The major cities in Japan usually started out as castle towns that developed over time. Castle towns consisted the residence of the local feudal lord, which was the castle located in the center of the town. Surrounding the castle his retainers, the samurai, lived in homes ready to protect their master. This area was called the bukeyashiki.
Tohoku | Aomori | Hirosaki
Hirosaki Samurai District
The Hirosaki Samurai District consists of four samurai houses that served the Tsugaru Clan long ago during the Edo period.
Kyushu | Oita | Usuki
Usuki Samurai District
A well preserved samurai district with Edo period architecture close to the ruins of Usuki Castle located in Usuki, Oita Prefecture.
Tohoku | Akita | Kakunodate
Kakunodate Samurai District
The Kakunodate Samurai District has been around since 1620 when Yoshikatsu Ashina became the lord of the area.
Tohoku | Fukushima | Aizu Wakamatsu
Aizu Bukeyashiki was a samurai residence that once belonged to a powerful member of the Aizu Clan until it was burned down and eventually restored.
Chugoku | Yamaguchi | Hagi
Hagi Former Castle Town
A former castle town ruled by the Mori Clan and hometown to Hagiyaki Pottery located at Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan.
Chubu | Ishikawa | Kanazawa
Nagamachi Samurai District
Nagamachi Samurai District is located at the foot of Kanazawa Castle and preserves a traditional atmosphere.
Kyushu | Kagoshima | Satsuma Peninsula
Chiran Samurai District
A well preserved Samurai District featuring 7 traditional gardens located in Kagoshima Prefecture, known as the little Kyoto of Kagoshima.