Snow and fire, Kakunodate in winter
I went to Kakunodate last February to see the "Hiburi Kamakura" Festival.
Locals will light a bale of straw on fire and then twirl the burning package around in the air. Sounds fun, or a little wild? This festival is actually performed in order to divine and pray for a good harvest each year.
After watching others perform, I asked to try it myself. I was scared at first but I did it well! (But, that's not me in the photo!)
Kakunodate, Akita Prefecture is famous for its well-preserved Samurai District and beautiful cherry blossoms in spring. In winter, the striking contrast of pure snow and black-colored fence was very impressive.
The snow covered Hinokinai-gawa River in Kakunodate town. Quiet and beautiful.
Onsen Lodging in KakunodateTazawako Art Village Onsen Yupopo
I stayed here. It had a very nice onsen (large public bath). From JR Akita Shinkansen Kakunodate Station it took about 7 minutes by car. A free shuttle bus is available.
Kakunodate Onsen Kayokan
Kayokan offers various baths and seasonal local cuisine.