Kanazawa Tourist Information Guide »
Introduction > Nagamachi Bukeyashiki, the samurai district

Nagamachi Bukeyashiki, the samurai district

A few minutes’ walk from Korinbo-square takes you to the Katamachi area, where the wealthiest vassals of the Maeda lords used to reside. It is the most obvious legacy of the golden age of the samurais in Kanazawa. Being pristinely conserved, there is no place that will make you feel more like a figure in a painting from the Edo period.

One easily loses track of time when walking through its narrow streets, between houses with ochre walls covered with straw mats. In winter, these walls of mud and stone introduce a new elegant sight when the pressure of the cold creates cracks in them. The shingle roofs in the midst of magnificent trees are also one of the remarkable vistas that can only be observed from the outside. The convergence of the stone pavement lit up by the charming streetlights makes for an exquisite promenade. These streets are calm and quiet, because as strange as it sounds, they are rarely visited by tourists. City life seems like a world apart— one’s ears will often get distracted by the chirping of birds or the cry of cicadas during the summer. Sometimes the murmuring of the nearby waterways gently interrupts the long periods of silence.

The beautiful Onosho Canal, the oldest of the 50 canals of Kanazawa, flows through Nagamachi. The city of Kanazawa has always had many waterways because they provided protection from fire and served as routes to carry supplies to and from the port. Looking up, one can see oblong objects that decorate the ends of roofs, the shapes of which remind us of the chon-mage samurai hairdo. These distinctive shapes on the roof ends were a privilege of aristocratic residences and they continue to adorn the residences’ roofs in the area today. Separated from the roads by beautiful stone bridges, these houses were built along the waterway, which allowed residents to water their gardens.