Maze is located at the southern tip of the Hida area of Gifu prefecture, in the central part of mainland Japan. Hida is known for mountains and has been supply center of timber. It is close to renowned tourist spots like Gero (considered one of the top 3 spas in Japan), Takayama (called little Kyoto for old merchant streets), and Shirakawa-go (UNESCO world heritage site of traditionally straw-thatched roof houses).
street in Takayama
access on google map
Maze (population 1,200) is a mountain village, at 500m high, long 25km from North to South, and wide 4km East to West. Over 90% of the village is steep slopes covered with forest of ceder and cypress, and at the bottom runs the Maze river. This river is famous for Ayu (sweetfish unique in East Asia) fish, Amago trout, and other freshwater fish. Mountains surrounding the Maze river need to be in good shape for fishing to assure steady supply of clean water.fishoftheriver.jpg
We have luckily kept away from rapid industrialization that changed the whole landscape in other parts of Japan. Old wooden houses remain as before.
For example, small shrines closely related to each hamlet, to which city dwellers pay little attention, are still well maintained, and play important roles in villagers' daily life. Work on the fields does not start before sunrise, and finishes before sunset. Late autumn harvests stay below the snow cover, a natural refregirator for vegetables. Local fishermen are on the river at 5am, and can start working in offices at 8am. You hear chain-saw machines instead of BMX motorcycles. There are no traffic lights.
You feel like a time traveler and stay relaxed. When you come to visit us, you will find these scenes of "good old days". Though not a big and fast and efficient resort, we have something which appeals to people looking for memories.