A legacy of 125 years—built at the end of the 19th century, this machiya-style townhouse was used as a shop, a home, and a tax accountant’s office until undergoing renovations to become a hostel in 2014. It stands in a historic neighborhood 1 minute by foot from Kanazawa Castle. Spring brings sakura cherry blossoms flowering before you, summer the rich greenery of the trees, autumn the crimson of the leaves, and winter the beauty of falling snow.
Directly translated, “shiro” refers to the color white in Japanese. Not only is white an important element in traditional Japanese craft and in Zen Buddhism, the owners also wanted to incorporate the ideas of “margin” and “blank” (both of these words use the Chinese character for "white" in Japanese) into the name to indicate a space that’s unadorned, gentle, and calming.
Shiro is a beautifully renovated historical machiya-style townhouse. Renovations were carried out by a local architect and traditionally-trained craftspeople who preserved the historical aspects of the structure even as they made changes to accommodate to the modern Japanese lifestyle.
Located near the center of town, Shiro is within walking distance of many of Kanazawa’s sights: Kanazawa Castle, of course, but also Kenroku-en Garden, Omi-cho Market, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, the D.T. Suzuki Museum where architecture and Zen philosophy come together, the Higashi Chaya District, and more.
We especially recommend Shiro to the following types of people:
With a maximum capacity of only 10 people, staying at Shiro is like staying at someone’s home. It’s a great option for those with an interest in historical architecture, guests who want a calm and relaxing stay, lovers of art and design, and people who’d like to enjoy a simple, minimalist space.