Irori

Category: Sense of Place

 

Photo and caption by Fiona Chan

The village of Ainokura in Japan is a UNESCO world heritage site. This village has approximately twenty traditional farmhouses known as gassho-zuhuri, most of which are 100 to 200 years old. As the only guest at one of these farmhouses, I enjoyed the communal open hearth (irori) in solitude, together with a traditional Japanese meal. Before bedtime, the host removed charcoal from the hearth and placed them into braziers. I was given two to warm my feet and futon. Only one lasted the chilly night.

Location: Ainokura, Japan

 

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