Sea Merchants’ Residences in Toyama

From mid 17th Century till 19th Century, there was a famous sea route called Kitamaebune (which literally means the “north-bound ships”) and those sea merchants who sails along this sea routes made profits.  The ports of this sea route became prosperous because of the lucrative sea trade and there were many big merchants’ residences in those port towns along Japan Sea.

Iwase Town in Toyama is one of those sea ports where wealthy merchants were active in those days.  They send rice from Hokuriku Region such as Toyama and Niigata to Hokkaido by ships and on the way back they brought sea weeds and herrings down to Osaka.  Several sailings would make fortunes although it also involved danger.  The residence of Merchant Mori still remains in Iwase and is open to the public.

Apart from Mori’s residence, the street of Iwase still has townscape of those residences of sea merchants and you can feel the prosperity of those days.

Even the bank in this street utilizes the facade of the old residence.

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Access to Mori’s Residence

Address: 108 Iwase Oomachi, Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture
Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm (closed at the end of the year and New Year)
Transportation: take Toyama Light Rail from JR Toyama Station and get off at Iwasehama Station.  12-minute walk from there.

 

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