Heishindo Heishindô 丙申堂
Area: Central Tsuruoka
Distance from the station: 7 minutes (by car)
The Kazama Family's seventh leader built this National Important Cultural Property in 1896 to serve as both a home for the Kazama family and a shop. The Kazama Family was a merchant family that operated the Shonai Clan as a special cloth and textile supplier.
The house's architecture was widespread at the time. Still, there are currently only two houses with a tiled roof covered in thousands of stones remaining in Sakata and Tsuruoka city, hence its designation as a National Important Cultural Property. In total, there are no less than 40,000 stones on top of Heishindo's roof. This style of roof is called in Japanese Sugikawabuki no Ishioki yane 杉皮葺きの石置屋根 ("Roof made of cedar tree bark shingles topped with stones").
Fifty meters away from the Heishindo Mansion, there is the Muryokoen Shakado 無量光苑釈迦堂, a National Tangle Cultural Property that was built in 1910. Contrary to what its name might suggest, it is not a Buddhist temple. It served as a secondary residence for the Kazama Family and a hostel for the family's guests. It owes its name of Shakado ("Prayer Hall for Gautama Buddha") to the presence of a stone Gautama Buddha statue given by a friend of the Kazama Family.
Stone-topped roof 杉川葺きの石置屋根
This was the common architecture used for building rich families' mansions. However, there is only one remaining in Tsuruoka City.
Entrance fee: 400/adult (200 for children)
Open hours: 9:30 to 16:30
Closed days: July 13th
Address: 1-17 Babachō Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-0035
Phone number: (+81)235-22-0015