Mt. Zao

Stay Overnight in a Samurai Residence

武家の宿・村田町武家屋敷 | Murata Buke no Yado・Murata-machi Bukeyashiki

A restored nineteenth-century samurai residence where you can spend the night

Photo by Craig MacDonald

Photo by Craig MacDonald

Photo by Craig MacDonald

Photo by Craig MacDonald

  • Murata Buke no Yado is an actual samurai dwelling which once housed retainers of Murata Castle. Thought to have been built in the late Edo period (1860s) as a part of one of the castle town’s residential districts, Buke no Yado is the last remaining structure of its kind in the area.

Craig MacDonald

Today, this historical house has been renovated to serve as a private accommodation. With two spacious tatami bedrooms and a large living room, the house can sleep up to nine guests. When you make a reservation here, you’ll be renting out the whole house, so there’s no need to worry about sharing with other groups. Although you’ll have the place essentially to yourself, there will be a staff member on hand to welcome your group and show you around the house. After that, they’ll leave you to enjoy your stay. A staff member is also just a phone call away, in case you need any assistance. Murata Buke no Yado is a great place to stay for groups of friends travelling together, or for people travelling as a family.

Craig MacDonald

Inside, you’ll find everything provided, with futons prepared as if you were visiting a ryokan, brand-new toilets, a washing machine for your laundry, and a bath and shower. The kitchen too, is fully stocked with all the cookware and dishes you’ll need to cook and dine. You’ll notice that the stovetop is electric, as the use of flame is prohibited on the precious premises. (Sorry, smokers.)

Between the amenities inside the garden outside, the windows and shutters invite you observe firsthand—and I mean you can literally use your hands to observe—the shutters that enclose the place for the night. A feature of such old houses, you will find the shutters have been made in the traditional style, but from new wood. They slide smoothly on a track that brings them out from where they are stored away during the daytime, in a recess of the outer wall. The same brass keywork from older times allows you to control the seal of the window panels which form the main “wall” between the rooms and the garden. The other parts forming the house are just as interesting to observe up close: the exposed beams under the thatched roof, the details of the layout, and the care so evident in the recent restoration. It turns out they do make them like they used to.

Craig MacDonald

Around you, the town of Murata invites exploration on foot or by free rental cycle. Buke no Yado faces a hill that was once the site of the stronghold used for storing whatever goods were on the move from this town to the next. Goods that were to be kept and sold within Murata were housed in kura storehouses like the one in the corner of the Yado’s garden. A short walk away from Buke no Yado is Kura no Machi Nami, a street lined with some of these historical kura, given new life as charming shops and cafes.

Wesley Keppel-Henry

  • Last Update
    October 16, 2023


  • Half a kilometer or so from the Yado, you’ll find the Murata Michi no Eki, a farmer’s market of sorts offering fresh produce and local products of all kinds. Why not take the opportunity to cook up a meal with local ingredients, and sip on some local sake as you enjoy the comforts of this noble abode?


  • Mt. Zao




Murata-nishi 66-3, Murata-machi, Shibata-gun, Miyagi-ken 989-1305


34 minutes by bus from Sendai Station, followed by a 2-minute walk. From Sendai Station bus stop #33, board bus bound for Murata・Zao-machi・Togatta (村田・蔵王町・遠刈田). Alight at Murata-cho Yakuba-mae (村田町役場前) bus stop. Timetable here.




Japanese only






New Year's holiday period: December 28–January 4



Accommodation Details


2 Japanese-style


9 people

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