Japan’s samurai culture is centuries old with deep roots throughout the country. Elite and respected warriors, the samurai were an integral part of feudal Japan, abolished in the late 1800s. Today, family travelers to the country can learn about Japan’s samurai culture by visiting places that preserve this fascinating part of the country’s history, like Nagamachi Samurai District in the city of Kanazaw, Ishikawa Prefecture’s largest city.
This peaceful maze of pine tree-lined lanes is home to shrines, tea houses and charming shops selling local handicrafts. It is also home to Family House of Nomura, a treasured piece of Japanese cultural heritage. This home is a perfectly preserved samurai home belonging to the Nomura family who served the ruling Maeda family for generations.
The home is a beautiful example of the traditional Japanese style with floors made of grass tatami mats, hand-carved wood throughout, paper screens separating rooms and a traditional tearoom. Beautiful details can be found around every corner, such as some of the most notable artwork of Japanese artist Sasaki Senkei adorning the paper screen doors and beautifully carved wooden flowers hiding nails in the woodwork.
A traditional Japanese garden can be found in the back of the house, creating a tranquil place where you can relax and reconnect with nature. Complete with koi fish, native trees and plants, stone lanterns and a variety of water features, the garden is truly magical during a soothing rain.
Attached to the home is a small museum holding a collection of Nomura family artifacts that include samurai armor, heirloom swords and several scrolls containing letters of gratitude demonstrating how important they were, not just to the feudal lords or Maeda family, but to the communities they helped protect.
The house is open to the public at a cost of 550 yen (approximately $4), 400 yen ($3) for teens aged 15–17, and 250 yen (approximately $2) for children 7–14. There is an additional cost if you’d like to enjoy a matcha green tea sweet during your visit. The site is open year-round with the exception of Dec. 25–27 and Jan. 1–2.
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