Developed in Kamakura period as a castle town, Haigashimatsuyama acquired special treatment during the Edo Period. About an hour and a half away from Tokyo Station, Haigashimatsuyama is an interesting town to explore.
[Don't miss out on our other Tokyo Guides]
What to Experience...
Tatami Goza | Ta・Ta・Mee・Goh・Za
Tatami mats are a native born flooring material made out of igusa (rush plants). Known as natural humidifiers, tatami work to keep summer cool and winter warm. Originally used by the aristocrats in Japan to indicate their social status, the practice of sleeping and sitting on tatami soon trickled down to a custom every family practiced.
What to See...
Hundred Caves 国指定史跡 吉見百穴
In folklore, the Yoshimi Hundred Caves were thought to be the homes of 'small people.' In reality, these small holes represent ancient tombs that used to lodge high ranking individuals during the Kojun period. Despite the fact that this burial ground was protected as a National Historic Site, a part of it was ruined during WWII to create an underground factory. Visitors can peruse through the cave and examine the anthropological relics preserved in the museum nearby.
What to Eat...
Yakitori, a Japanese classic, is a dish of skewered chicken loved by all. Meats, vegetables, and intestines are cooked over smoked charcoal; it brings in a depth of flavor and appetite invoking textures. Keima however, instead of serving skewered chicken, has a custom of serving pork prepared in a plethora of ways. Reviews rave about the miso 'tare' dip so don't forget to put in an order while you are there.
A beloved Japanese diner-like restaurant, this cash-only spot offers a hodgepodge of traditional Japanese food. From ramen to a daily special meal set, there's enough choices to make your mouth water. During the day, you'll often find moms and local workers catching up or taking a break while they enjoy their lunch. Once the sun sets, a lively crowd of people off of work can be found drinking the night away.