‘Ouchi-juku’in Fukushima Prefecture, an old post town on ‘Aizu-nishi-kaido’ highway also known as ‘Shimotuke-kaido’ that runs between’Aizu-wakamatsu’ and ‘Nikko’, flourished in Edo Period toward the end of the 19th century.
As a secluded stage in a mountainous region or a distribution center for rice, this town thrived in former times, however it had faded in a gradual manner since the Meiji Restration, Japan’s modernization times, because of its location far away from a new main highway of this region. In order to maintain the thatched old houses, ‘Ouchi-juku’ was designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings following ‘Tsumago-juku’ in Gifu Prefecture and ‘Narai-juku’ in Nagano Prefecture. The numerous traditional thatched buildings in the picture delude visitors into thinking that they are standing in the old days from the 17th to the 19th century.
By Masahisa Takaki.
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