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Historic Towns and Districts in Japan

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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.

photo of Former Samurai Districts in Japan
photo of Hirosaki Samurai District

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.

photo of Usuki Samurai District

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.

photo of Matsue Samurai District

Chugoku | Shimane | Matsue

Matsue Samurai District

Historic buildings, former samurai residences, traditional Japanese style tea houses, and more can be found in the Matsue Samurai District.

photo of Kakunodate Samurai District

Tohoku | Akita | Kakunodate

Kakunodate Samurai District

The Kakunodate Samurai District has been around since 1620 when Yoshikatsu Ashina became the lord of the area.

photo of Aizu Bukeyashiki

Tohoku | Fukushima | Aizu Wakamatsu

Aizu Bukeyashiki

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.

photo of Kitsuki Samurai District

Kyushu | Oita | Kunisaki Peninsula

Kitsuki Samurai District

A unique and well preserved samurai district located in Oita Prefecture, Japan.

photo of Hagi Former Castle Town

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.

photo of Nagamachi Samurai District

Chubu | Ishikawa | Kanazawa

Nagamachi Samurai District

Nagamachi Samurai District is located at the foot of Kanazawa Castle and preserves a traditional atmosphere.

photo of Tsuwano Old Town

Chugoku | Shimane | Tsuwano

Tsuwano Old Town

Tsuwano Old Town is distinguished for its historically prominent buildings and well-preserved samurai residences.

photo of Chiran Samurai District

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.