When travelling to Japan, I enjoy seeing things that are Japanese but everyday just as much as the big-ticket attractions such as the grand castles and temples.
However, when it comes to architecture, Lonely Planet often says when talking about a city something like "There's not much traditional architecture here because it was bombed during World War 2" (is this the real reason, or are there other factors in play?). By contrast, I strongly suspect one of the places I've lived in in Sydney was built in the 19th century.
I liked a lot of the traditional architecture in Kyoto such as the machiya, but I sometimes wonder whether it's deliberately maintained for tourism reasons.
Are Kyoto, Kanazawa, and Takayama suitable options for seeing everyday traditional Japanese architecture? Does Kitakyushu, which contains the town of Kokura, have a lot of traditional architecture because the Allies deliberately refrained from bombing it?