A grand and dignified residence of an upper-class warrior
The younger brother of the 3rd-generation ruler Lord Tadatoshi Hosokawa, Gyobu Hosokawa, was given 25,000 koku of rice in 1646 to establish his own territory. His residence has become known as a majestic manor with the dignity of an upper-class samurai house which has been recognized by Kumamoto Prefecture as an Important Cultural Property. In 1871, an order was given for the samurai residence to be moved outside of the castle to the Kokai District (currently Higashi Kokai-machi in Kumamoto City) for which the villa was made into the principal residence. The current buildings which had been used as a villa in Kokai were moved over a period of 4 years from 1990 to their current location.
Numerous exhibits to get a glimpse of the lifestyle from those times
Within the large 990 square meters of the residence, once you pass through the lovely Nagoya-mon gate, you will be able to see the Karahafu-style main entrance, the stately foyer with a secondary entrance to the left, the large brazier made of Japanese zelkova in the 14-mat guest room, a clock made in 1784 and many other items brought to the house. Inside the dignified Irikawa-style front parlor which was used to welcome chief vassals and the two-floor Shunshoukaku room which was used as a private chamber for the master of the house, the sliding doors and the T-shaped shelf covered in silver leaf provided a cultured appearance. In another wing of the residence, there is the Kansentei tea room next to the library and a treasury among other rooms. The bathroom and kitchen can also be observed and items including those used in the tea ceremony are on display. Furthermore, there is also a detached room that has been converted into a tea house where you can rest with a cup of matcha tea. During the colorful autumn, the maple trees in the garden take on a lovely tint which makes it a popular spot to see the fall colors. The manor is a place that you should make the effort to see if you come by Kumamoto Castle. Using the combined admission ticket for both the castle and Old Hosokawa Gyobu-tei House is economical.