There are 284 historic buildings built during Edo and Meiji Period until Showa Period before WWII preserved around Nishimachi area located on the southern part of Tomonoura. On November 28, 2017, approximately 8.6 hectares of sites were designated as important traditional buildings worthy of preservation by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
The machiya residences in Tomo are constructed in the basic Kirizuma-zukuri style, whereby narrow 272 – 360 cm wide buildings with the ridge (Hirairi) are in direct contact with the outer wall of the neighboring house. Some of the houses share the outer walls with the neighboring house, showing us how it was one of Japan’s most dense towns at that time.

The typical structure of these buildings has the living room near the street. This frontage is often used as a shop (Mise), while the space at the rear of the house is used as a back parlor. The kitchen is elevated away from the dirt floor (Doma) with an annex parlor towards the back side of the kitchen, as well as a central courtyard set in the middle of the house between both parlors.
At the machiya residences they install a flip-up door named “Oodo”. After the Taisho Period, some buildings which were decorated with latticed bay windows began to appear.

The roof is characterized with tile-roofing (Hongawara-buki) and remarkably they made the front-side of the roof longer so that the building itself looks bigger than it actually is. The building looks relatively high as the room on the second floor was designed as a space for living in the Edo Period. Despite this, some of buildings appear smaller than others due to a much lower second floor. Since the heights of the houses are not completely uniformed, it makes Tomo’s townscape special and unique.
Tomonoura reveals a unique, historic townscape dating back to the Edo and Showa eras. Have a leisurely stroll and transport yourself back to the time when this port town was flourishing.

Tomo-cho, Fukuyama City Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings
Address/ Whole area of Nishimachi, and a part of Ishii-cho, Seki-cho, Enoura, Jidoetsucho, Kojoato, Ushirojikojoato as well as Jikusadani in Tomochotomoji, Fukuyama-city
Tel/ +81-84-928-1278(Cultural Promotion Department )