people come to see Kakunodate's special combination of pink blossoms and historic homes.

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Page last updated: August 31, 2014