For those who will be sightseeing in Kanazawa in kimono or are passionate about the samurais, make sure Nagamachi Samurai District (長町武家屋敷跡) is on your itinerary. You will blend in perfectly into the samurai’s houses in the background! Also, the district isn’t just about the traditional houses that the samurais called them home. It is where you can source some famous Kutani Ware (九谷焼) from!
Unlike many of the samurai houses district in Japan, the one in Kanazawa only has one house open to the public, which we will introduce below. Other houses have been turned into shops, and almost half are still someone else’s home!
If you come to the district in winter, the outer walls of the houses will be covered by woven straw mats. This is to protect the mud walls from the infiltration of snow.
At the intersections in the district, you might see a stone on the ground by itself. Those stones aren’t there to trip you over but to knock off the snow on the samurais’ sandals back then (and yes, they didn’t have covered shoes at the time).
How to Get to Nagamachi Samurai District
- It is around a 10-minute walk from the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa or Nichi Chaya District or Kanazawa Castle Park Gyokusenin Maruguchi Gate (金沢城公園 玉泉院丸口)
- From the bus stop Kōrinbō (香林坊), it is a 5-minute walk
- From JR Kanazawa Station, it is a 25-minute walk
Tip: You can make a reservation HERE to be dressed up in kimono before exploring Nagamachi Samurai District and the rest of Kanazawa!
Nomura-ke Samurai Residence (武家屋敷跡 野村家)
Among all the samurais’ homes, the only one open for tourists to explore is Nomura-ke Samurai Residence.
The intricate painting on the fusuma sliding doors, the Japanese swords, and the armor handed down through the generations of samurai are all the must-sees inside the house.
The Japanese garden in the residence is another key attraction here.
Chosen to be one of the top three gardens by the American gardening magazine – Journal of Japanese Gardening in 2003, the beautifully designed garden has trees that are more than 400 years old standing quietly on one side. Around the tree, you will find stone lanterns, ponds, and small canals with koi fish enjoying their lives at this old house in the warmer seasons.
In 2009, Nomura Clan Samurai Home got a two-stars ranking from Michelin Green Guide Japan. Since then, more and more international tourists have visited this place!
A set of stone staircases is at the end of the corridor next to the garden. The tea room – Fubaku-an (不莫庵), is at the top of those staircases. From the window in the tea room, you can admire the garden with a cup of matcha green tea and a Japanese sweet, which is another way to appreciate Japanese culture (=ﾟωﾟ)ﾉ.
For more information about Nomura-ke Samurai Residence, refer to their English website HERE!
Nomura-ke Samurai Residence’s Opening Hours and Fees
- The residence is open from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm from April to September.
- From October to March, it will close earlier at 4:30 pm
- The last admission is 30 minutes before the residence’s closing time
- The residence won’t open on the 26th and the 27 of December as well as the 1st and the 2nd of January
- The admission fee is
- 550 yen for adults
- 400 yen for senior high school students
- 250 yen for elementary and junior high school students
- A cup of matcha that comes with a dry Japanese sweet will cost 300 yen
Discover Other Fascinating Attractions in Kanazawa City
Apart from Nagamachi Samurai District, Kanazawa has many other great attractions that you won’t want to miss out on, such as the famous Kenrokuen Garden and Kanazawa Castle.
Refer to our Kanazawa article for more awesome attractions, including where to meet the Geishas and an amazing art museum!