Experience History in a traditional Japanese house


Preserving the house for future

Kominka Misawaya(古民家 箕澤屋)is a traditional Japanese house built in 1861, at the end of Edo period. “Kominka” is a Japanese term for an old house and “Misawaya” is the name of this particular house.

Like most Kominkas, this one was built from wood, making it particularly vulnerable to fires and earthquakes. Kominka Misawaya survived many disasters over time and managed to retain its original “Doma” (mud room) and “Iroi” (sunken fireplace) which are customary in such structures. Once you step inside, you feel a sense of life and history.

Our goal is to preserve the house and to give visitors from afar a taste of traditional Japanese culture.

Timeline of Misawaya

End of Edo

The present house was built

The present house was built in 1861 after the previous house was burned down.

The prosperous Obara Family

In the era of Edo and Meiji, Misawaya was owned and lived in by the Obara family whose members built various flourishing businesses, including a brewery.


The last member of the Obara family at Misawaya, Chikae, left the house vacant because she was sick.

The first volunteer preservation group

In 1990, the man who owned the house at that time asked National Trust to preserve it. After that, neighbors who liked Misawaya gathered and created the first volunteer group “Misawaya wo Mamoru Kai” preserving the house and organizing public events.

New members take over

We – descendants of the Obara family — took over the house’s preservation from previous volunteer members who were too old to continue. Shortly after, we repaired some parts of the house to make them accessible to the public.

New projects

Inspired by our work, new volunteers gathered and started innovative projects such as spring cleaning and summer events.

Increasing community participation

We have been trying to find sustainable ways to preserve the house to ensure Misawaya will continue to be a valuable place where people can gather to learn about, protect and re-vitalize an essential part of Japanese history.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are going to cancel all public events in 2022 however our core members are still working on the preservation work.



Kominka Misawaya
(Former Obara Family)

542-1 Nakaminowa, Kamiina-gun, Nagano, 399-4601

4-minute walk from JR Iida line Sawa Station(From Shinjuku, appx 3 hours by train)

5-minute drive from Ihoku IC of Chuo-Jidosha-do


We have been posting blog posts about renovation, etc since we took over the house. (Available in Japanese only)