Thursday, September 16, 2021

Nakane Samurai Residence & Garden in Kitsuki

 


The castle town of Kitsuki in Oita is yet another of the small towns in Japan that have chosen to label themselves as "Little Kyoto". The castle claims to be the smallest in Japan and the town that grew up around the castle is organized in an unusual way due to the lay of the land.


There are two bluff, kind of small plateaus with  steep slopes that in places are cliffs. It bwas on top of these that the samurai built their homes as a defensive location. The narrow strip of land between these two strips of high ground is where the merchants and lower class townspeople lived and worked.


Atop the southern bluff, closest to the castle, is the former home of the Nakane family who were, I believe, the highest-ranked of the retainers to the castle lord. As befitting their status the Nakane had quite a rage garden.


When I visited the house was occupied by a kimono rental company and was therefor free to enter and explore. It seems the kimono rental has moved to a different location and now the house is just an open house but remains free to enter.


It seesm thatdressing up in kimono to explore the town gives you free entry to all the samurai houses, museums etc in the town.


The northern bluff is actually very well preserved with many former samurai houses open to the public and is a Historic Preservation District. Many of the houses also have quite nice traditional gardens.


1 comment:

  1. such a wonderful garden ! and the autumn colors are superb !
    .

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