When you visit Tohoku (the northern region of Japan), you may want to see some historical landmarks. In Akita, there is “Joshitei” which has been built as a villa for the 3rd lord, Satake Yoshizumi, of former lord of Akita domain between 1688 and 1704. It is located in the distance of about 1.5km from Senshu Park.
“Joshitei” is a Japanese architecture with relaxing tea garden. We can imagine that the ancient lord took some rest exactly in this place! It’s like a traditional house in Japan in that the building is made of wood having Japanese-style rooms. When I entered, the good smell of wood welcomed me! So relaxing!
There are two kinds of rooms; Ichi-no-ma (12 tatami mat size) and Ni-no-ma (8 tatami mat size). The bigger one is of course for the lord. So, it was the lord only who could enter there at that time. In the other room, visitors and servants could take a break. According to the museum staff, Ichi-no-ma is designed to have higher ceiling than Ni-no-ma to show the dignity of the lord. Today, some seasonal events are held in these rooms.
The garden is maintained beautifully, too! Sitting in the room, I could see flowers, trees, stones, a pond and a small waterfall in the Japanese tea garden.
The green stone represents a turtle while the long stone expresses a thirsty tiger coming to drink water from the waterfall. Although it has been designed a hundreds of years ago, I was inspired a lot after learning about these meanings.
There is a tea house in addition to the main house. The small building (about 4.5 tatami mat size) was made to enjoy tea ceremony which is a Japanese traditional culture.
Here, another attraction! A stream goes under the tea house so that people inside can enjoy listening to the natural sound of the stream when they do tea ceremony. It seems to be a harmony of Japanese culture and nature!
Before leaving, I saw a big tree! The museum staff told me that the Japanese Zelkova is more than 500 years old! I was glad to see such a sacred tree.
Touring “Joshitei” is a good opportunity to learn Japanese architecture and historical garden of our city. You can enjoy a day trip here and nearby Senshu Park, another historical place of the former lord of Akita domain. Let’s enjoy our local history!
~~~ Facility Info ~~~
2-73 Minami machi, Asahikawa, Akita, Japan
Open 9:00～16:30（April ～ November）/ 9:30～16:00（December ～ March）
Closed from December 29th ～ January 3rd
【Entrance Fee】210 yen per adult / Group of over 20 people: 160 yen each / Children under high school students are free.
※Annual Pass: 520 yen
【Parking】Free (15 cars)
＊From JR Akita station: About 10 minutes by car・taxi／About 10 minutes by bus “Akita Onsen Line” or “Nibetsu Resort Park Line” ～ Get off at bus stops “ Karamiden” or “Ogida” ～ About 5 minutes on foot
＊From Akita Airport: About 30 minutes by car・taxi
Written by Naomi in Ugo
*As of June, 2020.