Inside the Former Ishiba Residence

When the Tsugaru Clan sided with Tokugawa Ieyasu at the battle of Sekigahara in 1600, they ensured their authority as the feudal lords of Hirosaki for the 250 years of the Edo Period. Hirosaki Castle was to be the base from which they would rule, and around which a typical castle town developed.

Like in all castle towns, the samurai, who served the Tsugaru Clan, lived in residences surrounding the castle of their feudal lord. Today, a section north of Hirosaki Castle remains preserved as a former samurai district. Although much of the area looks like an ordinary modern Japanese residential area today, three samurai houses and one merchant house have been preserved and are open to the public:

Ito Residence

Hours: 10:00 to 16:00
Closing Days: Tuesdays and Fridays from July to October, Monday to Friday from November to March, August 13, December 29 to January 3
Admission: Free
The Ito were a samurai family during the Edo Period. The doctor of the Tsugaru feudal lord lived in the Ito Residence.

Umeda Residence

Hours: 10:00 to 16:00
Closing Days: Tuesdays and Fridays from July to October, Monday to Friday in November, August 13, December to March
Admission: Free
Like the Ito, the Umeda were a samurai family during the Edo Period. Their residence is located just behind the residence of the Ito.

Iwata Residence

Hours: 10:00 to 16:00
Closing Days: Mondays and Thursdays from July to October, Monday to Friday from November to March, August 13, December 29 to January 3
Admission: Free
The Iwata Residence is located at the eastern end of the district. It was also a samurai residence during the Edo Period.

Ishiba Residence

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Closing Days: Irregular closing days, New Year
Admission into the inner area: 100 yen
The Ishiba family were not samurai, but members of the merchant class, who dealt with household goods and straw. The former residence of the Ishiba is still in active use today, as both a shop and a home.

Access

The samurai district is located just north of Hirosaki Park. The closest stop on the Dotemachi Loop Bus is "Bunka Center-mae", a ten minute walk away. Another bus loop line, the Tamenobu Loop Bus goes as far as the Neputa Mura beside the samurai district, however, it does not operate during the winter.

How to get to and around Hirosaki