From Morioka, visited Kakunodate as a day trip by Akita Shinkansen in less than 1 hour direct.
Kakunodate is famous for the pink Shidarezakura, whose shoots were brought over from Kyoto more than 300 years ago.
Kakunodate Samurai houses (角館武家屋敷)
Top 100 sakura spot. Took a taxi from station which would otherwise be a 30min walk.
Sakura was in full bloom. There were about 400 trees spread out in the former Samurai houses. Though it was still cold at 11-12C, it was cloudy, less windy, and with sunshine from time to time.
Hinokinai River Dyke (桧木内川堤)
After about 1.5 hours, we headed towards the river dyke, about 15 min on foot from the Samurai houses. 400 Somei Yoshino sakura trees were planted along this 2km river dyke. Apart from adults, small kids led by teachers were having picnic lunch along the dyke.
Inaniwa Udon and Akita dog
Had lunch in an udon shop serving famous Akita Inaniwa udon by former Samurai family. It was so delicious !
After lunch we strolled around and bumped into a gentle Akita dog. He was a 4-year old dog and had previously served in the local police.