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Shinbayashi Park, Fujisawa: A High-Class Japanese House Rebuilt in a Lush Park

Shinbayashi Park, Fujisawa 

Located about a kilometer southeast of Fujisawa Station, Shinbayashi Park stretches out across a verdant valley in the city of Fujisawa. Here, a rebuilt house from the Edo period (1603–1868) with a row house-style gate is preserved.

Nagayamon gates are one of the traditional gate styles of Japan, with row houses on either side of the gate. Their design and construction would be determined by factors such as the social status of the family living within. This house is the relocated and reconstructed home of the Fukuhara family of Fujisawa. It was originally built in the latter half of the Edo period. When you stand before the stately gate, you will feel as though you have stepped into a period drama.

Head through the gate and continue on through the plum grove and over the lawn, and another old house will come into view.

Built in 1841 (the late Edo period), this house belonged to the Koike family, whose men served as head of the village of Karasawa for generations in the Edo period. Construction-wise, the house consists of a thatched hip roof, earthen walls, and a stone foundation.

Furnished with steps 2.5 ken (4.5 meters) long and a magnificent tatami room, the house reflects its status as the home of the village head.

In the earthen floor room, a piece of wood that was once used as a ceiling beam has been laid down. It is surprisingly sturdy and robust, to the extent that it is almost too nice to use as a bench for a quick break.

A pothook is suspended over the sunken hearth, and these features were often paired with a fish motif, as is the case here. Apparently, in places where open flames were used, water-related decorations were used as charms in the hope of keeping the house from burning down.

In this sunken hearth, the fire once burned day and night. The contraption pictured here played the role of preventing the rising soot from filling the cracks in the thatched roof and causing corrosion. Today, the hearth is no longer used, so a fire is lit in the earthen floor room every weekend to send up soot instead.

In the garden next to the house is a well with a bucket. With the use of a pulley, the bucket was once used to scoop water up from the well.

Kawana Pond in Shinbayashi Park is also a bird sanctuary, with kingfishers among the winged beauties that can be seen here. A walking path 1.5 kilometers in length makes this a great place to enjoy a stroll while viewing the seasonal flowers.

Located about one kilometer southeast of Fujisawa Station, a portion of this park is mountain forest, offering lush greenery and a great natural environment. Its total area is 16.2 hectares with 1.5 kilometers of walking trails along a ridge. Features include a wisteria trellis, an adventure space, a wetland plant zone, Kawana Pond, and a traditional Japanese house with a Nagaya-mon gate, registered as a Fujisawa City Important Cultural Properties.

  • Address
    411-1 Kawana, Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • TEL
    0466-27-4437 (Shinbayashi Park old folk house)
  • Business Hour
    Open all year round (old folk house and nagayamon are closed from 9:00 to 16:30, closed on Mondays)