japan's kominka architecture movement in sasayama picks up speed


Witness the breath of fresh air Japanese architects provide for buildings of the past

Traveling through the Japanese countryside, the unique architecture of the old buildings are a refreshing sight to see, especially when visiting from the city. However Architect Kenji Saimoto explained that for many of these old buildings, there is an expiration date. He explained the beginnings of the Kominka (古民家) Movement, a movement which he helped pioneer approximately 13 years ago. The goals of this movement were not only to help restore and prolong the lives of Japan's historical buildings, but to bring back their relevancy into our modern lives.

"A lot of times, people associate old with dirty. But if someone were to look at something and say, 'That looks old,' I think there's value in that." Saimoto explained that the ultimate goal of to maintain as much of the original structure as possible, only replacing sections that absolutely need repairs. He continued, saying that even the black stains above a fireplace express a certain beauty, illustrating that someone once used that fireplace before. 

We found it fascinating that Saimoto himself lives in a restored building, and he gave us a tour of the building. From the irori (囲炉裏) hearth in the center of the living room to the style of the tiled ofuro (bath), his home is teeming with a character and charm you wouldn't find in a typical modern Japanese home.


Enjoy an architecture tour of Sasayama, providing you with a deeper understanding of the Kominka Movement and the different ways in which these historical buildings are being preserved and utilized today. Witness first hand the ways in which architecture has played a role in the revitalization of Sasayama. Please contact us for more information about a tour of the unique architecture throughout the Sasayama and Tamba area. 

Tour through the Sasayama region and discover the architecture movement that's preserving important pieces of the past.

Experience includes:Private guiding, translator, insurance
Duration:Approximately 2 hours
Time:It can be adjusted upon request
Location:Sasayama, Hyogo Prefecture
Price:Please contact us to inquire about pricing

Recommended for people who…

are interested in Japanese traditional architecture
want to learn about the Kominka Movement
want to discover a different side of rural Japan through an architecture tour          

Optional add-ons to make your plan more memorable...

We can provide TRANSPORTATION, PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY, and KIMONO for your experience.

Please inquire.