The Architectural Town of Yusuhara

建築の町梼原 (Kenchiku-no-Machi Yusuhara)
A town above the clouds with surprising architectural marvels
Yusuhara is a town nestled in the north-west of Kochi, on the southern slope of the Shikoku Mountains. Lushly forested, the Yusuhara and Shimagawa rivers that flow through the area are the sources of the clear water of the Shimanto River. The town boasts over 1100 years of history, and native Yusuharians are proud of the heritage of the Tsunetaka Fujiwara families who once governed the region.

This town of just over 3300 people packs a greater punch than one would expect. One big draw are the six buildings designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma. The beautiful structures are all made from locally-sourced wood, and it is said that Kuma’s inspiration to start using wood as his main material was prompted by a visit to the town’s retro theater, Yusuhara-za. The Yusuhara Town Library is particularly magical, and sure to enchant any bibliophile or architecture enthusiast.

Along the main road you will find a number of small statues celebrating the town’s tradition of kagura (sacred music and dance), elegant wooden bridges and pretty houses, along with some excellent coffee shops, bakeries and the Yusuhara Marche’ (another Kuma creation!) which offers both meals and a shop selling local delicacies.

On the edge of the main street through town you will find Mishima Shrine, with an elegant roofed wooden bridge leading to the entrance. Beside the shrine is a section of the Dappan no Michi trail, which follows the route former samurai Ryoma Sakamoto used to escape from the Tosa domain. This pleasant hike takes you through part of the forests that cover over 90% of the town’s acreage, and passes near Kusabuki, a popular “farmer’s restaurant” housed in a traditional thatched farmhouse.

As if that were not enough, Yusuhara is also the gateway to Shikoku Karst National Park, where the Tengu Highlands offer great high-altitude hiking and stargazing.
Culture & Art
Address 高知県高岡郡梼原町1426-2 ゆすはら・夢・未来館1F(Yusuhara Yume Miraikan 1st floor, 1426-2 Yusuhara Town, Takaoka Gun, Kochi Prefecture, Japan)
Telephone Number 0889-65-1187
Yusuhara Kumonoue Tourism Association
ClosedDecember 29 to January 3
Directions●About 1 hr 15 min drive from Susaki-chuo IC on Kochi Expressway
Website Website
Map Code392 801 555*85

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