Warm Welcome in a Small Village

Local delicacies served in front of a irori fireplace!

By Masayoshi Hirose    - 1 min read

Gokayama in Toyama Prefecture is one of the rare places with really heavy snow in Japan. You can't experience snow like this every day, can you? Seated at an irori fireplace, I listened to a story of how Ainokura village changed from a small, isolated, unknown village into a World Heritage Site, as told by the traditional inn's friendly host and hostess while they served me a cup of tea and cake. It was an interesting story! Later, I enjoyed a dinner which consisted of local delicacies, accompanied by many glasses of sake. I was filled with contentment... I wished time would stop on that night, by the warm irori fireplace, with cell-phone and TV gone forever.

World Heritage Site: Ainokura Gassho-zukuri Villages 1. Winter in Small Village of Toyama 2. Warm Welcome in a Small Village 3. Good Old Japan in Toyama

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Takako Sakamoto

Takako Sakamoto @takako.sakamoto

I was born in and grew up in Tokushima prefecture, and have lived in many places since then: Nishinomiya, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Fukuoka and Fukui. I am currently living in Yokohama City. All the places I lived, all the places I visited, I have loved dearly. The historical places where people lived, loved, suffered, and fought - places where I can still hear their heartbeats - mesmerize me. I'd like to retrace the footsteps of the people who lived in Japan a long long time ago, and introduce to you what they left behind on this soil.  

Original by Masayoshi Hirose