Housed in a former merchant’s house from 1879, the Kusakabe Folk Museum in Takayama protects and displays a collection of Japanese folk art, and while the displays are certainly worth a visit, it’s the architecture of the building itself that draws most visitors.
The original structure was once the home of the Kusakabe family, a successful merchant family during the Edo Period (1603-1868). After the original was destroyed by fire in 1875, Japanese architect Jisuke Kawashiri rebuilt it using the same style as its predecessor. The two-story building, constructed largely from Japanese Cypress, features exposed beams, a gently sloping roof, delicate latticework windows and a dark brown finish created by mixing soot into the paint. In 1966 the house was designated as a National Important Cultural Property.
The Kusakabe Folk Museum is open to the public seven days a week and charges and admission fee. It’s located within walking distance of JR Takayama Station.