“Kura” (in Japanese 蔵 or 倉) means “warehouse” or “Storehouse”.
In traditional 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.
In kutsunoya Cho, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, near the Atago Shinto Shrine Inoue sake Brewery used to stand there.
Unfortunately when hos father died some 13 years ago, his son working for Shizuoka Bank preferred money over culture and sold most of the land to a sushi restaurant destroying centuries-old tress and walls in the process.
Now only a house where his mother still lives and an abandoned kura bear witness of the past.
The kura was not pulled down because that part of the land could not be sold and it would cost too much money as the walls are still very solid.
On the hand the inside has been emptied of all past relics and stands empty and forlorn.
The wooden frame and lintels of the superb windows are going to dust.
The roofing is still in good repair, though!
Even an earthquake has little chance to bring it down!
Tell me, Mr. Inoue, how long will we enjoy its sight?
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Must-see tasting websites:
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-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
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ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
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-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents