Mansions created by bengara producers during the 18th century

Hirokane-tei & Nishie-tei Mansions

visit west japan, visitwestjapan, okayama prefecture
Photographer | Takuma Kimura

 

Located in the historic town of Fukiya, the Hirokane-tei and Nishie-tei are mansions created by bengara producers during the 18th century. With the discovery of bengara in local copper mines in 1707, the village of Fukiya prospered, evident in the grandeur of the two mansions owned by merchants during the Edo period.

Hirokane-tei is a mansion built in 1810, located 3 km south of Fukiya Village. With an impressive 2,600 square meters of property, the building has 56 rooms in total. Due to its beautiful Edo period architecture, the house was used for filming the masterpiece “Yatsuhakamura”, an adaptation of the famous historical novel by Yokomizo Seishi.

Nishie-tei is another mansion in Fukiya, beautifully preserved since its completion in 1715. The grand property was built using the wealth acquired through the discovery of bengara in the village. The Nishie family has lived in the house for generations, and the structure is still to this day owned by a descendant of the original family.

Both impressive Edo era mansions are open to the public daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm throughout the year (note: Hirokane-tei’s hours are 10:00am to 4:00 pm during the summer months). For a nominal entrance fee, visitors gain access to not only a well preserved house but also to a glimpse of the lifestyle of the families who helped define life in this isolated part of Takahashi City.

Hirokane-tei

Address: 2710 Nakano, Nariwa Town, Takahashi City, Okayama Prefecture

Access: From JR Okayama Station, take the JR Hakubi Line to JR Bitchu Takahashi Station. Take the Bihoku bus from JR Bitchu Takahashi Station bound for Fukiya Furusato Village (about a 60 minute bus ride). It is roughly a 30 minute walk from the bus stop to the residence.

Nishie-tei

Address: 1604 Sakamoto, Nariwa Town, Takahashi City, Okayama Prefecture

Access: From JR Okayama Station, take the JR Hakubi Line to JR Bitchu Takahashi Station.Take the Bihoku bus from JR Bitchu Takahashi Station bound for Fukiya Furusato Village (about a 60 minute bus ride). It is about a 5 minute walk from Fukiya Furusato Village’s main street.

 

About the Area

Takahashi City is a place that requires several days to even scratch the the surface of the diversity of its culture, landscape and people. As the city center is easily accessible by train that is the best place to start.

Right next to the station is the Takahashi City Library, which was conceived as a gathering place for the 21st century by town planners. An overwhelming success, the space draws locals and visitors from across a great distance.

Central Takahashi is also the home of the historic district, which includes the former residences of the samurai who served the lord of Bitchu Matsuyama Castle.

The castle occupies the highest elevation of any in Japan and is a challenging hike from the bottom of its access road. Actually reaching the castle gate requires a relatively steep climb up steps that have been set into the mountainside.

There are many options when its comes to getting outside the city but if you have limited time Fukiya Furusato Village and Nariwa are good choices. Fukiya is a historic bengara (iron oxide) mining town where the reddish-brown pigment takes on many forms. Nariwa is location of the Tadao Ando designed Nariwa Museum of Art.

Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
3) Items not included in tour price: Transportation costs not included in itinerary, optional tour fees, excess baggage fees, any fees of a personal nature (phone bills, meal costs, etc.) Items excluded from the tour will be stated in the tour information.
4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
Cancellation Fee No charge 20% of tour fee 30% of tour fee 40% of tour fee 50% of tour fee 100% of tour fee