By looking at this small house, squeezed between towers and with its concrete facade, it is quite hard to realize that this is, in fact, a machiya, a traditional Japanese townhouse. Actually, this is a kanban kenchiku ("signboard architecture"), a traditional house with a modern facade, part of a growing trend during the last decades in Kyoto.
The old style wooden lattice and mushiko mado windows were replaced by modern structures, and it is estimated that more than 80% of the still existing machiya have lost at least part of their original, traditional elements.
Why this trend? The main problem is that, although highly valued, the traditional houses are expensive to maintain in the today’s world, not to mention the fire prevention and the earthquake resistance concerns…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: