Oike family was one of the major merchants who obtained great wealth in the vicinity of Naka-machi which played a central role for commercial development in Niimi. The family’s house was built around 1900 （at the late Meiji-era), the family owned and operated a department store dealing with a variety of goods including KIMONO fabric. Currently, the residence is on loan to Niimi city and is used as community facility.
Jiyuu-tei was a caterer famous for its Eel dishes from approximately 1870 to 1960 （the Meiji-era to around Shouwa 40）. Their speciality also included the modern dishes such as beef steak, and their sauces are still remembered by the locals.
Matsuba, former Japanese restaurant
Matsuba was most popular from 1870 to 1955 （the Meiji-era to Shouwa 30）. It was built in 1893 （Meiji 26）; part of four terraced houses owned by Tsunokuni-ya. Two of the four houses were later renovated towards early 1900’s （the end of Meiji） to provide a luxurious restaurant where fashionable people gathered and enjoyed the music of traditional love songs, ballads, popular songs, etc. The alley in front of the restaurant named Shamisen Yokochou, formerly Tanuki Kouji, brings us back even now to the mysterious atmosphere, as though we could be hearing the sounds of wooden clogs worn by Geisha and wealthy gentlemen.
Kodama Residence, former Japanese（restaurant Ume-ya）
This former Geisha house was popular until the end of the World War II. Although the Kodama family purchased it for their family dwelling after the war, the structure still shows traces of the Geisha-house floorplan in those olden days. For instance, two sets of staircases to the second floor, one for patrons and another for servers, are located in opposite directions without facing each other; all rooms are connected to corridors. The residence is open to the public during community event periods.
Former Osaka-ya Ryokan, Japanese-style hotel, Annex
Osaka-ya was operating hotel business from 1870 to 1955 （the Meiji period to Shouwa 30）, and this annex was built in around 1930’s （the early Shouwa）. Its alcove post, made of black persimmon wood, remains intact. This reminds us of the prosperity of their business at that time.
In those days, guests from political and business circles stayed here. One of those frequent visitors was Ryogo Hashimoto, former Minister of health and welfare.
This is a typical Meiji period （1870 to 1910） structure with Namako-wall covered with square tiles with raised plaster that showed the success of the business. Tabara-ya liquors business included the salted/dried foods business and also sales/maintenance of measuring instruments. Eventually the wholesale business of salted/dried foods was sold to Niko Industries. Their present wholesale liquor business is now operated in a new location, in Nishikata. However, the signboard of sales/maintenance of measuring instruments business still remains outside of the building.
Niimi Gotenmachi Center
Gotenmachi Center is a facility supporting the local community since 1994 （Heisei 6）. Previously this was Motofuku Sake Brewery.
The outside style of the building was modelled on a merchant’s warehouse in the Edo era. The facility exhibits materials relating to Seki Family, and is also equipped with seminar rooms.
Katsumaru started their soy sauce business in 1889 （Meiji 22）. Their current shop building was influenced by the architectural styles of Taishou and Shouwa. The gallery exhibits art works as well as selling local products throughout a year. It is a modern yet nostalgic space where local people gather and relax themselves.