Matsudai is a hilly area stretches along Shizumi river, one of the branches of Shinano river, surrounded by mountains. It was described as an isolated island on land as it was particularly difficult to come-and-go between neibourhood villages until transportation infrastructure was developed in showa 40 (1965). Rice production is a main industry and unique arrangements and intelligence of Matsudai’s agricultural culture can be observed which was developed due to the necessity of facing the challenging natural conditions such as terraced rice fields developed by cutting into steep slopes or changing the river flow to develop rice field.
It is said that the Shrine was built by Tamuramaro Sakagami in 807 to worship Nunakawa Hime. The main shrine, a wooden thatched roof structure, was built in 1497 is the oldest in the prefecture and is designated as a national important properties. It is said that Kenshin Uesugi and other commanders came and prayed here and short sword and Hinomaru flag were contributed by him. Many visitors come to the shrine on 8 May for the Nanatsu-Mairi. Documents are also displayed at Matsudai history museum.
It is located close to the famous terraced rice field in Hoshi Toge village. Voluntary group of students at Nihon University spent approximately one year on curving every inner surface of the old minka house from floor to ceiling, pillow to wall to beams. Looking inside, the scratched and original surfaces are mixed with regularity and the typical structure of the snow country consisting of bent piece of wood makes space look as if it is an a sculpture. The Shedding House is not just for viewing as an artwork but also for staying.