The Kami Tokikuni-ke residence

The Tokikuni family (時国家, Tokikuni-ke) are descendants of the powerful Taira clan, and two of their former residences have been preserved and opened to the public: the Upper Tokikuni Residence and the Lower Tokikuni Residence. The residences are located only a short walk apart from each other near the tip of the Noto Peninsula in the Okunoto region.

The history of the Tokikuni family dates back to the 12th century, when the Taira clan was defeated in the Gempei War, and many of its members fled or were sent into exile. One important clan member was banished to the isolated Okunoto region, and one of his sons, Taira Tokikuni, would give up the Taira family name and become the founder of a new hereditary line, the Tokikuni. His original residence, which no longer exists, was built not far from the present location of the upper and lower residences.

An irori firepit at the Shimo Tokikuni-ke

The Kami Tokikuni-ke (上時国家) is the bigger and more impressive of the two buildings, and one part of it still serves as a private residence. The thatched roof building is about 18 meters tall, and was built in the early 1800s when the head of the family decided to abandon the original residence. A few fixtures of the original residence have been incorporated into the present building. There are a number of rooms to explore, such as guest rooms, guard rooms and gardens, and various artifacts are on display.

Considered the oldest surviving residence on the Noto Peninsula, the Shimo Tokikuni-ke (下時国家) predates the Kami Tokikuni-ke. In the 1500s one of the sons of the head of the family formed his own branch of the Tokikuni, called the Shimo Tokikuni (lower Tokikuni) and built his residence, the Shimo Tokikuni-ke, near the main family's residence, which thereafter became known as the Kami Tokikuni-ke. Extensive renovation works on the building were completed in 2005, giving it a newer appearance.

The exterior of the Shimo Tokikuni-ke residence

Access

The Tokikuni residences can be reached directly by bus from Wajima on buses bound for Ushitsu (35 minutes, 780 yen, 8 buses per day). The Kami Tokikuni-ke is located at the Kami Tokikuni-ke bus stop and the Shimo Tokikuni-ke is located at the Shimo Tokikuni-ke bus stop, which are about a minute apart from each other. From Anamizu, the residences can be reached by taking a bus to Ushitsu and then transferring to a bus bound for Sosogi or Wajima.

How to get to and around the Noto Peninsula

Hours & Fees

Kami Tokikuni Residence

Hours

8:30 to 17:00 (until 17:30 from July to September)
Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time

Closed

No closing days

Admission

520 yen

Typical Visit Duration

About 20-25 minutes

English

Moderate

Shimo Tokikuni Residence

Hours

10:00 to 16:00 (entry until 16:30)

Closed

Weekdays and during the winter (December to March)

Admission

500 yen

Typical Visit Duration

About 15 minutes

English

Moderate