Samurai Sundays in Kanazawa: swordplay then gardening

Sure, Samurai Sundays probably started out a bit more exciting than the average middle class suburban day in Japan, or anywhere – some swordplay, a battle perhaps, then if successful delivering the head of the enemy to your Daimyo (Feudal Lord) ..

Nomura Samurai House garden, Kanizawa
Swordplay then serenity © Carmen Price

But once business was over you could relax and do a spot of gardening. Or appreciate your garden if you had others to do the hard yards.

A thankyou letter from the boss .. © Carmen Price

The Nomura family Samurai House in Kanazawa’s Nagamachi Samurai House district in the old town centre is a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of the samurai.

In Kanazawa, as in other important towns, the samurai families lived around the castle, on hand to protect their lord at need and benefiting from the collective protection themselves.

Samurai armor in the Samurai House Kanizawa
Well preserved samurai armor © Carmen Price

Nagamachi is still surrounded by the old moat that protected Kanazawa’s inner town. Today you can check out the Samurai House and other interesting buildings in this well preserved and maintained area.

The samurai knew that their lives could end suddenly, so they liked to appreciate peace, harmony and nature in their home life. An exquisite garden was part of that.

Garden view Nomura Family Samurai House Kanizawa
You couldn’t design this better today .. open plan living area to garden © Carmen Price

Not bad considering they didn’t have Bunnings to visit. The flow of the house and living areas led naturally into the garden, with its classic water features and carefully nurtured trees and plants. No one beats the Japanese for attention to detail, and the work put into gardens is an example of that. If the samurai was doing it himself he must have been a busy boy..

The design is timeless – it would be very easy to live here today, especially as the surrounding city beyond the old town has expanded rapidly. Inside your are in a tranquil space, cut off from outside cares.

The mighty Kaga-Clan lords built the magnificent Kenroku-en Garden opposite Kanizawa Castle. It’s nice to see their leading samurai had their own more modest versions.

We recommend visiting both while here.

Samurai swords Nomura Samurai House Kanizawa
Samurai carried two swords – the long one for their enemies, the short for themselves © Owain Price

Some interesting artifacts from armour and weapons to an amazingly detailed Edo era map of Japan are on display.

Stroll on around Nagamachi to see other old buildings and the straw-wall style of construction. Then following the canal out you are amid a trendy selection of cafes and boutiques leading into the Katamachi/Korinhbo shopping and dining district.

Moat around the Nagamachi Samurai House district in Kanizawa
Kanizawa’s old inner town moat still surrounds Nagamachi Samurai district © Carmen Price

Accommodation deals Kanazawa

We recommend staying in the old town/downtown area from where it’s an easy walk to attractions like Nagamachi.

More Info

Ishikawa tourism official site Kenroku-en page

Kanazawa Tourism site

Koi carp © Carmen Price