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July 9, 2018 - Hidden Honshu: Kanazawa's Samurai District
For my second post on Kanazawa, I will be focussing on the Nagamichi Samurai district which is located on the South Western corner of Kanazawa castle. Do note that this district is much smaller than Kakunodate and other locations in Japan.
My first stop was the Maeda Shiryokan Museum which costs 300 yen to enter, or can be entered as a part of the 510 yen (one day) or 820 yen (3 day) Kanazawa museum pass. This gets you into 17 different museums and buildings around Kanazawa. This small museum shows some of the artefacts of the Maeda clan.
Located opposite the previous museum is the Shinise Memorial Hall which costs 100 yen to enter or is a part of the museum pass. This used to be a traditional drug store and there is a reasonable garden out the back.
It should be noted that this is probably going to be my favourite location in Kanazawa as I like folk art and the like. Note that there is a lot more that I have not included in these photos.
My next stop was the Nomura Residence which is a middle to high ranking samurai's residence. It costs 550 yen to enter and photography is permitted. The garden is also high quality and give many major gardens a run for it's money in terms of refinement.
One this that should be noted is that this building can get busy - even on a hot Monday during summer (outside of holiday season!).
Just down the road is the Kaga Han which is a good place to get away from the crowds. There is also an area showing you were the foot soldiers used to live for those who are interested.
My second last stop for the day was Ashigaru Shiryokan Museum, which is a set of two lower class samurai residences to give you a feel how they used to live. Even though it is free - english translations were quite strong here.
My last stop for the day was the Oyama Shrine - which has a unique tower and looks as though it used to also be a temple before the Meiji restoration due to the architecture of the main buildings. There is also a nice strolling garden here.
I will be truthful and say that the Samurai Quarters of Kanazawa are not as good as I was expecting them to be. However, I have seen most of the major townships in Japan which have this quarters so that is to be expected. Hagi, Shimabara, Kakunodate and Kitsuki are examples of towns which have better samurai districts. for tomorrow I'll be visiting some of the museums and Geisha districts to see what they have to offer.
Kanazawa Tourist Information: http://visitkanazawa.jp