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Nanshan Avenue, the street captured on this webcam in Shimogou, Japan is lined with solemn thatch roof buildings that serve as restaurants, houses, and inns. On the pavement, you will see benches and trees on the online camera. On the live camera, you can see a beautiful forest at the end of the street. It is located in Ouchijuku which is in Shimogou Town in the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan.
Ouchijuku used to be a post town along the Aizu-Nishi Kaido trade route, connecting Aizu with Nikko during the Edo Period. There were several travel restrictions set by the Shogunate at the time which meant that travelers had to walk long distances. Post towns provided travelers with food, accommodation, and rest.
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The Ouchijuku that you see today on live webcam online looks just like it did in the Edo Period. Telephone and electricity lines are buried to preserve this ancient appearance. Nanshan Avenue is unpaved and runs past thatched roof buildings that still provide sustenance and rest today just as it did in the Edo Period. Here you can eat Soba noodles and locally caught char fish roasted on sticks.
The Honjin used to be the main in for high-ranking government officials. This building is also located on the main street and now serves as a museum that is open to the public. Here you can see examples of the elegant, traditional interior of the Edo Period. The collection includes dishes, clothing, and other artifacts.
Ouchijuku’s shrine and temple are also of importance. You can find the temple at the end of the main street up a steep set of stairs. From here, you can see a panoramic view of Nanshan Avenue and its surroundings. It is also this view that is shown on the web camera online here. If you leave the main road and the view from this online cam, you will find a quiet shrine with a unique purification fountain nestled between some cedar trees.
Nanshan Avenue and Ouchijuku is a well-preserved example of life in the Edo Period. This important period in Japan’s history lasted from 1603 – 1867. It started after the Battle of Sekigahara where Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated the Hideyori loyalists and gained immense power and wealth. He was appointed as Shogun by the emperor and started his government in Edo or modern-day Tokyo. His lineage ruled for an astounding 250 years.
During the Edo period, people lived according to a strict caste system where Japanese citizens were classified as samurai warriors, peasants, artisans or merchants. There was no opportunity to change one’s cast.
For a large part of the Edo period, there was limited foreign trade, and foreign books were banned. Japan had limited trade with the Netherlands and China. While Japan was almost completely isolated from the outside world, this was a period of cultural significance as many new, uniquely Japanese art forms were developed.
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