Narada Village

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Narada Village has more than 1,300 years of history and is the northernmost settlement in the municipality of Hayakawa. Enclosed by mountains and considered an unexplored region for most of its history, the village has long been associated with folk customs, agriculture, and myth.

The entire settlement was relocated onto higher ground in the 1960s due to construction of the Nishiyama Dam, but a wander up the hill from this spot still evokes the atmosphere of the original village. Clues to the lifestyles of long-gone residents are scattered all around, while mystery still pervades the air. Narada Village nowadays falls within the UNESCO-designated Minami Alps Biosphere Reserve.

The eighth-century Empress Koken is said to have stayed here, and her sojourn gave rise to a number of legends. Benefits that the empress brought to the villagers are known as the “Seven Wonders of Narada” and include the tale of how she commanded birds to stop eating farmers’ crops. Another legend tells of Koken building gofusui, or primitive drinking water fountains. One of these can still be seen today, on the grounds of Narao Shrine toward the village’s hillside peak. Drinking its water is said to remedy all manner of ailments.

Further up the hill, directly behind the shrine, sits Kagiya, a charming cafe located inside a two-centuries-old residence. Just adjacent, the Hayakawa Town Museum of History and Folklore explains the mysterious, folklore-based artifacts encountered as you walk through the village, as well as Narada’s history as a farming settlement.


Venue Address

409-2701 486 Narada, Hayakawa-cho, Minamikoma-gun

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