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Traditional Farmhouse Hamlet in Maezawa

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Traditional Farmhouse Hamlet in Maezawa


Explore a rural hamlet with uniquely shaped thatched roof houses in Fukushima

Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association



In the Minamiaizu area of Fukushima Prefecture lies Maezawa, a historical hamlet enclosed by mountains. During the winter, it used to be secluded for months due to heavy snowfall, so inhabitants developed their own distinct culture.

Maezawa originated as a samurai settlement in the 16th century, and today is still an active farming community where past and present converge.

The unusually shaped houses, called magariya, are the symbol of the hamlet. This building style developed so villagers could keep their horses safe and warm during the cold winter months, making the houses in an L-shape to include the stables. The hamlet was designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings in 2011.

Admire the flower fields and traditional houses and learn about the area at the Maezawa Shuraku Museum, located in a preserved home. Be sure to climb up to the viewing spot to see the hamlet from above.

Note that Maezawa cannot be visited from November to early April due to snowfall, but it is particularly scenic in late April for cherry blossom viewing and October for the fall colors.


How to get there


From Tokyo Station, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Koriyama (about 1 hour 20 minutes), then switch to the JR train to Aizu-Wakamatsu (about 1 hour 15 minutes). The hamlet is a 2-hour drive from central Aizu-Wakamatsu City. Alternatively, take the Aizu bus from Aizu-Kogen Ozeguchi Station (on the Aizu Railway) bound for Oze-Numayama Pass and get off at the Maezawa-Mukai bus stop (about 40 minutes).


Maezawa, Minamiaizu-machi, Minamiaizu-gun, Fukushima-ken


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