The Naga-machi Samurai District is located near the former Kanazawa Castle. Upper and middle class samurais and their families lived in this district between roughly the late 1500's and the mid 1800's. The District was named after the Naga Clan whose samurai retainers lived here. The atmosphere from those times has been preserved or restored - with narrow lanes, water canals, gates, entrances and structures, appearing as they were when samurais lived here. The walls surrounding the houses (as those seen here) are made of stone and mud and then molded just as it was done when the samurais lived here. After the combination hardens it is covered with ochre-colored wooden plates (also seen here). Some of the walls are over 100 years old - all the walls have been restored or rebuilt. Dark wooden gates to the houses also were typical. Most of the buildings in this District are private residences.
Kanazawa is not as popular a tourist destination as some other cities in Japan because of its relatively remote location between mountains and the sea of Japan. During the Edo Period (early 1600's to the mid 1800's) Kanazawa was the seat of the second most powerful clan in Japan making it an influential city. The city escaped destruction during World War II because of its lack of industry. It is a culturally rich city famous for its seafood, crafts and historical buildings and items. Kanazawa and Takyama are two of the best preserved Edo Period major cities in Japan. Fortunately we saw both of them.