Miyama-cho, dotted with 250 thatched-roof houses (as of 2005) near the pure waters of the Yura River flowing through the green mountains, is famous throughout Japan as the quintessential ancestral hometown. In the northern part of the town are some fifty houses lining an area which measures 600 meters east and west by 300 meters north and south. About half of these house have thatched roofs. There is a higher residual ratio of these houses here than anywhere else in Japan. In December 1993, this area was designated by the national government as an Important Traditional Building Preservation District.