The Honma Historical Residence
The Honma Historical Residence is a great place to see the difference between classes in Japan from the 1700s onwards. Originally built over 250 years ago in 1768 by the famous third generation of the family, Mitsuoka Honma, what became the Honma Historical Residence building was made in the samurai-style to host visits from inspectors of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Then, merchant-style architecture was added to the original buildings once these visits ended in 1813. That the building has stood for over 250 years can be put down to fire-resistant technology, such as using stone under the eaves of the roof.
Step inside and you can immediately see that the Samurai class had a much different lifestyle to 'ordinary' citizens. The main entrance you enter the building through is for the Samurai class, and is characterised by many features such as a higher class of wood, different styles of Shoji screens throughout, and generally better craftsmanship. The merchant-style architecture part of the house is nowhere near as grand, and was more built for practical purposes.
March to October: 9:30 to 4:30
November to February: 9:30 to 4:00
Closed mid-December to late January to change exhibits
Prices: ¥700 for normal entry
¥1400 for a combined ticket that includes entry into the Honma Museum, Seienkaku Mansion, and the Kakubuen Gardens as well.