Kiragawa Preserved Townscape

吉良川の町並み(Kiragawa No Machinami)
Kiragawa: Step back in time among Kochi-style architectural gems
The main streets of Kiragawa, a national preservation area for traditional buildings, are lined with white-walled homes and storehouses (kura) built during the Meiji (1868–1912) and Taisho (1912–1926) periods.
The unusual architectural style is influenced by the town’s position along Kochi’s wilder eastern coast. The area is often hit by strong typhoons, so the traditional buildings are cleverly designed with Kochi-specific features to protect the structures from the fierce wind and rain. The walls are coated in bright white Tosa plaster for waterproofing, and you will see that the outer walls are lined with rows of water-draining roof tiles, which help protect the plaster below and give the buildings a rather charming, frilly aspect.
After exploring the little town and getting a taste of Kiragawa’s heyday as a major producer of fine binchotan (white charcoal), why not duck in for a drink at one of the cafés housed in the white-walled buildings, or perhaps spend the night in retro accommodation at one of the inns?
Kiragawa is particularly lovely during the Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival) season, which takes place on March 3rd. Around 80 houses open their doors to showcase elaborate displays of delicate dolls, representing members of the Imperial court dressed in colorful Heian period (794–1185) clothing.
Culture & Art
Address 高知県室戸市吉良川町 (Kiragawa cho, Muroto City, Kochi Prefecture, Japan)
Telephone Number 0887-25-3670
Kiragawa Streets Preservation Association
DirectionsShort walk from Kiragawa Gakko Dori bus stop (Kochi Tobu Kotsu Bus)
Map Code421 282 249*41

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