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Miyama , Japan

Two hours by car from Kyoto, the village of Miyama is a window onto the rural Japan of the past.

© Pascal Bagot
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Miyama Japan
By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Discover Miyama

Two and a half hours from Kyoto by car, the village of Miyama offers a window onto the rural Japan of the past. Planted at the foot of the mountains and surrounded by cedar forests that the locals use for trade, the village was given National Heritage status in 1993 for its characteristic traditional houses with straw roofs. Although most of them are still inhabited, it is possible to visit the one that was turned into a museum. More than 200 years old, the different rooms make it possible to discover how families of up to three generations lived their daily lives. Although it once took 2 months (including 1 just to make the roof) and a dozen or so people to build a house like this, this know-how is long gone, which makes the village even more valuable.

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Miyama , Miyama, the Japan of the past , Japan
Miyama, the Japan of the past

Some of these old houses with characteristic roofs date back as far as 200 years.

© Pascal Bagot
Miyama , Miyama Museum , Japan
Miyama Museum

This house serves as a museum to provide insight into how its inhabitants once lived. Here, the main room has an area for warming up and cooking.

© Pascal Bagot
Miyama , A long-term job , Japan
A long-term job

Building a house like this one required the skills of some ten workers during a two-month period.

© Pascal Bagot
Miyama , One house, several generations , Japan
One house, several generations

The 'kamon' on the façade of the house is the family's emblem. Up to three generations would live under the same roof.

© Pascal Bagot
Miyama , Nature and divinities , Japan
Nature and divinities

A small altar in the village makes it possible to put yourself in the good books with the gods.

© Pascal Bagot
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