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Home » Archives » June 2005 » Traditional Towns and Villages in Japan

Traditional Towns and Villages in Japan

Saturday, June 11, 2005 Posted: 11:11 PM JST

Photos of Japan by Kjeld DuitsA growing list of villages and towns in Japan that still look traditional. Most of these are authentic, some have been rebuilt, all of them are impressive. Feel free to add your suggestions and impressions by using the comment form.

AKITA PREFECTURE (5) (number relates to map below)

Kakunodate -- Beautifully preserved samurai district with weeping cherry trees -- photo

FUKUSHIMA PREFECTURE (7)

Shimogo-machi, Ouchijuku (nearby Yunokami Onsen) -- Houses with thatched roofs -- photo

SAITAMA PREFECTURE (11)

Kawagoe -- Massive Edo style warehouses, housing stores and restaurants -- photo

CHIBA PREFECTURE (12)

Sawara -- Edo style merchant town along the Ono River, especially famous for 300-year-old float festivals -- photo

NIIGATA PREFECTURE (15)

Ogi-machi, Shukunegi -- Small traditional port town -- photo

TOYAMA PREFECTURE (16)

Taira-mura, Ainokura -- Traditional mountain village
Kamitaira-mura, Suganuma -- Traditional mountain village
Shirakawa-go, Gokayama (Gifu and Toyama Prefecture) -- Farms with thatched roofs (Gassho-zukuri)

ISHIKAWA PREFECTURE (17)

Nagamachi, Kanazawa -- Narrow lanes and old mansions in Kanazawa's former samurai district

FUKUI PREFECTURE (18)

Kumakawa Juku -- Traditional juku (waystation) on the Saba Kaido (Mackerel Road). Mackerel salted in Wakasa was carried to Kyoto on merchants' shoulders. By the time they arrived, the fish was delicious.
Sancho, Obama -- Streets lined with senbon-goji latticed homes.

YAMANASHI PREFECTURE (19)

Hayakawa-cho Akazawa -- Mountain village and post town -- photo

NAGANO PREFECTURE (20)

Tsumago -- Edo Period juku (waystation) on the Nakasendo highway -- photo
Magome -- Edo Period juku (waystation) near Tsumago
Narai -- Edo Period juku (waystation) -- photo
Hakuba-mura Aoni -- Traditional mountain village
Unno -- Edo Period juku (waystation), sericulture -- photo

GIFU PREFECTURE (21)

Hida-Takayama -- Traditional castle town with merchant houses, temples and a reproduction of a traditional mountain village
Shirakawa-go, Gokayama (Gifu and Toyama Prefecture) -- Farms with thatched roofs (Gassho-zukuri)

MIE PREFECTURE (24)

Oharaimachi, Ise -- Street with Edo Period style buildings, leading to the Inner Shrine of Ise
Seki Juku, Kameyama -- Edo Period juku (waystation)

SHIGA PREFECTURE (25)

Gokasyou-cho Kondo -- Traditional village with houses with thatched roofs
Omi-Hachiman -- Traditional merchant town

KYOTO PREFECTURE (26)

Ine-cho -- This town on the Tango Peninsula has many funaya (boat houses) dating from the Edo and Showa Period
Miyami -- More than 300 farm houses with kayabuki (thatched) roofs
Sagano, Kyoto -- Hidden in the back of Arashiyama, a street with lots of Edo Period houses and shops
Shake-machi (Kamigamo), Kyoto -- Traditional homes of officials or servants in Kamigoma Shrine
Shinbashi, Kyoto -- Traditional restaurants along river with weeping willows
Gion, Kyoto -- Traditional geisha district with tea houses, nearby Yasaka Shrine
Sannen-zaka and Kiyomizu-zaka, Kyoto -- Old houses on paved sloping streets leading to Kiyomizudera Temple
Ishibe-Koji, Kyoto -- Small alley tying Shimogawara-Dori and Kodaiji-Dori

OSAKA PREFECTURE (27)
Tondabayashi Jinaimachi -- A 450-year old town with 200 traditional buildings just 20 km from Osaka's center. Designated as an important historical district and heritage site.

NARA PREFECTURE (29)

Naramachi, Nara -- Former merchant district with traditional warehouses and residential buildings
Imai-cho, Kashihara -- Compact village with some 700 Edo style houses, mainly traditional machiya (town houses). Highly recommended

OKAYAMA PREFECTURE (33)

Hattoji -- A small picturesque mountain village used as the setting of Shohei Imamura's "Black Rain"
Kurashiki -- Warehouses, shops and merchant houses along a willow lined canal. Beautiful

HIROSHIMA PREFECTURE (34)

Yutaka-machi, Mitarai -- Port town on small island with beautiful houses of the Edo Period -- photo

YAMAGUCHI PREFECTURE (35)

Jokamachi, Hagi -- Beautifully preserved white walls and wooden gates of former samurai mansions

TOKUSHIMA PREFECTURE (36)

Mima City, Wakimachi -- Merchant town. Historic buildings with fire-barrier outer walls, called "udatsu", of prosperous merchants who traded in "ai" (Japanese Indigo) and salt -- photo

KAGAWA PREFECTURE (37)

Shiwaku-Honjima-cho, Marugame -- Port town on island with Edo and Meiji style houses

EHIME PREFECTURE (38)

Uchiko-cho Yokaichi-gokoku -- Edo style merchant town -- photo

SAGA PREFECTURE (41)

Yoshinogari Historical Park -- Restored moated village from the Yayoi Period

MIYAZAKI PREFECTURE (45)

Hyuga, Mimitsu -- Port town

KAGOSHIMA PREFECTURE (46)

Chiran -- Samurai houses

OKINAWA PREFECTURE (47)

Taketomi Island -- Traditional style one-storied houses with stone walls and red tiled roofs along white sand roads

Prefectural map of Japan

01 Hokkaido; 02 Aomori; 03 Iwate; 04 Miyagi; 05 Akita; 06 Yamagata;
07 Fukushima; 08 Ibaraki; 09 Tochigi; 10 Gunma; 11 Saitama; 12 Chiba;
13 Tokyo; 14 Kanagawa; 15 Niigata; 16 Toyama; 17 Ishikawa; 18 Fukui;
19 Yamanashi; 20 Nagano; 21 Gifu; 22 Shizuoka; 23 Aichi; 24 Mie; 25 Shiga;
26 Kyoto; 27 Osaka; 28 Hyogo; 29 Nara; 30 Wakayama; 31 Tottori; 32 Shimane; 33 Okayama; 34 Hiroshima; 35 Yamaguchi; 36 Tokushima; 37 Kagawa; 38 Ehime; 39 Kochi; 40 Fukuoka; 41 Saga; 42 Nagasaki; 43 Kumamoto; 44 Oita; 45 Miyazaki; 46 Kagoshima; 47 Okinawa

Keywords: special_report culture_news travel_news

Related Links:

  1. Links to sites about traditional Japanese architecture
  2. List of traditional cityscapes in Japan (Japanese)

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