History of Suimeiso

The inner japanese-style rooms and the warehouse were built in 1895.
The gate, Japanese-style part, and western style part were built in 1934.
-designed and constructed by Horie-gumi company

The oldest part of the Suimeiso was built in 1895. Then from 1934 to 1937, the president of the former Tsugaru bank (now Aomori bank) bought the place, had added the japanses style part, the western style part and the gate and used it as a second residence called "Genrankyo" (a house where the garden can be observed from every room). He used it until the 2nd world war.

The house, built by Horie Yasuke, is made in Japanese Cypress and has a hip gable roof made in copper. The rooms are constructed according to the Sho-in style so each room has a tokonoma (an alcove for decorations). There is also a fireplace in all the rooms for tea ceremony so you can feel the atomosphere of a traditional Japanese tearoom.

Inside you will find japanese materials and crafts that are hard to find nowadays like : a single board corridor floor of 5,4m long of Keyaki (Japanese Zelkova), another board of 13,5m long of Japanese Cypress with no knots, a coffer ceiling incrusted with gold foil...

There are also doors made with Tsugaru tradional crafts like Nanako laker, and some in design that are no longer producted like the kama-tsubami. You can also find inside 28 sculpures in wood made by Yokoyama Hakutei a famous sculptor from the prefecture of Toyama, who was invited by M. Takaya Eijo, and scuplted during his stay wooden doors and panels.

The garden is made in the Kobori-Enshyuu style, a style coming from Kyoto and rare in Northern Japan. A famous garden artist (Tsuji Chigetsu) came from Kyoto to design the garden on the theme Karesansui, a dry landscape making the illusion of a water landscape.

The harmony between the nature and the decorations is one more thing you can enjoy in Suimeiso.

There are lots of buildings designed by the Horie family in Hirosaki. Some of their Western-style buildings, like the memorial hall of Aomori bank, the former Hirosaki library, the christian church of Hirosaki, are at walking distance from the Suimeiso. You can go and visit them after lunch or before dinner.

Have a look at the tourism information of Hirosaki and Tsugaru.

Suimeiso, registered as Cultural Property

Suimeiso (Former Takaya villa) : The Historical value of the buildings has been recognized and the buildings have been registered as national cultural property.
Please drop in and enjoy the meals as well as the history when you visit Hirosaki for tourism.