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Shinohara House

40 Reviews
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Shinohara House

40 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
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Banda-in-Japan wrote a review Oct 2019
Tokyo, Japan452 contributions176 helpful votes
Although many of the outbuildings on this property burned during WWII, the house and 3 of its stone warehouse survived and have been beautifully preserved. In the house visitors can see how merchants operated their businesses out of the "front room" (the one opening onto the street) and lived behind and above the store. These merchants were wealthy and entertained, so there is a massive "parlor" on the second floor. Alas, like many old Japanese houses, the kitchen and private family areas are not available for viewing. But one of the old warehouses was open and had a great display on how the fireproof walls were constructed and finished off with the local Oya stone. So interesting to see! And super conveniently located, less than 3 minutes from the train station.
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Date of experience: October 2019
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Vadim wrote a review May 2019
Murmansk, Russia19,705 contributions2,417 helpful votes
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I dare say that an ordinary tourist visiting Japan for the first time has no reason to stay in Utsunomiya. Similarly, we ended up in Utsunomiya by accident between the train from Nikko and the train to Hiraizumi. We had a little less than an hour and I asked the information Desk at the station to recommend the nearest attraction. So we were in the Shinohara house. Despite the modest furnishings by European standards, it is a house of wealthy people. Shinohara were traders of fertilizers and miso. Yes, that combination... Their income was equal to the salary of 8000 people. Such inequality... The house can be visited in 15 minutes. An interesting dive into the Japanese way of life of the last century. The ticket costs symbolic 100 yen. Cheap ice-cream... The house miraculously survived typhoons and regular Japanese earthquakes. Although the American bombing of 1945 was the most terrible test. They didn't leave much of Utsunomiya. There are photos about it in this Museum.
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Date of experience: July 2018
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Catalin G wrote a review Jan 2018
6 contributions2 helpful votes
The historic house is worth visiting. Nice example of old Japanese business house. Admission fee is only $1 Unfortunately there is no guide to show the house and explain the history of it. While I visited there was an internal exhibition of sort of Japanese porcelain made small plates beautifully painted. Unfortunately no English information was available about the event.
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Date of experience: November 2017
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AMCTheJetSetter wrote a review Jun 2016
123 contributions32 helpful votes
This house has been skillfully preserved with some of the original furnishings. There's a scale model of the estate in its heyday. You can get a recorded tour in English or other languages that points out interesting facts about the house and activities of the Shinohara family. The garden is beautiful, but only a fragment of its former size. This house is a treasure, and it's a great way to get an education on how an affluent merchant family used to live in traditional times.
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Date of experience: May 2016
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Tony P wrote a review Apr 2015
London, United Kingdom53 contributions43 helpful votes
The house is well preserved/partly renovated and being so close to Utsunomiya Central Station should be a stopover visit enroute to Nikko for example. The building is incredible - a 40cm square main pillar, high ceillings, grand family rooms, plenty of business space on the ground floor and special examples of 'kura' (Stone Store Houses) - the Shinohara family apparently spent the equivalent of more than 1 year's City Budget to build the property and it shows. Even though the house was moved 7 years ago to allow a road widening the site is special. At under $1 per person and with very clear guidance this was a revelation.
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Date of experience: March 2015
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