The Aoyagi Samurai Manor Museum is located in Kakunodate in Akita, Japan. It is an area where you can find beautiful houses, galleries, and gardens from the actual Samurai era. The samurai district of Kakunodate offers some of the best and authentic examples of samurai life, architecture, and weapons. Some families still live in the samurai houses.
There are 6 houses that are open to the public to explore. The houses show how middle-class and wealthy samurai families lived.
The main house is called the Aoyagi House and is the biggest of the 6. It is a set of different buildings that include restaurants, gift shops, and museum collections. Many interesting facts, art, weaponry, and other information are on display.
The second noteworthy house is the Ishiguro House. Only a small portion of the house is open to the public because the family still lives in most of it. The house offers a collection of armor and clothing that were used and worn by actual samurai.
The other houses are more from the middle-class samurai families and can be accessed as museum buildings. The other houses are the Odano Samurai House, Kawarada Samurai House, Iwahashi Samurai House, and Matsumoto Samurai House.
Many weapons and armor are on display in the museum and visitors are in for very interesting experiences. You can hold an authentic samurai sword and feel what it is like. You can wear an authentic samurai helmet and even take a picture with it. On display are gramophones that are very old and at times, these gramophones are used to play some music.
Art is a big part of the history of many different cultures and eras. It is the same with the samurai. You can enjoy cherry bark art as well as maple artwork. Of course, the whole district is an artwork when the cherry blossoms bloom.
The houses are preserved and still look like they did all those many decades ago. You will find the characteristic samurai look and feel in the thatched roofing, the entrance gates, and more. These houses are some of the best preserved in the world and are truly beautiful. You can feel and breathe the history and events that took place there.
The armory holds many artefacts and weaponry. They are authentic and include swords, helmets, guns, armors, and flags. These items are mainly from the 15th to 19th centuries. Clothing, toys, books, and other items from daily life during the Edo period are also on display.
The museum has a botanical garden that features hundreds of rare plants that bloom at different times of the year. You can find Aoyagi YaeBeniShidareZakura here which is one of the rare species. In English, it means Aoyagi eight-petalled red weeping cherry. There is also a clear pond.
The Galleries and Museums
A variety of items from household to weaponry and photos are displayed throughout the different district galleries and museums. There is a photo gallery, a tools and utensils museum, and an antique museum.
The Shops and Restaurants
You can choose from different options for your dining experience. There is the Haikara Museum Shop and Tea Room and Morinoshokusaikan or InaniwaUdon Restaurant.
Kakunodate and the samurai district is a hotspot in Akita for good reason. Few places in the world have so much history and culture to share. It will be an experience of a lifetime and one you will definitely not regret.