In 1980s, when Japanese towns were following the trend to be modernized and adapted to a new era, Obuse stayed quiet and somehow reserved the authentic taste of ancient Japan.
With a population of 10,000 inhabitants, Obuse is a small town in Japan. It is located in Kamitakai District in northern Nagano Prefecture. From Tokyo Station, you can take the shinkansen to Nagano Station (about an hour and a half). And then it takes about 26 minutes to arrive at Obuse via limited express Nagano Densetsu train.
Hokusai, a renowned Edo Period (1603-1867) woodblock painter, who is best known for his ukiyo-e woodblock print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa (check it out at our another article), spent the later years of his life in Obuse with his patron and student, Takai Kozan, a wealthy local merchant and art enthusiast. Takai was said to be a key contributor to help Obuse reserve the ancient looking and old structure against the trend mentioned earlier.
Efforts and sacrifice made. The city today has a lot of unchanged charm to remind visitors of how Japan originally looked like. Its old center is still full of luxurious old houses, which are not common in any other areas in Japan. Not only the architecture, the designs of local stores' signs are worth admiring, along with the access to snow monkey for adventurers and definitely abundant Japanese food and alcohol options. Find more travel details at Obuse Guide by Japan Visitor
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