The Paper Lanterns and white-walled streets of Yame, Fukushima
At the end of the 16th century, there used to be a castle in Yame city. Around where the castle was built, they constructed a bustling town full of shops. Although the castle is now gone, the buildings that date back to the Edo Era (1603-1868) remain to this day. This White Walled Street (Shirakabenomachi) is recognized today by the Japanese government as a traditional architecture preservation district. There are many shops in these white-walled streets including cafes, bakeries, and shops that sell traditional art like paper lanterns. There are also buildings such as Fukushima Hachimangu, a large and beautiful shrine that has stood in Yame since 1661. Every September, a large paper lantern and doll festival is held in Yame. Yame city is known for doll making, and during the festival, they have a fantastic doll show with live traditional Japanese music. Unfortunately,because of the situation with COVID-19, the festival was canceled this year. Despite the festival being canceled, the shrine was decorated beautifully, and visitors were able to spend some quiet moments there and pray for happy days to come.