A Historic Preservation & Cultural Education Initiative -  Nanto City, Japan
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Inami City Hall
Inami Service Station

Current Inami Art Museum


Hokuriku Bank Building

(Old Chu-Etsu Bank)

A pre-war building from the mid-1920s, this is the first concrete western-style architecture in the city, built and owned by Chu-Etsu Bank (now known as Hokuriku Bank) Inami Branch.  If the building escaped demolition, it requires seismic retro-fitting. The local preservation expert also suggests restoring its interior to its original design.

Old Hokuriku Bank (formerly Chu-Etsu Bank) Inami Branch is the first reinforced-concrete, western-style architecture built and owned by the Hokuriku Bank in 1924.  It survived the war and had been in service as a financial institution until 1987.  Due to expansion needs, the bank relocated to a nearby newly-built facility.  The Hokuriku Bank Ltd. then donated the old building to the town of Inami for civic utilization. Inami Art Association assumed the building and restored it by public donations, converting it into Inami Art Museum. It has since been managed by Inami Art Association as a free museum for local artists’ exhibitions and writers’ cultural events. In 2004, Nanto City government took over ownership of the building and has been providing subsidy for the museum operation, however, ownership will cease by the end of 2019.  Current members of Inami Art Associations, with an average age of 70, are all actively producing exquisite wood work.  However, managing and maintaining exhibitions is become challenging. 



Built       1924

Plot size  xxxx
Style:      Neo-Classical
2-storey with mezzanine
Reinforced concrete
Need seismic reinforcement
Original architectural record unavailable (lost or destroyed during war)

…more details to come


Inami City Hall

Due to continue decline in population, Inami and 7 other cities merged into what it’s known as Nanto City in 2004.  In 2019, all municipal offices will also be consolidated into 1 new facility serving all 8 districts.  As a result, the current Inami City Hall will become vacant.  

This is not uncommon in rural towns of Japan.  Declining population and lack of children have resulted in many abandoned schools and public facilities. It is estimated that 900 towns and villages in Japan will cease to exist by 2040.*

* Read "Death of Regional Cities



Built       xxxx

Plot size  xxxx
Style:      Brutalist
3 storey
Reinforced concrete (TBC)

…more details to come




Inami Roadside Station

"Michi-no-eki" (Roadside Station) are government facilities offering 24-hour access for local information, lavatory, food and convenient retail; usually located along expressway or main streets of suburban/rural towns. There are over 1000 michi-no-eki in Japan and many has become a very successful model in providing convenience to travelers and as PR outposts for small towns (for local produce, food, souvenirs, town info).  The concept, operation, and maintenance is more evolved than highway rest stops in the US.  There is a lot to learn from the michi-no-eki model.

Due to site location being off the main traffic route, Inami Michi-no-eki suffers from under-utilization.  It is a complex with restaurant, meeting rooms, restrooms, retail shop, classroom for wood carving workshop, and a few artisans’ studios.  It has become difficult to maintain and the plan is to cease operation or relocate in 5 years-time.

Neighboring building is the Inami Sculpture Hall (also with low-visitor challenge) where wood carving union maintain their meeting space and exhibition gallery. 



Built       xxxx

Plot size  xxxx
Style:      xxxx

…more details to come



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