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の方へ

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山から里の方へ遊びに行った猿が一本の赤い蝋燭を拾いました。

I'm sorry for the probably stupid question, but could someone explain the grammar of how の方へ is working in this sentence?
 
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I think they don't have any relation
The monkey from the mountain went to play at the village...
or something like that
I see. Thank you. So basically の方へ means the direction of something. For example 駅から家の方へ歩きました。- From the station I walked in the direction the house. One final point of clarification, is it okay to switch out へ with に in the の方へ?
 
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方 have many uses.
に is more ambigious than へ. If 方 followed by へ, I can safely say it means direction.
You should wait for someone more knowledge to explain your question.
 

Toritoribe

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へ indicates the destination of 遊びに行った.
方 has a nuance that the direction is vague, thus, unlike 里へ , 里の方へ loosely refers to the direction to 里.
 
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へ indicates the destination of 遊びに行った.
方 has a nuance that the direction is vague, thus, unlike 里へ , 里の方へ loosely refers to the direction to 里.
I see, if I may ask is it okay to switch out へ with に in the の方へ? Also is it okay to use any verb with の方へ? For example 駅から家の方へ歩きました。- From the station I walked in the direction the house, or 家の方へ玉を投げて下さい。- Please, throw the ball towards the house?
 

Toritoribe

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Yes and yes. へ can be replaced with に in almost all cases, and の方 can be applied to almost all direction.
 
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