The Hirosaki Samurai District (弘前武家屋敷, Hirosaki Bukeyashiki) has preserved remains of houses that belonged to different samurai families that served the Tsugaru Clan with the exception of a merchant home. The district is located in Nakacho in Hirosaki city, which was considered the area where middle class samurai lived. For 250 years of the Edo period, the Tsugaru lived and ruled from Hirosaki Castle, which developed the area around the grounds into a typical castle town. The samurai that served the Tsugaru clan built residences around their feudal lord’s home. Even though a majority of the homes look like a modern residential area today, the three samurai houses of Ito, Umeda and Iwata with an addition of the merchant house of Ishiba are preserved north of Hirosaki Castle. The Ito residence belonged to a family of samurai who were the doctors of the Tsugaru feudal lord. The Umeda and Iwata residences belonged to samurai families in the Edo period. The Ishiba residence was owned by the Ishiba family who was part of the merchant class and sold household goods and straw. The property is still being used today as a shop and home. These places are open to the public, but depending on the residence you may be visiting the closing days might be different. The Ito, Umeda and Iwata are free to enter, but the Ishiba has a 100 yen fee to enter the inner area.