Sasayama

Sasayama

Sasayama is located in the middle of the Hyogo region, below Fukuchiyama and Ayabe of Kyoto. In the ancient times, the city was part of the ancient nation of Tanba and has been an important passage to the Sanin region since.
The most important tourist site is the Sasayama Castle O-shoin and Kawara-machi Tsumairi Merchant Houses. In 2015, along with folk songs, buildings and brewery, under the very long name “Tanba Shinoyama Dekansyo Festival – memory of the childhood home”, the site was included as part of Japan’s list of national heritage treasures. Sasayama is known for its yam, Tanba black beans and Tanba chestnuts.
As it is surrounded by mountains, wild boar is abundant and has been used in various famous local dishes. Sasayama’s beef has also won numerous prizes in nation-wide beef competitions. You can count on the quality of the beef originating from here.

Getting there:
Get off at the Sasayama JR station. Head to bus stop no. 2 to take a bus towards “Sasayama City Office”. It takes about 20 minutes to reach downtown. It’s best to get off at Nikaimachi.

Recommended route (4 to 5 hours)
Nikaimachi > Sasayma Castle O-shoin > Aoyama Historical Village > Yasuma Bukeyashiki Museum > Kasuga Taisha > Horyo Brewery > Nikaimachi

Sasayama Castle O-shoin

Sasayama Castle O-shoin Sasayama Castle O-shoin Sasayama Castle O-shoin Sasayama Castle O-shoin

Constructed in 1609, O-shoin was built at the same time as the Sasayma Castle. A fire led to its reconstruction in March 2003. Nowadays, it is known as one of the biggest wooden residential buildings and is comparable to Ninomaru Palace’s Tozamurai-no-ma.

Fee: 400 yen; part of the All access 4-museum pass

Opening hours: 9 am to 5 pm (last entry: 4:30 pm); closed on Mondays

Getting there: get off at Nikaimachi and walk for 10 minutes

Aoyama Historical Village

Aoyama Historical Village Aoyama Historical Village Aoyama Historical Village Aoyama Historical Village Aoyama Historical Village Aoyama Historical Village Aoyama Historical Village Aoyama Historical Village Aoyama Historical Village

After returning the land and people previously under its jurisdiction, the Aoyama clan, ex-feudal lords of Sasayama, constructed this second home. The complex connects three warehouses and a Nagayamon gate. In an effort to promote educational and cultural development, Tadataka Aoyama, 10th generation of the Sasayma Feudal rule and the second family head to the Aoyama clan, built a school for the clan named “Shikudo”. Within the Historical Village you will find many antique books and publications from Shikudo, as well as some 1,200 pieces of printing plates. Experience the Edo era’s culture and lifestyle at this site.

Opening hours: 9 am to 5 pm (last entry 4:30 pm); closed on Mondays

Getting there: get off at Nikaimachi and walk for 10 minutes

Yasuma Bukeyashiki Museum

Yasuma Bukeyashiki Museum Yasuma Bukeyashiki Museum Yasuma Bukeyashiki Museum Yasuma Bukeyashiki Museum Yasuma Bukeyashiki Museum Yasuma Bukeyashiki Museum

Originally a samurai’s residence, this site was turned into a museum and opened to the public in 1995. Inside you will find letters retained by the Yasuma family, as well as other artifacts of daily living. There is a water organ cave inside the courtyard. Don’t forget to stop by to listen to the organ after your visit to the museum.

Opening hours: 9 am to 5 pm (last entry 4:30 pm); closed on Mondays

Getting there: get off at Nikaimachi and walk for 15 minutes

Historical Artifacts Museum

Historical Artifacts Museum Historical Artifacts Museum

Prior to becoming the Historical Artifacts Museum, this building once housed the Sasayama Municipal Courthouse, making it Japan’s oldest wooden courthouse. The courthouse’s appearance has been retained, with its interior now turning into a museum. Main exhibitions include artifacts from the Jokamachi Tanba Sasayama region, such as weapons, lacquered art and paintings.

Opening hours: 9 am to 5 pm (last entry 4:30 pm); closed on Mondays

Getting there: get off at Nikaimachi and walk for 10 minutes

Kawara-machi Tsumairi Merchant Houses

Kawara-machi Tsumairi Merchant Houses Kawara-machi Tsumairi Merchant Houses Kawara-machi Tsumairi Merchant Houses Kawara-machi Tsumairi Merchant Houses

Tsumairi is a type of Japanese traditional architectural structure. Based on the way the roof is constructed, this is further broken down to Hirairi and Tsumairi. Essentially, if you were to stand in front of the entrance, and the ridge located at the tip of the roof runs parallel to you, the building is a Hirairi structure. Alternatively, if the ridge runs perpendicular to where you stand, it is a Tsumairi construction.

The Kawara-machi Tsumairi Merchant Houses have greatly retained the unique features of towns in the Edo era (such as the Senbongoshi, Aragoshi, Sodekabe styles). The whole area has been designated as an “important preservation district of historic buildings” by the country.

Nowadays, a lot of these old houses have been converted into shops, offering a unique shopping experience.


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