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長町武家屋敷跡 Nagamachi District

  • Culture / Art / History (Historical sites)
  • Around Kanazawa
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Around Kanazawa
Nagamachi, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa 920-0865, Japan
  • Culture / Art / History (Historical sites)
Opening Hours
Open Every Day
Date of post:2016/02/24

Let's stroll among ancient samurai houses

  • Sightseeing

Kanazawa is originally a castle town developed around Kanazawa castle.
Within 500 meters from the stone walls, there is Nagamachi which literally means "long town". It has remained the same ever since it was created and it was the residence of middle class samurais for the most part.

A samurai is originally a warrior so the streets are not straight to prevent enemies from entering. However, the Edo period (1603-1868) was peaceful, and their work was not only to maintain security but also administration of budget, business, agriculture, construction and other affairs, like government officials. Their houses have gardens which consist of three areas with cherry, pine, maple trees and fruit trees. It is said that there were more trees about 20 or 30 years ago. The houses are surrounded by mud walls. The differences of height show the ranks. If you find colorful stone-walls like Kanazawa castle and metal decoration, they also show higher ranks. The executive samurais rode horses, so their houses have remains of stables. 8 samurais called "kaga hakka" had many lands. If you look at an old map, their lands overlap the present public facilities like schools, hospitals or libraries.

In winter, the mud walls are covered by straw mats. It is a seasonal tradition called "komogake". If water or moisture enters the walls and freezes, it expands and breaks walls. Therefore, they wrap not only mud walls but also stone lanterns with straw mats.

There are two canals around Nagamachi, "kuratsuki yousui" and "ono yousui". "Kuratsuki yousui" was originally a canal for agriculture, but it was used as the outer moat of Kanazawa castle. Along the canal, there are many fashionable shops. If you go up the stairs beside the shops, you will find that the second floor is connected to the ground. The differences of height are the remains of castle walls. They created tall walls rather than wide moats like Edo castle. "Ono yousui" is used for various purposes like agriculture, transportation, fire and snow prevention. When they created Kanazawa castle, they use this canal to bring a lot of materials.
Along "Ono yousui", there is Ashigaru museum and a school surrounded by mud walls. This school is one of remains of the lands of the 8 samurais. There are many other houses to see and shops to stop by too!

  • * The information above is from the date of the review. Please be aware that some of the content may vary from the most recent information.
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