Miyama in the city of Nantan, Kyoto Prefecture, has been noted in recent years as a farming community worth visiting, yet it is just beginning to adapt to a steep increase in Asian tourists who are tired of conventional sightseeing spots in Japan.

Chen Xiang-jun, a 32-year-old Taiwanese company employee from Tainan who visited the town on Dec. 1, was fascinated by water arches created over traditional farmhouses in the Kayabuki no Sato "thatched-roof village" during an event held by local volunteer firefighters twice a year.

"The scene was a different world unseen in daily life. I had a wonderful time," Chen said.