Nariaki Tokugawa who designed the Kairukuen plum garden also had Kobuntei built as a place for nobility to live and entertain. It could also be used as a backup dwelling in case there was a problem with the castle. It is a very traditional building, three stories high with stairs that are extremely steep. There is a nearby teahouse and waiting area for the teahouse. The rooms are relatively small tatami floored rooms with beautiful murals on the sliding doors/walls. One rice straw tatami is 175 by 88cm. One room might be as small as six tatami mats. The roofs are made with very thick straw/grass bundles and the exterior walls with a unique brown coloured plaster reinforced with bamboo laths. One room displays a traditional tokonoma wall used to display artwork, scrolls of shodo (Japanese writing) or ikebana (flower arrangements). Another room has a small square pit in the floor that would have contained a charcoal fire to possibly heat a tea pot as well as warm the occupants of the room. One room has a moon window or door offering a view of the outside garden. Views of the garden from different angles can be seen from many areas of the building.
To view photographs please see Picasa at Kobuntei.