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.
Some of these old houses with characteristic roofs date back as far as 200 years.© Pascal Bagot
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
Building a house like this one required the skills of some ten workers during a two-month period.© Pascal Bagot
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
A small altar in the village makes it possible to put yourself in the good books with the gods.© Pascal Bagot