Nagamachi District, Kanazawa. © touristinjapan.com
Chubu, Kanazawa, Neighbourhoods

Nagamachi District, Kanazawa

The Nagamachi District in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, is a historic area where many Samurai families had their residence in the edo-period. The area is well known for its authentic atmosphere, and well preserved streets with canals, narrow stone paths and earthen walls which surround many of the properties. Some of the old residences, like the Nomura-ke residence, are open for visitors, allowing a unique peek into a classic Edo-period samurai home.

Accommodation Kanazawa Tours Hokuriku Arch Train Pass 

A samurai was a high-ranking military officer in old Japan. The Samurai disappeared after the Meiji Restoration in 1868, when the feudal system was abolished. Up until then, Samurai families were wealthy people making their living by serving their local lord or clan militarily. At the time it was common for high-ranking individuals to be granted land for building close to the castle of their lord – that is the case in Kanazawa, where the Samurai families built their homes in the Nagamachi district, close to Kanazawa Castle.

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Nagamachi is filled with unique houses, showing the wealthy lives some of these samurai families lived. Being Samurai houses, many properties are walled off for protection and privacy, making the area a small labyrinth of charming streets. The tall, yellowish earthen-walls (tsuchi-kabe) are topped with black tiles, giving them a stylish appearance leaving no doubt that this was once an area which housed well off people.

There are a few properties in the Nagamachi District which are open to the public. Most famous is probably the Nomura-ke Samurai Residence, which offers a unique insight into the life of the samurais.

Attractions in Nagamachi District

Nomura-ke samurai residence, Kanazawa © touristinajapan.com.

Nomura-ke Residence

Nomura-ke Samurai Residence is a beautiful, old villa which belonged to the Nomura samurai family. The property has a stunning viewing garden, a tea house with a garden view, and a museum displaying artifacts from the Nomura family. Read more

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Photo © touristinjapan.com

Shinise Kinenkan Museum, Kanazawa. Photo by 金沢市. CC BY 2.1 JP.

Shinise Kinenkan Museum

An old pharmacy located in a classic, old wooden building. The building has been converted into a museum about the merchant class of the edo-period. Contains a reconstructed pharmacy, a tea room, a garden and some local craft displays.

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Photo by 金沢市. CC BY 2.1 JP.

Ashigaru Shiryokan Museum, Kanazawa. Photo by ddmacgre. CC BY 2.0.

Ashigaru Shiryokan

These two reconstructed homes belonged to two families of foot soldiers (Ashigaru). Foot soldier was the lowest samurai rank possible, so it is really interesting to compare these two houses to the ones of much richer samurai families in the neighborhood. The difference is clearly visible.

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Photo by ddmacgre. CC BY 2.0.

Maeda Tosanokami-ke Shiryokan Museum, Kanazawa. Photo by 金沢市. CC BY 2.1 JP.

Maeda Tosanokami-ke Shiryokan Museum

The Maeda Clan ruled the Kaga domain for centuries until the Meiji Restoration. They shaped Kanazawa into a prosperous and sprawling city. Maeda Tosanokami-ke Shiryokan is a museum dedicated to the Maeda family. Many artifacts from the family are on display here.

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Photo by 金沢市. CC BY 2.1 JP.

Former Takada Family House, Kanazawa.  Photo by Kokorico568. CC BY-SA 4.0.

Former Takada Family House

Old wooden house, now restored with a beautiful strolling garden which can be accessed free of charge.

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Photo by Kokorico568. CC BY-SA 4.0.

Getting there

The Nagamachi district can easily be reached by foot in connection with visiting Kanazawa Castle Park and Gyokusen’inmaru Garden. The distance is around 1km/.6mi (10-15min walk).

Loop bus: the loop bus which runs around Kanazawa stops near the Nagamachi district. Both the Right Loop and Left Loop can be taken. The stops are respectively RL13 (Korinbo) and LL3 (Korinbo) or alternatively, RL14 and LL2. One-way fare: ¥200. A day pass costs ¥500. 
Official Bus website: hokutetsu.co.jp

Shuttle bus: a dedicated shuttle bus departs from Kanazawa Station. Get off at stop S3/S10 (Korinbo) or S2/S11 (Minami-cho) depending on the direction you arrive from. One-way fare: ¥200 on weekdays, ¥100 on weekends and holidays.
Official Bus website: hokutetsu.co.jp

JR Bus: if you have a JR Pass, then you can take advantage of the JR Bus which runs through Kanazawa. It is free for holders of the Japan Rail Pass. The Korinbo Line, which departs from Kanazawa Station, stops near the Nagamachi District. Get off at stop 4 (Korinbo) when departing from Kanazawa Station or stop 5 (Korinbo) when departing from Higashi Chaya (direction Kanazawa Station).
Nishinihon JR Bus website: nishinihonjrbus.co.jp

Map of Nagamachi District, Kanazawa. © openstreetmap-contributors and touristinjapan.com
Map of Nagamachi District, Kanazawa.
© openstreetmap-contributors and touristinjapan.com

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