A Wealthy Kitamaebune Shipowner’s Residence
The Kitamaebune were merchant ships that once travelled across the Sea of Japan. The town of Hashitate was home to some of the wealthiest shipowners and captains who had amassed huge fortunes from the Kitamaebune trade. Zorokuen is a quintessential residence of a wealthy shipowner in Hashitate, featuring a red-tiled roof and a spacious, lavish interior. It is also noted for its beautiful garden with a fascinating collection of fine stones and rocks of many varieties from all over the country. In addition to the building and garden, the collections of crafts on display give an idea of the kind of wealthy lifestyle that the shipowner family enjoyed at that time.