During the Edo Period merchants were considered the lowest of the four social castes. However, many of the merchants became very wealthy when the Edo Period came to an end. Merchant districts can identified by the kura (warehouse) buildings and shops lining the streets.
Chubu | Nagano | Matsumoto
Nakamachi District is a well preserved merchant area where the warehouses have been converted to various shops.
Chugoku | Okayama | Kurashiki
Kurashiki Canal Area
Kurashiki Canal Area was an important part of distributing rice in large quantities and is also known as the Bikan Historical Quarter.
Chubu | Gifu | Takayama
Takayama Old Town
Takayama Old Town is a beautifully preserved district with businesses that have been around for more than a hundred years.
Kanto | Saitama | Kawagoe
Kawagoe Warehouse District
Kawagoe Warehouse District features clay walled warehouse styled buildings known as kurazukuri.
Kanto | Chiba | Narita
Sawara is known as “Little Edo” because of its small district of preserved residences from the Edo Period.
Kansai | Nara | Asuka
Imaicho town is a well-preserved area in current day Asuka, Nara prefecture, Japan.
Shikoku | Ehime | Uchiko
Yokaichi Old Town
This area features 90 buildings from the Edo period style to the early Meiji period from wealth accumulated by the wax trade this town was known for.