Of several homes open to the public, this is my favorite. Built in 1890 using 150- to 200-year-old cypress and 300- to 400-year-old chestnut, the Nagase house is the largest home here, once housing 44 people (a few members of the Nagase family still live here). The enormous cross beam is 18m (59 ft.) long and the height of the house is more than 17m (55 ft.) high. A 15-minute video shows the 2001 rethatching in which 500 people took part, including 40 women involved just in cooking meals for the workers. Because the Nagase ancestors were the personal doctors of the powerful Maeda lords, the house contains gifts from the Maedas as well as medical tools. Like other homes, it also contains a family altar, this one 500 years old and adjoined to the house so it could be quickly removed in case of fire. Upstairs is a mezzanine where 17 laborers lived, while the next level displays various tools used for everything from making rope to making cloth; in this remote area, almost everything people used was homemade. The fourth floor, where silk production once took place, contains tools related to the business, including flat trays where the silk worms were bred.