Travel

Akita: Senshu Park

After visiting one of the most devastated regions of Tohoku (due to the tsunami and earthquake of March 2011) I moved on to Akita Prefecture.

My first stop was Akita City before leaving to visit Kakunodate on the same day.
This post will feature my morning in Akita City in the Senshu Park.

Visited: May 2nd 2012

Exploring Senshu Park in Akita

The park is not too far away from the Akita JR station. You’ll come along a shopping district on your way. It’s possible to walk there in a few minutes (~10 mins).

Senshu Park in Akita Senshu Park in Akita

Senshu Park (千秋公園) means literally “thousand years park” is quite spacious and also features a few shrines and a castle!
Entrance to the park itself is free of charge.
On the right photo you can see that it says “Kubota Castle Ruins” (久保田城跡).
That’s why the park is surrounded by a typical castle moat.

Senshu Park in Akita

You’ll access the main part of the park through the “Front Gate of Kubota Castle” (久保田城表門).
This wooden, two-story turret gate with tiled roof stood at the front gate protecting Kubota Castle.

Kubota Castle Akita Kubota Castle Akita

Kubota Castle Tower

From the front gate you have to walk through the whole park to get to the actual castle.
There are many other things to see such as beautiful ponds and shrines which I will show you later.

Kubota Castle Akita

Being the castle lover I am, I wanted to go to the castle first, though. smilie

Kubota Castle’s Osumi-yagura Turret (久保田城御隅櫓) served as both, a lookout and a weapons depot.

Kubota Castle Akita Kubota Castle Akita

Kubota Castle was the home of the Satake family which ruled Akita. There used to be eight “Osumi-yagura” towers in the age of lord Satake.
In 1989 one of the towers was restored by the city on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of municipalization.

Kubota Castle Akita

Inside the castle there is some historical material exhibited.

Kubota Castle Akita

There’s also a miniature of the former castle area. Very interesting!

Kubota Castle, Senshu Park in Akita

The top floor offers a nice panoramic view of the whole city.
As many castles this one is also located on a small hill.
I like those castles (“hill castles”) the best because I always enjoy the view I get from the top floor.

Senshu Park in Akita

You’ll also have a nice view of the park from above where everything was covered with cherry blossom petals at that time!

Senshu Park in Akita Senshu Park in Akita

There was a small waterfall right next to the castle.

 

Senshu Park’s Cherry Blossoms

Senshu Park in Akita

If you visit Senshu Park in spring (late April / early May) you’ll find cherry blossom petals everywhere!

Senshu Park in Akita

Don’t you just want to lie down there or have a picnic?

Senshu Park in Akita

As mentioned before there are also a few shrines in the park.
These pictures were taken at the Hachiman Shrine (八幡秋田神社).

Senshu Park in Akita

Besides the normal omikuji they also had seasonal cherry blossom omikuji.

Senshu Park in Akita Senshu Park in Akita

There was also an ema cherry blossom version. It says 合格 (goukaku) which means that students are praying to pass their exams.

Senshu Park in Akita

This was by far the most beautiful pond I’ve ever seen! FULL of cherry blossom petals!

Senshu Park in Akita

Senshu Park in Akita

There were so many things to discover like this little cherry blossom petal boat! Isn’t it cute?

Senshu Park in Akita Senshu Park in Akita

Koi + cherry blossoms = nice color mix!

Senshu Park in Akita

Even the ducks enjoyed the cherry blossom bath! ^-^

Senshu Park in Akita

… but then decided to leave after all! *g*

 

And then it was time to leave the park and Akita City to go to my next destination of the day: Kakunodate

Tourist Information:
Opening Hours:
The park is always open. The castle from 9:00 – 16:30.
Holidays:
none (castle: Dec 1 – Mar 31)
Entrance fee:
free (100 yen for the castle turret and free for JH students and younger kids)
Time required:
40-70 mins
Contact:
1 Senshukoen, Akita, Akita Prefecture 010-0876 // TEL: +(81)018-888-5753
Access:
From JR Akita Sta. it’s a short walk (13 mins) to the spacious park.
Please note: Prices as well as opening hours / holidays are subject to change. Please make sure to follow the provided link to the official website to check out the latest updates.

5 Comments

  • It looks like an amazing place and how cool is that pond full of cherry blossom petals. I love how there is a park to explore near the castle, making it a great day to spend in the area.

    • Definitely! You can just move on to Kakunodate and enjoy the cherry blossoms there as well without any rush or explore other parts of the beautiful Akita Prefecture! ^_^

  • Beautiful indeed but I cannot help thinking that it would have been even better the week before with the blossoms still on the trees.

    I do particularly like the cherry blossom omikuji, Quite lovely!

    • Probably, but you know how difficult it is to get the right timing for that if you don’t live close.
      For some places I came just at the right time, for others it was too late or too early!
      Shortly after that a typhoon hit the area and after that most of the cherry blossoms were gone anyways. :(