The Komise area of Kuroishi City in Aomori dates to the 17th Century. This charming area of old wood shops and sake breweries is defined by the wooden overhang, or komise, that makes the area easily accessible in all weather conditions throughout the year. With the amount of snow that Aomori has dumped on it, this can make these walking lanes more like tunnels. This 300 meter long shopping street connected by eaves, a prototype strip-mall so to speak, has remained in its present unspoiled state since the Edo era. Though smaller shops have disappeared through the course of history, a number of wealthier merchants survived and are striving to preserve its heritage.
In addition to the beautiful architecture visible from the street, a number of the old shops have accessible areas within that yield beautiful views of hidden gardens and traditional Japanese rooms.
Kuroishi City is near both Hirosaki and Inakadate (home of the famous rice paddy art), making it a worthwhile stop if you’re planning to visit Hirosaki, Aomori, or Inakadate.
Location: Kuroishi, Aomori
Access: 10-minute walk from Kuroishi Station on the Konan Line