Join a Virtual Tour! Historical Lifestyles and Travel Culture in Hida-Takayama

The Kusakabe Heritage House in Hida-Takayama is an exceptionally well-preserved example of traditional Japanese architecture. This one-hour virtual tour, available for only 500 yen, introduces historical Hida-Takayama through the story of the lifestyles of those who used to live here.

2021.09.29

Online Tour of a Heritage Folk House in Hida-Takayama

Join a Virtual Tour! Japanese Culture and Lifestyle at Kusakabe Folk Museum

Picture courtesy of Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum
The Hida-Takayama area is known for its well-preserved historical townscapes, with wooden structures dating back to the second half of the Edo Period (1603 - 1868). This area flourished as a tenryo, a province that received the direct protection of the shogun. Many of the beautiful merchant houses built during that era have been preserved to this day.

Join a Virtual Tour! Japanese Culture and Lifestyle at Kusakabe Folk Museum

Picture courtesy of Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum
ssAt the Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum, hosted in a heritage house of this historical district, where visitors can get a glimpse of the traditional Japanese lifestyle of this region.

The building itself is an excellent example of Hida-Takayama's unique wooden architecture, and is an Important Tangible Cultural Asset of Japan. The exhibits inside showcase local folk crafts and items that belonged to the merchant families that lived here in the past.

Join a Virtual Tour! Japanese Culture and Lifestyle at Kusakabe Folk Museum

Picture courtesy of JAPONISME

Starting from September 19, 2021, the Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum and the culture of historical Hida-Takayama can be experienced through a series of online tours! The participation fee is only 500 yen (4.55 USD). The one-hour tour is held in English and introduces the rich history and culture with exciting details and examples. You'll definitely want to visit in person after participating!

Book the Kusakabe Heritage House Virtual Tour!

We'll introduce the features of the Kusakabe Heritage House and tour highlights below.

Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum: A Treasure Trove of Japanese History and Culture

Join a Virtual Tour! Japanese Culture and Lifestyle at Kusakabe Folk Museum

Picture courtesy of Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum

The history of the Kusakabe district in Hida-Takayama goes back at least three centuries. This group of impressive wooden houses was created by local merchants, with the shogun's blessing. Construction techniques handed down from generation to generation by a carpenters' guild with roots in the Nara period (710 - 784) were employed in building these homes.

The Kusakabe Heritage House, currently the home of the Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum, was built about 150 years ago, at the beginning of Japan's modern age. This particular house has some structural elements that reflect the spirit of that age, marked by a desire to take advantage of the latest trends and western architectural methods that were in vogue at the time.

Join a Virtual Tour! Japanese Culture and Lifestyle at Kusakabe Folk Museum

Picture courtesy of Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum

Nevertheless, the distinctive Japanese elements of this building invite us to imagine the lifestyle of those who used to live here.

The family would gather around the irori (sunken hearth) on cold evenings and chat while something delicious simmered over the fire; they would bow each morning in front of the small Shinto altar perched high on the wall, and clasp their hands in prayer each evening in front of the Buddhist altar, remembering their dear departed. They would have guests over for tea or a business chat while admiring the inner garden.

Join a Virtual Tour! Japanese Culture and Lifestyle at Kusakabe Folk Museum

Picture courtesy of Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum

Every corner of the Kusakabe Heritage House appeals to the imagination and makes it easy to understand how wealthy Japanese merchants used to live. This house-turned-museum provides an encounter with a worldview and values that stand at the core of Japanese culture.

Virtual Tour Highlights

Join a Virtual Tour! Japanese Culture and Lifestyle at Kusakabe Folk Museum

Picture courtesy of JAPONISME

The Kusakabe Heritage House Virtual Tour is held by JAPONISME, a service dedicated to introducing Japanese culture to international audiences through guided tours.

The tour is interactive and participants have plenty of opportunities to ask questions about what they see on the screen. There are even quizzes throughout the tour that will help you remember fun facts about the culture of Hida-Takayama!

During the first half of the tour, the English-speaking guide will briefly introduce the historical context of the house. The fact that it was preserved in such a good condition for more than a century is proof of the carpenters' highly advanced skills, handed down for more than 1,000 years. Participants are shown images and videos from the Kusakabe Heritage House, as well as old woodblock prints that show how the city looked during the Edo period (1603-1868).

Join a Virtual Tour! Japanese Culture and Lifestyle at Kusakabe Folk Museum

Picture courtesy of JAPONISME

The second half of the tour focuses on specific elements of traditional culture that can be observed at the Kusakabe Heritage House. The current director of the Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum is featured in an interview introducing some of the precious folk crafts that can be viewed on display.

The museum is currently hosting an exhibition about travel culture in the Edo period (1603 - 1868). Tour participants will be able to see old maps and carefully crafted items that were used by travelers in the past, such as talismans worn by travelers for safety on the road. These show the refined aesthetic sense of the merchants who used to live in Hida-Takayama in the Edo (1603-1868) and early Meiji (1868-1912) periods.

During breaktime, participants will be able to listen to a song performed by a local artist and entertainer. With lyrics written in the Hida-Takayama dialect and a playful melody, the song reflects the serene and open spirit of Hida-Takayama locals.

Join a Virtual Tour! Japanese Culture and Lifestyle at Kusakabe Folk Museum

Picture courtesy of JAPONISME

The famous Takayama Festival, held twice a year in this region, will also be introduced through precious historical pictures. The gorgeous festival floats are skillfully made and preserved by local artisans. Each float is a treasure in itself!

The virtual tour of Kusakabe Heritage House is a chance to learn about important aspects of Japanese culture from a dedicated guide, all while viewing authentic objects up close. It is an enriching and extremely fun experience that will make you want to visit Hida-Takayama yourself during your next trip to Japan. This region is easy to access from Nagoya or the Kyoto-Osaka area, and is easy to include as a day trip during a visit to western Japan.

View details and book the Kusakabe Heritage House Virtual Tour!

*This virtual tour is offered with the support of The Nippon Foundation

Join a Virtual Tour! Japanese Culture and Lifestyle at Kusakabe Folk Museum

Sponsored by Kusakabe Folk Crafts Museum

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.