Monday, 17 September 2012

Ohuchi Juku Thatched Roof Village

It is still September 15, 2012 and we are still on the move. Our guide was hoping to show us many more sights in the Aizuwakamatsu area, but the light is beginning to fail. We could have stayed overnight, but Japanese farmers must look after things at least twice a day, early morning and evening.
Villages such as this are becoming very rare. Even here a few of the buildings have metal roofs. Probably there has been public financial input to maintain the thatched roofs. I suspect the expertise required is not as common as it once was.
We were fortunate to be able to see this place. It was fascinating the way the street curved as we approached the mountain in the background. Every few steps the view would change. Most of the homes, restaurants and other businesses (tourist town) were closed for the day, but we were able to appreciate the beauty and quiet of the street as the sun was setting.
One of the unique features of this street was that the ubiquitous ditches seen in Japan to drain excess water was being used for more than irrigation. People would dam the water and use the cool deep water to refrigerate vegetables and other items.
I also noticed the absence of television antennae on all of the buildings.
The public address tower seen in one the Picasa photographs is a common feature of rural communities. These towers used to be used to announce the presence of a fire by means of a bell at the top. Today I suspect this tower is used to make announcements to the whole village. And possibly as in our village of Komatsuka at 12 noon and 5 pm music is played to indicate lunch time or the end of the working day for the poor 'peasants' out in the "hatake" or farmer's field.

Click on Ohuchi Juku Thatched Roof Village to see photographs on Picasa.


  1. is so beautiful here! I would love to take my husbans for the next trip.
    I grew up in Kyusyu,Japan and I have never been able to visit this town yet.
    It is very different from typical sightseeing in Kyoto or Tokyo in a small coutryside living still exists.
    Hope to follow your blog :-)

  2. Wow! It’s nice to be far away from the urban and be able to live in a place as refreshing as this village. You guys are really lucky. The cool breeze that these thatched roofs can provide are exceptional and I am sure that you and all of the people in that village are able to experience constant relaxation and comfort.

    Laurelle  Baughman

    1. We don't live in this village and arrived quite late in the day. We were unable to see the 'touristy" businesses in most of the buildings. It is one of those places I wold like to see again and for a longer period of time. The thatched roofs have romantic appeal, but are susceptible to rot, earthquake damage and probably fire and are very expensive to maintain/replace.