Wabizakura Kakunodate


Nestled in the forested mountains a short drive outside Kakunodate, Wabizakura is a charmingly rustic luxury ryokan. With a combination of Japanese and Western influences, each of the ryokan’s ten rooms is distinctly unique and 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. and the main building is a renovated, 200 year old traditionally thatched farmhouse. The name Wabizakura refers to’modest’ cherry blossoms; a symbol of strength and kindness. The inn was named for the love of nature and its peaceful surroundings. Perfect for star-gazing, the surrounding area is known for its clear skies, virgin landscape, and nostalgic history.

Dinners are traditional Japanese style multiple course meals prepared by the restaurant’s Michelin 2 Star chef using organic and local seasonal ingredients.

One of the Touhoku region's few true luxury ryokan, the charmingly bucolic Wabizakura is located just a short drive outside the samurai town of Kakunodate but due to its surrounding forests, feels even more remote than it actually is. With no light pollution nearby, the night skies, when clear, are gorgeous and the serene calm of the place lends itself to total relaxation. I really enjoyed the atmosphere here, which is enhanced by the tasteful use of lighting, and wished my stay was longer. Inside, it feels like a well restored ancient farmhouse and the rooms, which all come with a hot spring, semi open-air bath, are connected to the central courtyard by a series of corridors. For a serene base from which to explore norther Touhoku and enjoy delicious, high quality food, things don't get much better than this!