An area that inherits and still shows the townscape of old samurai houses
Nakacho in Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture, is the former samurai residential area that prospered on the northern side of Hirosaki Castle. When Hirosaki Castle was constructed by Tsugaru Nobuhisa, the daimyo (feudal lord) in the early Edo Period (1603-1868), this samurai residential area was also developed. The area surrounding the castle in those days was divided into three zones, namely Kami-cho, Nakacho, and Shimo-cho. Higher-class samurai lived in Kami-cho, on the southeastern side of Hirosaki Castle, while lower-class samurai lived in Shimo-cho on the western side, and middle-class samurai lived in Nakacho on the northern side. Many old samurai houses are preserved in a vast area covering about two-thirds of the current Nakacho area. Some houses of middle-class samurai who were in the service of Hirosaki Domain are open to the public.
One of the important characteristics of the historic townscape of old samurai houses in Nakacho is the hedge of Sawara cypress on the front street. The hedges with uniformed style using Sawara preserve the townscape surrounded by green throughout the year, and show a glimpse of the sentiment back in the Edo Period.
Mount Iwaki, which is a familiar mountain for the people in Tsugaru area, is west of the historical townscape, and Hirosaki Castle is in the south. You can get an idea of the feelings of people in Nakacho, who refer to Mount Iwaki as Oyama (the mountain) and to Hirosaki Castle as Oshiro (the castle), viewing them as something that protects the peaceful life.
Address: Wakado-cho, Hirosaki City, Aomori Pefecture, and the neighboring town, Aomori
Phone: 0172-37-5501 (弘前市立観光館)
Directions: 15-minute bus ride from Hirosaki Station on JR Ou Honsen Line (4 hours from Tokyo station) by Bus.