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Historic Towns and Districts in Japan

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.

photo of Former Samurai Districts in Japan
photo of Nakamachi District

Chubu | Nagano | Matsumoto

Nakamachi District

Nakamachi District is a well preserved merchant area where the warehouses have been converted to various shops.

photo of Kurashiki Canal Area

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.

photo of Takayama Old Town

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.

photo of Kawagoe Warehouse District

Kanto | Saitama | Kawagoe

Kawagoe Warehouse District

Kawagoe Warehouse District features clay walled warehouse styled buildings known as kurazukuri.

photo of Sawara Town

Kanto | Chiba | Narita

Sawara Town

Sawara is known as “Little Edo” because of its small district of preserved residences from the Edo Period.

photo of Imaicho Town

Kansai | Nara | Asuka

Imaicho Town

Imaicho town is a well-preserved area in current day Asuka, Nara prefecture, Japan.

photo of Yokaichi Old Town

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.