Kanazawa became a popular destination for tourists in Japan after the new shinkansen line connecting Tokyo and Kanazawa directly opened in 2015, and with good reason. The western coastal city doesn’t only boast one of the most beautiful gardens in the country. But there is also great seafood, a great modern art museum, a well-preserved teahouse district, and a samurai district. It is in the latter where you can find the old home of the samurai Nomura clan. The building is almost intact and is a good example of how the samurai warriors who protected the city lived at that time.
In 1583, feudal lord Maeda Toshiie took hold of Kanazawa Castle and established a period of peace that lasted for three hundred years. At that time, samurai Nomura Denbei Nobusada was promoted and received a property of 3,305 square meters. The Nomura family maintained their status until the 20th generation, which is when the Meiji Restoration (1868) occurred and the samurai lifestyle ceased to exist.
At the beginning of that revolution, the entire feudal system under which Japan had lived for hundreds of years was abolished, and almost all samurai houses were destroyed and converted into farms, or sold to the highest bidder. The Nomura family suffered the same fate.
Although some of the home’s parts were sold or modified, the Nomura family’s house is now open to the public. Visitors are expected to imagine the prosperity of ancient times through the wonderful architecture and, at the same time, have an idea of what the life of the ancient Japanese was like, looking at the beautiful garden attached to an official house of a samurai.
The furniture, interior, artifacts, Senkei Sasaki’s works of art, ceilings, and doors, all have a high cultural value.
Sitting in the chamber of Jyodan-no-ma (the room of the Lord) and his studies, you can enjoy the beautiful garden that was so cleverly designed. With a waterfall, a clear and sinuous current that crosses several stones, a bridge made of cherry granite several types of lanterns that illuminate the garden, and a tower of many floors arranged here and there it truly is an exquisite Japanese garden. In addition, there is a unique Myrica of more than four hundred years. This is said to actually be difficult to cultivate in the Hokuriku district because of its climate.
This garden is very honored as one of the most typical works among the so-called Kobori Enshu style gardens. You can enjoy a cup of Japanese green tea (matcha) on the second floor. To respect nature, the tea room is very small. In the house, there are a traditional Japanese altar, sliding doors, and a tatami floor. You can also see scrolls with Samurai calligraphy, original armor, and many other interesting things. Visitors can fully appreciate the cultural heritage of Japan in Kanazawa.
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Samurai Home Access Information
Access: the home is only located a 20-minute walk from Kanazawa station. So if you are staying in the city center you can likely walk here. You can also take a bus and get off at Korinbo station and walk 500 meters to get there.
Entrance fee: 550 yen for adults and 250 yen for kids between 6-15
Hours: 8.30 am – 4.30 pm every day