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Historical townhouses in the heart of Kakunodate

Wanoi is an upscale concept “hotel”  comprising three perfectly restored old buildings scattered around Kakunodate town. Wanoi - an antiquated term used to refer to the “Japanese way of life” is designed to transport guests to a bygone era through preserving and showcasing the original purposes of the buildings: a fabric shop, a pickle storehouse, and a former samurai residence. The experience offered by each is truly original, intimate and modestly luxurious. 


The buildings range from accommodating 4 to 6 guests and include a traditional Japanese bento breakfast. Each is located in the heart of Kakunodate town and within walking distance of the main attractions and dining spots

Wabi Zakura

Wabi Zakura

Rustic, elegant Kakunodate retreat

Wabi Sakura, on the outskirts of Kakunodate Town, is the most luxurious Ryokan in the area. The name means “demure cherry blossom”, which represents its homage to the Inn’s tranquil, natural surroundings.

Perfect for star-gazing, the area, Kadoya, is known for its clear skies, untouched landscapes, and rich history.

With a combination of Japanese and Western influences, each of its ten rooms are distinctly unique. Each room features its own private, free-flowing hot spring spa and terrace with both tatami and living room areas. Suites include Japanese style futons or western beds.

The main building is a 200 year old house relocated from Iwate prefecture. With its traditional thatched roof, it boasts the beauty and décor of rustic Japan, alongside antique furniture from the esteemed Aoyagi Samurai Clan.

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That Sounds Good

Quirky Lakeside Family Inn and Cafe

Quirky, charming, only in Japan. This delightful family run Inn is music-themed to a level of detail, sincerity, passion and imagination that makes it an favourite for domestic travellers. The breakfast, prepared with great care by “Yuri-san”  is considered in itself to be a key attraction of the area. 


The owner, Tatsuya-san, is a Jazz musician who occasionally performs live (along with other locals) in the Cafe, which is equipped with an array of musical instruments. He has realised his dream with this wonderful, characterful property. Both he and his wife, Yuri-san - your chef, speak good English and are incredibly hospitable. The accommodation is located a short bus ride or 30 minute walk from Tazawa station. The rooms are immaculately clean, functional and spacious. Some of them have lake views and can accommodate between 3 to 4 people.

That Sounds Good


Nyuto Onsen Iconic Ryokan

Tsurunoyu Onsen is one of eight hot-springs in Nyuto Onsen village and is without doubt the most historical. It dates back to the mid-17th century when an Akita Lord visited Tsurunoyu Onsen for convalescence and derives its name from the fact that a local hunter saw a crane (“Tsuru” in Japanese) healing its wounds in the spring. Due to the rare opacity colour of the water it is one of the places where modesty is protected to such an extent that mixed gender nude bathing is available in one of the large outdoor onsen.


This  Akita icon offers the ultimate, authentic onsen village Ryokan experience with quaint wooden buildings nestled amongst the forest at the foot of Mt. Nyuto. The rooms are traditional and functional. This is not luxury, but characterful enough to be offered to more intrepid luxury travellers. The kaiseki style cuisine consists of local specialities such as mountain foraged wild vegetables and yam hot pot.

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Matagi Lodge

Bushcraft and trekking with "The Men of Winter"

Learning the ancient ways of the indigenous Matagi people and experiencing their profound spiritual relationship with nature. Basing yourself in a wonderful, remote lodge for two-nights, Oriyama-san will take you out trekking in the mountains and valleys for the day, where its natural bounty is revealed. Dining will be a cornerstone of your experience, be it surrounding a bonfire out in the wilderness or feasting on Matagi staples such as ‘Kiritampo-nabe’, or more adventurous local game, back at the lodge.

Oga Onsen

Oga Onsen Tsubaki

Seafood-speciliaty seaside Ryokan

Overlooking the Japan Sea, this Ryokan offers a true celebration of locally sourced delicacies. With ingredients harvested from the sea or forests of the surrounding mountain ranges, Oga Onsen showcases the bounty of the region with exquisite Kaiseki dining options.

With spacious sea view rooms, a variety of  onsen said to contain beautifying properties and onsite spa treatments, this offers a peaceful, cleansing ocean side retreat.

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Zen temple stay in Oga Peninsula

A family run retreat combining zen buddhism meditation practices and teaching, yoga, a temple stay and rustic retreat.

Dairyuji is a Zen Buddhist temple of the Soto-shu sect in Japan. Meaning Big Dragon Temple, Dairyuji is located on the Oga peninsula in northern Japan.With a history of over 800 years, the working temple continues to maintain local traditions as well as welcome visitors. 
As well as being an absolutely stunning temple, the Head Priest and his American wife have developed an mindful and re-invigorating retreat program which combines Zen Buddhist meditation practices, yoga and immersive travel experiences. For those seeking a deeper kind of travel addressing physical, mental and spiritual aspects of wellness, Dairyuji is here for you.

Zen Yoga

Berabou Machiya & Izekaya

Noshiro, Shirakami Sanchi quirk-fest

A personal recommendation from our Shirakami guide, the Berabou Izekaya is life and soul of Noshiro - a small city in the North West of Akita. Noshiro is known for its spectacular Noshiro Tanabata Festival (in August) and makes a perfect base for exploring Shirakami sanchi. The owner of the Berabou is a real character and has put his personality into the decor and ambience  of this local institution. 10 minutes walk from the izekaya is his delightful guesthouse with rooms overlooking the Yoneshiro river and Shirakami mountains. 

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