Kura: Japanese Traditional Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 1

SN3O4925

A tall kura in Shizuoka City

“Kura” (in japanese 蔵 or 倉) means “warehouse” or “Storehouse”.
In traditonal Japan, especially during the Edo Era, as most of buildings and urba/village structures were made of wood, fires were the bane of society by and large.
However well-protected a fire would consume a house or buildings and all its properties within minutes.
Hence a special building or warehouse was needed to protect goods and properties against such a catastrophe.
But erecting a storehouse solely made of concrete, stones and some metal cost a vast amount of silver and gold and only rich merchants and nobility could afford them. Even castles could not be built entirely of stone then.

SN3O4910

Can you spot the small one in far distance? Discovered in Numazu City!

Except in Kyoto and other touristic regions, or unless designated as cultural properties, most large ones have been pulled down as the land they stood on was far more financially valuable.

Only yesterday I cycled to one I knew just to find out that the owner who used it as a restaurant had just replaced it with a car park and moved his restaurant on the first floor of an adjacent building!

SN3O4911

Very small, even by Japanese standards, I wonder how it has survived all that time!

During WWII those warehouses helped to conserve a lot of precious data as they were sturdy enough to resist bombing and fires.
Where the people could not afford to build one on their own, very often the village and even the cities had one built to at least protect the rice harvest.
On the other hand almost all Buddhist temples had one thus protecting a lot of cultural assets, especially in the light that a great majority of the population was literate.

SN3O4897

Can you spot the one covered with ivy behind the old traditional Japanese restaurant?

SN3O4898

It is probably owned by the restaurant.
As Numazu City is a harbor it was probably used to also shelter nets and other valuable fishing equipment as such structures could even withstand tsunamis.

SN3O4847

Can you spot the one behind the car park of the neighboring clinic?

SN3O4848

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn it is still owned and used by the private clinic!
Also in Numazu City and very near the sea you never know, it might prove as a blessing!

SN3O4845

I also discovered this cute little one in Numazu City!

SN3O4846

In Kyoto such kuras would find many uses from store to restaurant, atelier and what else!
If I had the money I would immediately transform it into a cozy little restaurant!

SN3O4923

This one is quite well-known in Shizuoka City.
It is owned by a defunct local cosmetics company.

SN3O4924

It is part of a big property including a house and garden and could easily be transformed into a grandiose project.
Unfortunately it is not on sale as the family owning it apparently does not want or might not be allowed to sell it!

SN3O4926

I almost missed that one in the center of Shizuoka City as it is completely hidden as three sides in spite of its large size!

SN3O4927

Now, this is ancient, and judging from its generally good state it is still used. As what, I have no idea!

SN3O4928

I was lucky to find this one, too, as the owners have completely vacated the premises including the near store which must closed quite some time ago.

SN3O4929

It is tall and big and could easily separated from the rest of the property to be developed as store and restaurant/cafe/atelier but I’m afraid that developers will soon raze the whole lot!

Still looking around as this is a big prefecture with a lot of history.
If you find any in your neighboring I’ll treat you to coffee!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Shop with Intent by Debbie
BULA KANA in Fiji
Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s