Architectural exploration in Yamacho District

The Influence of the Merchant Culture on Architectural Styles

Takaoka was established when the second lord Maeda Toshinaga built the Takaoka Castle about 400 years ago. After overcoming several crises, the third lord Maeda Toshitsune transformed the castle town into a town of commerce and industry. The Yamacho District (Yamacho-suji) was a center of distribution and prospered as the center of commerce. The merchant culture flourished and has been handed over beyond generations since then.
In 1900, the town was damaged by a huge fire. Houses were rebuilt with the fire-proof Dozo-zukuri structure, and some of the houses still remain in the district. These houses, a fusion of Japanese traditional architecture and Western architecture, deeply reflect the merchant culture of the Yamacho District.

On this tour, we explore the architecture of the Yamacho District with local architects who are also certified Heritage Managers. We will look at the houses not only the exterior but also the interior architectural space from a cultural perspective to deepen our understanding of the architecture of the Yamacho District.

During the tour, we will serve all the participants the Obento (lunch box) from the local cafe. (the Obento is on us!)
*Sorry, special dietary and non-allergic menus are not available.

Designated cultural property of Takaoka city

Takaoka Dozo-zukuri Museum

The Murosaki family was a merchant family that engaged in the wholesale business of cotton thread and cloth.
You can see inside of the main house and walk through the original “Tori-doma” (An earthen floor connecting the entrance and the back yard), which leads you to their storehouse.
In the beginning of the tour, we will learn the basics of Japanese traditional architecture here.

Designated cultural property of Toyama prefecture

The Ikadai Residence

The Ikadai family was also a merchant family that engaged in the wholesale business of cotton thread.
Following traditional techniques commonly found in Machiya houses, the house also has a fireproof structure with plastered walls and adopted a Western-style structure and design.
Since it is still used as a residence, it is normally closed to the public, but this time, you can take a special tour and Mr. Ikadai will guide you inside.

Nationally designated important cultural property

The Sugano Residence

The Sugano family is one of Takaoka’s leading merchant families, made a fortune through trade with Hokkaido.
The exterior is finished with black plaster and is characterized by its ornate details, such as the ceiling decoration of the eaves and the cast columns.
Although it is still used as a residence, the 1st floor is opened to the public.

Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings

The Yamacho District

The Yamacho District has many buildings built in various eras, such as Dozo-zukuri houses, Shinkabe-style Machiya houses, Brick-built Western-style bank, and Billboard architecture with copper plate facades.
You will discover facts, characters, and anecdotes about the Yamacho District on this guided walking tour.

Specialists in Architecture

Yoshito Yoshida
Yoshida Kankyo Kenchiku Kobo

Architect / Certified Heritage Manager

Yoshihiro Hayashi
Ku-Sou Kenchiku Keikaku Office

Architect / Certified Heritage Manager

Tetsuhiro Maeda
Migaki Co., Ltd

Architect / Certified Heritage Manager / Housing Quality Evaluator / Licensed Geotechnical Engineer

Satoshi Wakamatsu

Architect / Carpenter / Certified Heritage Manager

Tour Details

Date & Time 2023.11.3 Friday, 11.4 Saturday
*The event will not be cancelled for rain.
The tour content will be the same on both days.
Eligibility All those who are interested in Japanese (Takaoka City, Toyama) traditional architecture.
*Must be 12 years and older.
Number of Participants 8 people/day
Participation Fee FREE (Lunch included)
However, transportation expenses to the venue, accommodation expenses, etc. will be borne by the participant. The same applies if the event is canceled.
Requirements Participants must complete the survey after the tour.
This survey will be used to improve our future tour content.
How to Apply Please fill out the form below.
Application Deadline 2023.10.31 Tuesday 23:59(JST)
*Application will close after reaching capacity.
Please be noted ・Times and activities subject to change due to scheduling considerations, weather/water conditions, etc.
・Personal information provided at the time of application will be used only for the operation of this tour and will be deleted after the tour ends.
・The organizer, venue, and guides are not responsible for any accidents, theft, etc. that occur inside or outside the venue.
Contact Takaoka Dozo-zukuri Museum
TEL 090-6815-7505


Application Form

Both Nov.3rd and 4th are fully booked.
If you’d like to be on the waiting list, please contact us from the contact page.