Meguro-tei is an impressive residence dating back to 1797, that is located right beside the more modern Suhara Ski Area. It is believed that the Meguro family came from a long line of samurai but after being on the losing side of battle they retired to this area to farm, and by 1610 the head of the family was a village leader in the area. The members of the family maintained a similar role throughout the years and even ended up having members being elected to the House of Representatives by the 1890s.
The building is magnificent to look at. The steep thatched roof and thick beams are able to deal with the heavy winter snows. The hearth in the middle of the building was an important part of the house and one person would tend the fire to make sure that it burned throughout the night. There is a wonderful smell of wood smoke inside the building, and all the roof beams and inside of the thatch are black. Spend a bit of time to learn about the house and you soon have a realisation of what life in those times could be like.
Just next door is a folk museum with many interesting items that again shed some light on the challenges of life in Snow Country in years gone by. Some of them you look at and are hard pressed to imagine what they could have been used for, but with an explanation you realise that they are very clever solutions to everyday problems that we encounter today.