COLUMN

vol.1

Living In Miyama – A Taste Of Satoyama Culture

You may have been drawn to Kyoto’s Miyama district by the idyllic sight of the traditional thatched roof houses against the background of the lush green mountain – a landscape representative of rural Japan.

Kayabuki no Sato – The Thatched Roof Village

A concentration of these traditional Japanese homes can be seen in Kayabuki no Sato, a village in the northern part of the district. Although Kayabuki no Sato (literally “Thatched Roof Village”) is a national heritage site, the thatched roof houses in this area are all private dwellings of Miyama residents. As you walk along the narrow, steep paths of the village, you may feel the delight of hearing voices calling out to one another or the sounds of the kitchen – in other words, the sounds of life, made by the people living in Miyama.

Located about 50 km north of Kyoto’s city center, Miyama expands over an area of approximately 340 km² of which 90% consists of forests. The town comprises several villages and in any of them you can spot “kayabuki no ie” (thatched roof houses), but nowhere is the density of these traditional homes larger than in Kayabuki no Sato.

Living in Miyama

You may find yourself wondering just how is it like to live here in Miyama, an area surrounded by mountains where time seems to have stopped in the shade of the nostalgic thatched roof houses.