Partners information: Miyama is a picturesque region in Kyoto Prefecture that is known for its traditional thatched-roof houses, many of which are still inhabited. With its fresh mountain air, serene atmosphere and old-world charm, Miyama is a lovely place to escape from the larger cities.
The region is made up of 26 hamlets spread out across a 340km2 expanse of mountains and valleys, but the most well-known one is ‘Kayabuki no sato’. Home to 39 traditional thatched-roof houses, the village was designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings in 1993.
The thatched rooves are created using ‘kayabuki’, a grass roofing technique that has been widely used in Japan since ancient times to create various types of structures. The skills, techniques and knowledge of kayabuki were recently registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage along with other traditional architectural skills in Japan.
For a unique and authentic experience, stay overnight in one of these traditional thatched houses. Depending on the place, you can also unwind around an irori (traditional Japanese sunken hearth) and enjoy seasonal food harvested from the nearby fields.
You can also take enjoy wide range of outdoor activities and cultural experiences, either on your own, or via the many tours and workshops on offer. These include farm experiences, traditional cooking & craft workshops and guided walks of the village to learn about its history and the villagers’ sustainable way of life.
Images provided courtesy of KYOTO MIYAMA TOURISM ASSOCIATION