Akita is a gold mine of for Japan Historic Photography Tours. One location in particular resonates with the rich samurai history that once spread across the entire nation, Kakunodate (角館).
The city once held a majestic castle when the city was founded in 1620. However, as a result of warring factions and shogun mandates, the castle had to be torn down. Even after the main body of the castle was removed, the ruins of the castle still evoke a sense of the samurai age from which it was born.
Two main districts make up most of Kakunodate, the merchant and the samurai. The two social classes only mixed when there was business to be conducted, otherwise, the two neighborhoods remained discretely separated. When walking the town on a Historic Japan Photography Workshop, you will be taken aback by seemingly two personalities the city shows you. And your Japan Dreamscapes Photography Tour Leader will help refine your point of view and help you take amazing photos that highlight the everyday life of a samurai in Akita prefecture. Some of the homes are available for you to enter and witness how a samurai and his family spent their time together. This experience will allow you to appreciate a deeper dimension to the life of the samurai and the age in which his presence dominated the landscape of Japan.
It is also common to see both Japanese and international visitors dressed in kimonos elegantly gliding down the samurai district thoroughfares. More and more while on the Historic Photo Workshop, you’ll feel that you have stepped back in time seeing the refinement of Japan framed 400 years in the past. These traditionally-clad fellow travelers on the traditional pilgrim trails make excellent shutter chances as your photos exude the vibrance of the Kakunodate samurai village experience.
Kakunodate’s appeals only continue. It is considered one of the most photogenic areas in Akita, some say all of Japan, for the weeping cherry blossom variety, or shidarezakura. Viewing the beautiful cherry blossoms as part of your Japan Photo Workshop adds another level of appreciation to your experience as you sample the quintessential Japanese bloom. Late April is typically the best time to sample the sakura here, but check with Japan Dreamscapes by contacting us on our website for the expected times for you to enjoy a full-bloom sakura experience on your photo tour.
Why not add one more amazing experience to your Japan Photo Tour? Lake Tazawa is less than one hour away, and with JDS you will always travel in luxury SUVs, so you can get to your next destination comfortably. Once you arrive at Lake Tazawa, you will be greeted by the deepest lake in all of Japan, over 400 meters deep! As you approach the northern tip of the lake, you will come upon Goza no Ishi Shrine, a perfect vantage point to capture the relatively untouched landscapes with the gate or ‘torii’ of the shrine in the foreground.
One thing that JDS Photography Tour Leaders understand is not to limit yourself to one perspective while on a photo tour. There are several sightseeing and pleasure boats available for visiting photographers, and it is highly recommended to enjoy photography from the body of the lake as well as from the shores.
There is one more piece of folklore associated with Lake Tazawa, but our amateur historian photo tour leaders will save that story for when they see you in person.
The best season to enjoy an Akita Historic Photography Tour is quickly approaching. Why not participate in a samurai adventure?