Former Yamanaka Family Residence


Like many of the residences in Hamasaki, the Former Yamanaka Family Residence is the product of many generations. Although the main house (omoya) was built in 1931, the inner storehouse dates from 1771. Facing Honmachi-suji street, the main thoroughfare of Hamasaki, the omoya has a full-height upper floor (hon-nikai-date) similar to those of the machiya townhouses of Kyoto. The building is narrow, but it extends all the way back to the street on the opposite side of the block, as is typical in Hamasaki machiya design.

The inner storehouse has thick, earthen walls to protect its contents from fire and other disasters. It has two entrances, an unusual design feature necessitated by the size of the residence.

The Yamanaka family were merchants, and the front of the house functioned as their store. They traded mainly in marine products, such as Hagi’s famous dried sardines, which they sold mainly to customers in Kyoto and Osaka but also shipped around Japan. The business is no longer in operation, but it thrived from the 1870s until the 1950s.

Today, the house is used to exhibit items from the heyday of the family business, when Hamasaki was a bustling commercial district. The old posters and calendars that hang on the walls are of particular interest. One calendar dating from 1915 advertises the Osaka Merchant Shipping Line (Ōsaka Shōsen Kabushikigaisha) and shows a kimono-clad woman waving her handkerchief as her sweetheart sails away. Another advertises a store owned by Shimazu Kōzaburō (dates unknown), a trader at Kyoto’s Nishiki Market: the model is shown wearing the style of colorful, flamboyant kimono that was popular during the Taishō era (1912–1926).

(This English-language text was created by the Japan Tourism Agency. )

Basic info

Price Admission Free
Access 3-minute walk from Ofunagura Iriguchi Bus stop (Hagi Junkan Māru Bus Eastbound)
Phone 0838-22-0133
Address 209-1 Hamasaki, Hagi, Yamaguchi
Open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.