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Saturday, April 09, 2016

Remnants of the Yamauchi Family Villa

旧山内家下屋敷長屋

The Remnants of the Yamauchi Family Villa aka the Yamauchi Clan Tenement is a long wooden Edo period structure directly south of Kochi Castle in Kochi, southern Shikoku.

Remnants of the Yamauchi Family Villa, Kochi.


The building once belonged to a retainer of the ruling Yamauchi clan who was forced to surrender it to his feudal lord so that it could be used as a villa. Due to fires over time, only the long, narrow building with five tatami (rush mat) rooms, the gate and the garden remain.

Remnants of the Yamauchi Family Villa, Kochi.


The nearby park was the site of the former residence of the 15th lord Yamauchi Yodo and the Yamuchi Shrine which is dedicated to the former ruling family. The Kagami River is at the end of the street. Adjacent to Yamauchi Shrine is the former Tosa Yamauchi Family Treasury and Archives, which will reopen as Kochi Castle Historical Museum in 2017.

Remnants of the Yamauchi Family Villa, Kochi, Shikoku.

The Remnants of the Yamauchi Family Villa are just south of the Kochi Prefectural Culture Hall and are free to visit. You need to take off your shoes and don slippers to shuffle along the wooden engawa  (outside corridor) to peer into the rather dusty rooms. The Remnants of the Yamauchi Family Villa are open to view from 9am-5pm.

The banks of the Kagami River are ideal to take a rest before heading into the Yamauchi Shrine (山内神社), where the clan founder Kazutoyo Yamauchi is enshrined. Set in pleasant, wooden grounds, the buildings are all post-war as the shrine was destroyed during World War II. It originally dates from 1806. From here head west along the historical trail to Ryoma's Birthplace Memorial Museum or cross the river to Ushioe Tenmangu Shrine with its 400-year old camphor tree.

Yamauchi Shrine, Kochi, Shikoku.


Remnants of the Yamauchi Family Villa
Takasho-machi 1-3-35
Kochi 780-0862

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