Catch a glimpse of Kanazawa’s samurai life
Southwest of Kanazawa Castle lies the Nagamachi Samurai District, a neighborhood where the samurai of the powerful Maeda clan once lived. This district offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the lifestyle of the samurai during the Edo period.
The Nagamachi district is located just a short walk from Kanazawa Castle. From the Ishikawa gate of the castle, it takes approximately 10 minutes to reach the district on foot. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Kanazawa Station. Both the Kanazawa loop bus and JR buses stop at Korinbo, which is a five-minute walk from Nagamachi.
Once you arrive at Nagamachi, you will be transported to a different era. The district is known for its bukeyashiki, which are traditional residences where samurai and their families lived during the Edo period. The houses in Nagamachi have been carefully preserved and are surrounded by earthen walls, giving the area a historical atmosphere. As you wander through the narrow lanes and small canals of the neighborhood, you can’t help but be captivated by its charm.
One of the main attractions in Nagamachi is the Nomura house, also known as Nomurake. This Edo period mansion belonged to a prosperous samurai and is now open to the public. The house features a lovely inner garden that has been meticulously landscaped and tended. Visitors can admire the garden from different angles inside the house, making it a highlight of any visit.
The Nomura house is a testament to the decline of the samurai class. As the power and wealth of the samurai declined, many of them had to abandon or sell their houses. However, the Nomura house has been carefully restored and offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of a samurai during the Edo period.
In addition to the Nomura house, there are other attractions in the Nagamachi district that offer insights into samurai life. One such attraction is the Shinise Kinenkan Museum, which is a restored merchant’s pharmacy. This museum provides a glimpse into the lives of the merchant class and also showcases local Kanazawa crafts.
For those interested in samurai armor and relics of the Maeda clan, a visit to the Maeda Tosanokamike Shiryokan is a must. This museum is located just a short walk south of the Nomura house and offers a fascinating collection of samurai artifacts.
While exploring the Nagamachi district, be sure to also take the time to visit the other small museums, shops, and restaurants that are spread throughout the area. These establishments provide further insights into the history and culture of the samurai.
If you happen to visit Nagamachi in winter, you will be treated to an interesting sight. The earthen walls in the district are covered with straw to protect them, much like the trees in Kenrokuen Garden. This unique practice adds to the charm and atmosphere of the district during the winter months.
Nearby the Nagamachi Samurai District, you will find the Kaga Yuzenkan, which stands on the site of a former samurai house. This museum showcases the traditional art of painting designs on silk using techniques that have been passed down through generations.
Kanazawa Castle, Kenrokuen Garden, and Oyama-jinja Shrine are also within easy walking distance of the Nagamachi district. These attractions offer further insights into the history and culture of Kanazawa and are well worth a visit.
In conclusion, the Nagamachi Samurai District in Kanazawa provides a unique opportunity to catch a glimpse of samurai life during the Edo period. From the well-preserved bukeyashiki to the fascinating museums and attractions, there is much to explore and discover in this historical neighborhood. So take a stroll back in time and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Kanazawa’s samurai heritage.
Address And Maps Location:
Naga-machi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa-ken