Artchitecture in Japan, has traditionally been typified by wooden structures, elevated slightly off the ground, with tiled or thatched roofs, seen as Shrine, Temple, and Castle. There, you can see the unique carpet (tatami), and sliding door (fusuma), chairs and high tables were not widely used until the 20th century.
Kiso Valley in Nagano prefecture is one of Japans most beautiful and easy day treks. With much history, strong tourism and many points of interest, it makes for a great day or two trip and a good detour when traveling between the Kansai area toward Nagano’s major cities of Nagano and Matsumoto.
Shimabara town is overlooked by the sloping Mt. Inou. Row upon row of houses have retreated to its mountainside since times of class distinction. Significantly lower yes righteously disposed is the towering Shimabara castle. A short stroll to the samurai residence, the bukeyashiki of Shimabara, shows that those lower than the daimyo lord once lived higher than him.