Similar to the towns developed around castles, there are towns in Japan developed around the large temples or shrines. Called monzen-machi “temple towns", they developed during the Edo Period, when pilgrimage became popular in Japan and were originally created to cater for pilgrims: restaurants, inns, local product stores.
A very good place to experience a traditional monzen-machi is close to Tokyo, in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, where the street between the train stations and the Naritasan Temple preserves the charm of the old temple town…
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Yesterday’s Japan Photo: