Category Archives: Japanese architecture

Kura: Traditional Japanese Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 39: Katsuyama Family Home in Kawane Cho, Shimada City!

“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.

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The other my good friend Mr. Osamu Kurosawa/黒澤脩さん, a respected historian in our Prefecture took me to a house hidden in Kawane-Cho, not far from Ieyama, in Shimada City, to show me a splendid kura!

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Actually, the kura is only one building inside a vast property owned by the same family for hundred of years.
You must remember that in Edo Era, Shimada City was one of the most important cities in the whole Central Japan because it was a border City by the Ooi River controlling all traffic between Edo/Tokyo and Osaka!

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the name of the family owning the vast property is Katsuyama/勝山!

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Any rich landowner or person of great importance lived in a large house with servants quarters and a kura to store and protect rice and valuables in particular against fires and natural disasters!
The lady we met inside the house first kindly agree to let me take photographs of the warehouse under the gentle request of my friend, Osamu!

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Actually the kura has just been restored by its owner as you can see with the perfectly working windows!

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It actually took him more than a year to complete the job!

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The “pegs” are still properly aligned, meaning that the walls haven’t been affected by the depredations of time!

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The whole property ought to be used as a locale for historical movies or TV programs!

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Actually it should designated as a cultural asset and it should be the government’s task and duty to look after it!

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The pegs and metal links with the upper roof are still in great repair, meaning the uper roof is stable!

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This is the first time I see such a big “oni gara/goblin pinion tile”! That only should become a cultural asset!

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A closer view at the upstairs window!

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The roofing must be hard to maintain in good repair!

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A “rear” view!

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The other “oni gara”!

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The door and lock dating back from the Edo period!

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Heavy door panels had to be pulled in to close the door!

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Taken back to another era!

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I marveled at how it can have been preserved!

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The ancient “namako” design also is a good enough reason to designate it as a cultural asset as very recently even the Government was heard moaning about their disappearance! In fact, it is the first time I saw a pillar decorated in “namako” design!

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Actually the lower roof angle had to be propped up!

It is about time that the Government made a move!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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, Pie
rre.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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-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

Traditional Japanese Houses: Shimizu Bank Branch in Kakegawa City!

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In Kakegawa City on the way to the Kakegawa Castle you will discover and old traditional house with some interesting story!

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On a bright day it does provide a great sight for photography!

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All facades will show you a different facet of the architecture!

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Wait for the green light before crossing! LOL

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This is a story which was actually the source for the name of a local sake brand!
Kazutoyo built Kōchi Castle. His life spanned the closing years of the Sengoku period, the Azuchi-Momoyama period, and the beginning of the Edo period.
Just four years after he became Lord of Tosa, Kazutoyo died without issue aged around 60, and was succeeded as Lord of Tosa by his nephew Tadayoshi.
Chiyo, as a wise and beautiful wife, helped her husband Yamauchi Kazutoyo up from an ordinary samurai to the governor of an entire province, Tosa.
In 1590, Lord Yamauchi Kazutoyo 山内 一豊, a great horse lover had been looking for a special mount of his own.
His wife spent untold time and efforts until she found, brought and gave a great horse to her beloved husband.
The story is also the source of the 45th NHK Taiga drama (2006), a dramatization of the life of Kazutoyo, with his wife Chiyo as the central character!

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Lord Kazutoyo and his wife, Chiyo!

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Another facade!

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We are certainly thankful to the Shimizu Bank for preserving such a beautiful traditional Japanese house!

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Even this Shimizu Bank sign is an antique!

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Beautiful latticed windows!

I didn’t have much time on that da, but I’m sure there are a lot more pictures on offer!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-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

Great Inn Kashibaya in Okabe, Fujieda City!

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Okabe, now merged with Fujieda City used to be the 21st Station along the Old Tokaido Route, actually the most used one of four that existed at the time as it mainly followed the coast between Nihonbashi in Edo/Tokyo to Keishi/Kyoto

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Inns were vital for the well-being of travelers of the time, generally of so-called middle class, especially merchants, and such a one can still be found just near the “Okabeshuku Kashibaya Mae” bus stop.
As for reaching it, one cheap way is to take a bus either from Shizuoka City JR Station North Exit or Fujieda City JR North Exit!

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Difficult to miss as it stands by a park!

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You will also find a souvenir shop open from 09:00 to 17:00 and a lunch restaurant open from 11:00 to 14:00 located at the back!

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The front access!

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Don’t forget there is also one more attraction also at the back in the shape of old traditional Japanese warehouses or “kura”!

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Note the owning family crest/”mon” at the top!

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The lobby with a “noren”/entrance curtain!
You will pay a small entrance fee there and be handed a pamphlet either in Japanese or in English!

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From the inside!

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What you see above is a small box inside the wall containing a paper lantern that was used for night arrivals!

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The guide explained us the handling of the front entrance!

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As well as of the front windows which can be completely closed at night or in bad weather!

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The wooden curtain would prevent any rain or unwanted visitor during the night!

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Before entering the actual premises visitors/travelers would first sit in the “mise”/welcome space where they would be introduced to the inn and tier lodgings and fees.

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Like in Japanese traditional inns nowadays, board included dinner and breakfast and were not that cheap. Customers were mainly of the lower to higher middle cass, including merchants and samurais and their retinue.

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The indoor kitchen!
Actually a lot was also prepared outside and in annexes!

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The owners had their own quarters on the ground/first floor.

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Domestic scene!
The owner’s wife would paint her lips in black as a mark of her status!

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The whole place is a museum.
The present inn was rebuilt in 1836 and had to be again after two fires struck the whole of Okabe.
It was registered as a National Intangible Cultural Asset in 1998.

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Candles and lanterns!

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Portable stove to heat water or sake!

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An incense clock!
The powdered incense would take a determinate time to burn inside that contraption!

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Valuable hairpin collection, some of them made of tortoise shell!

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Money and purses of the time!

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Traveler’s portable gear including inkstone and so forth!

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Access to the upper floor!

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You tour will cover the whole place in a predetermined order!

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“Kamidana”/Home Shrine!

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A fireman’s gear of the time!

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I told you it was a true little museum, didn’t I?

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A “biwa”, my favorite Japanese music instrument!

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Traveling gear!

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Traveling clothes!

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Lower middle-class guests on the upper floor!

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Back to the owner’s “business room” on the ground floor!

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Ceiling rafters!

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A genuine “ukiyoe”/woodblock print of the Old Tokaido Road reaching Okabe!

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More copies of ukiyoe of the era!

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A relief map of Edo Era Okabe!

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An Edo Era scene of the Inn!

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Japanese carps in the pond of the small outdoors garden!

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A cute garden!

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Don’t forget to visit to the museum inside the kura behind the Inn as the owner was also a licensed pawn shop owner!

Great Inn KASHIBAYA
Fujieda City, Okabe, Okabe Cho, 817
Tel.: 054-667-0018
Opening hours: 09:00~17:00
Closed on Mondays and end and beginning of the year. If Monday is a National Holiday the following Tuesday is a closing day
Entrance fee: 300 yen for adults, free for children under junior high school, 240 yen each for groups of over 20 people.

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-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

Along the Old Tokaido Road: Traditional Japanese Edo Houses and Inns in Utsunoya, Shizuoka City!

Utsunoya was an intermediary stage between the two Old Tokaido Route stations, Mariko in Shizuoka City, and Okabe in Fujieda City.
Even during the Meiji Era travelers had to go through it before climbing up and down steep slopes between the two stations.
Accordingly many visitors stopped overnight in one of the “Shuukuba or Kashiya”/inns.
Such establishments can be seen for the sole pleasure of the eyes and learning the history of the region.

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The access is now very easy!
Just take a bus to Fujieda City from platform 7 in front Shizuoka JR Station and get off at Utsunoya Iriguchi bus stop just before the Fujieda Tunnel.
Cross the large road by using the overhead bridge and start walking up the street!

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You will walk past this beautiful Shizuoka City fire hydrant manhole cover!

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The first houses you will meet are not the inns of Utsunoya but they will prepare you to the further sights!

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These houses have been standing there for a long time and often repaired but you can catch glimpses of old wooden architecture!

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Depending on the season they will make for great photography!

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Just walk at an easy pace as your goal is not that far!

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This sign indicates one of the great soba restaurants in this Prefecture called Kishigami!

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The all-important sign!
Take the left-hand path!

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Getting near! can you see the houses in the distance!

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You have reached Utsunoya which depended on the Mariko Old Tokaido Route Station!

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A little historical reminder: travelers had to climb past Utsunoya Pass before the Meiji Toll Tunnel was opened in 1870!

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Enter Utsunoya!

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On that particular occasion we walked through it on a beautiful winter afternoon, but you ought to imagine the same location in all seasons and weathers!

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Rare blue glazed roof tiles!

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All these former inns had names finishing with “ya/屋”

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They share all the same wooden architectural design!

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One can still discover stone foundations even older than the houses!

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Antique rain water stone jars!

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A postcard view!

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Now the owners have generally turned to farming!

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I can’t start to imagine the work involved to build those inns atop stone walls on such steep slopes!

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Walk the stairs keeping an eye for interesting details!

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A typical example of the old architectural design of the tiled roofs!

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Try and imagine tired travelers stopping there overnight!

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Looking down on your tracks up the slope!

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How many of these tiles had to be replaced? It is a cold part of Shizuoka City and exposed to the natural elements!

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Even now it is worth visiting for the sole purpose of eating at traditional Japanese restaurants: Udon Restaurant!

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Soba Restaurant! Kishigami, a favorite of mine and many foreign tourists in search of true Shizuoka gastronomy!

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Souvenir Shop and restaurant!

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And don’t forget to visit the Meiji Tunnel only a little distance away!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-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

Kura: Japanese Traditional Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 9

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Kura in Kashibaya Inn, Okabe, Fujieda City!

“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.

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During my trip last week in Okabe, Fujieda City and Utsunoya, Shizuoka City, I noticed this small kura along the way to Utusunoya at a bend of the road with no more houses and under the shade of the mountain.

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It had been converted into a no-limit shelter for the Utsunoya water pomp!

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The original location is not fortuitous as it stands in the shade all day long!

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It is still relatively new but the concept is traditional!

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No way you can get in!

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When I visited the Great Inn Kashibaya in Okabe, Fujieda City, I noticed two big kuras in perfect state behind the Inn!

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Actually the two big kuras belonged to a man called Ryoukichi who owned the Inn and also operated a pawn shop in the two kuras!

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They were built in 1836.
Although the Inn burnt down twice, the kuras survived all that time!

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Both of them now house a museum and gallery!

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“Namako” design walls!

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It is also used for private art exhibitions!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-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

Kura: Japanese Traditional Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 8: Okabe, Fujieda City with Atsuko Kurata!

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hatsukame Brewery warehouse!

“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.

This time my good friend, ms. Atsuko Kurata is taking us to Okabe, which was merged some time ago to Fujieda City!

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if you do not have a car 8by bicycle is possible, though) you can take a bus from Shizuoka JR Station North Exit!
Take the no 84 or 85 bus from bus stop platform .
It is Chubu Kokudo Line/中部国道線 heading for Fujieda station. Buses leave every 20 minutes.
You will reach your destination in roughly 35 minutes ride.

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Get off at Okabesyuku-Kashibaya-Mae/岡部宿柏屋前 bus stop.
The fare is 570 yen for one way. Children under 12 pay half price for 250 yen

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You will find Hatsukame jouzou/is right across from the bus stop!

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Hatsukame Brewery is a beautiful complex with an ancient house and a kura who will find on its right!

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Can you spot the kura?

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Getting close!

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Behind beautiful pine trees!

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When they build the new road the city pulled out all the pine trees on the east side!

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Fortunately you can still see the pine trees on one side giving a good idea of the atmosphere around this brewery, the oldest in Shizuoka Prefecture (end of 17th century!)

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Another view of the second side of the kura!

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A closer view of the beautiful window!

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There are actually two more warehouses along the same street!

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This one is quite similar to Hatsukame Brewery kura!

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For a closer view… It is completely surrounded by other buildings!

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The second kura! Very imposing!

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Very well preserved!

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It is quite tall and certainly requires much maintenance!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-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

Kura: Japanese Traditional Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 7

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“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.

I was reporting on a local festival in Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City, when I discovered two more kuras!
Actually there are many of them in Yui, especially along and the Old Tokaido Road where they were the first refuge against typhoons and tsunamis.
But most of them have now been transformed into hangars, shops and abodes with their second floors shaved off and using only the solid first floor as a base.
Therefore there only a very few with their roof intact!

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I noticed this one by pure chance as it was completely surrounded by buildings of all kinds!

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It was obviously used either as an abode or as a storeroom, and I managed to a peek at this window as the inhabitants seemed to be away during the New Year Holidays!

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I found this old one along the same street. As it was surrounded by a car park I had an easier access to it!

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The entrance was being repaired but the whole building, although small, seemed very till very solid!

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The window and the roof were in good repair!

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These iron supports are found in most kuras. They are there to keep the roof securely onto the walls in case of stong winds. Typhoons can easily send the tiles flying!

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For all the lack of color and decoration it was very well-preserved!

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Now, that window lock really looks ancient!

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Now some of these kuras can very small indeed!
I found this one near my home!

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Small but very old as shown by all the rust on the window!

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At first I didn’t think that this long building was a kura!

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I nonetheless decided to investigate!

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For all the imposing solidity the large steel windows were old!

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No openings at the back!

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They had reformed the entrance, though!

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It is effectively used as a kura by the local fire station!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-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

Kura: Japanese Traditional Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 6: Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City with Atsuko Kurata!

ivy-covered-1

We will have to check this ivy-covered kura again in the summer!

“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.

This posting again features sights by my good friend, Mrs. Atsuko Kurata who is turning into a real detective when she found no less than five of them in her native Shimizu Ku in Shizuoka City!
No wonder as Atsuko’s family name includes the word Kura/倉, the modern form of kura/蔵!

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I certainly wouldn’t mind living there!
It stands in Hon Machi (Main District)

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Another old kura in Minato machi (harbor District)!

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You must remember that Shimizu has had always been and still is a major harbor in Japan.
It may have seen better days as there were enough rich people in need of such warehouses!

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But Atsuko thinks that this particular one might be haunted!

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This particular kura was owned by Yohei Suzuki, the founder of Suzuyo Company, the largest transport company in Shizuoka Prefecture and the owner of Fuji Dream Airline!

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Atsuko also discovered this cute kura in Hon machi!

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The first owner must have been rich as it is a double kura!

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A far view of the roof!

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View of a window with its shutters open!

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The “inner” kura which saw its first floor transformed a long time ago!

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Atsuko also found this brown kura in Hon Machi near Shimizu Municipal Nursery(清水区立清水保育園)!

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The pole sign indicating the address: Hon Machi 11!

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The colors white and brown are the most popular colors as some owners wanted to be noted whereas others did not!

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Even the shutters had been painted brown!

Care to join Atsuko in her search?

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Kura: Japanese Traditional Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 5: Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City with Atsuko Kurata!

Hongou-cho1本郷町

Beautiful Kura in Hongo Cho!

“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.

This posting features sights by My good friend, Mrs. Atsuko Kurata who found them in her native Shimizu Ku in Shizuoka City!
Incidentally Atsuko’s family name includes the word Kura/倉, the modern form of kura/蔵!

Hongo-cho2本郷町

Another picture of the above kura in Hongo Cho which is big and seems inhabited or used!

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Some kuras like the above may be seen only for far away them being completely isolated by surrounding buildings!

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The roof tip of another one!

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This particular one has definitely become an abode!

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This one is located behind Seiyu Department Store!

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A closer view of the same protected by a barbed-wired wall!

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This one is old, tall and so solid!
It certainly deserves a few more photographs as seenn below:

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The side wall actually shows traces of another building which has disappeared a long time ago!

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The window shutter is kept open so it is definitely still used!

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Caught in the sun it does not look as forbidding as the side wall!

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Note the light which has been added!
It could be interesting to see what it looks like at night!

石積みの蔵-窓4

It is located in Yamazaki and apparently belongs to a building company!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-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

Seikenji Temple in Okitsu, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

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I’m an agnostic and cares little for religion but it would be a grave oversight to ignore some of the grand Buddhist temples or Shinto Shrines in Japan and Shizuoka Prefecture as they are a great source of history, architecture, art and culture.
I can always leave the obvious religious connotations to the care of friend bloggers with different priorities!
There is a major Buddhist Temple in Okitsu, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City, which definitely deserves a lot of attention, namely Seikenji Temple/清見寺 along the Tokaido Road.
Just follow me and I’ll explain along the way!

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First take a train on JR Tokaido Line and get off at Okitsu Station.

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Get out of the station and walk till the main road and turn right.
At the station you will see this sign clearly indicating you are about to discover Seikenji Temple!
Bear in mind this is a good 15~20 minute walk, so choose a bright shiny (no hot) day!

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While you are at it take the time to read the other signs describing the Tokai Nature Trail Bypass Course!

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Definitely worth reading it!

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Halfway find this sign along the right hand side signboard for a little history of the Tokaido Road!

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You cannot miss it and take the time to read the board there, too!

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Walk up the stairs and through the first portal before you cross over the Tokaido Railway Line!

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Take your time for plenty of pictures!

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From the railway line overhead bridge!

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Trains run along every 5~10 minutes!

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Past the bridge proceed to your right.

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The main entrance Gate!

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Temples are always well protected!

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Buddhist temples as a general look after a big cemetery.

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Being religious or not there are always plenty of quaint sights!

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One of the main buildings!

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Walking across the outside plum tree garden!
In the right season the place is exploding into superb colors!

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But before proceeding any further turn left and penetrate a strange place with even stranger figures!

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All the faces and in some many cases most of the postures of these “deities” are different!

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In daytime they look quite benign!

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This is one of these oldest parts of Seikenji Temple built during the Nara Era!

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Great contrast between old wood and tiles and the bright sky!

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The entrance portal overlooking Okitsu Harbor!

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The “bonsho” bell tower!

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The “garyubai/臥龍唄” plum tree variety was developed there by the Overlord Tokugawa Ieyasu in the beginning of the 17th Century.
It is also the name of a famous Japanese sake brand brewed by Sanwa Brewery in Shimizu Ku!

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Over the entrance you will find the Hollyhock/Aoi/葵 represented on Tokugawa Ieyasu Mon/Japanese Arms/文!

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Past the entrance, ring the (real bronze) bell and a monk will collect a 300 yen visiting fee (very small considering the importance of the place!)!

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Don’t forget to take off your shoes and put on slippers before climbing the small stairs to the main room!

Note: There are plenty of “washrooms” there so take your time!

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There is an advised route to follow but you are free to wander, so I went to have a look at the inner garden!

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But I couldn’t walk back to take a picture of this magnificent phoenix!

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The space dedicated to Buddhist services.

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Plenty to read overhead!

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back to the garden, which is small but is still nationally designated as a place of scenic beauty!

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Wave-patterned gravel bed!

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There are plenty of cultural assets including this coffer with the hollyhock crest!

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Sorry for the disorder but this the real order I took pictures! Professional are going to kick me! LOL

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The temple not being too big you can get a good impression of the architecture!

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Guest/meeting room and sliding doors.

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Another picture of the garden taken through an opening!

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The main room with a “tokonoma”!

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Yet another view into the garden!

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A verdant island!

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The famous monk, Hakuin!

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An antique “shamisen”!

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A colorfully decorated “tansu”!

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A view of the front plum tree garden!

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The real pictures of the whole crew of 104 sailors aboard the Tsukijima Maru Ship which got marooned in the Suruga Bay just in front of Okitsu.
The ship was subsequently attacked by rebel samurais who had not surrendered in spite of their defeat in Hakodate and roamed the country for many years after.
The whole crew was killed and thrown overboard.
Jirochoo, a notable of Shimizu City became a local hero when he personally collected all their bodies to give them a decent funeral.
But that is the official story… A volunteer guide confided me that the so-called hero actually was in a hurry to clean the sea and shore to allow fishing again as soon as possible…

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The place does contain many precious drawings!

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One can walk up to a smaller meeting room on the next floor.

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For another grand view of Okitsu Harbor!

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An overhead view of the entrance lobby!

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Hakuin again!
His face can be seen on the labels of Hakuin Masamune Japanese Sake bottles produce by Takashima Brewery in Numazu City!

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Back through the outside garden!

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When you leave take the side exit down the stairs and across the railway line!

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See you there again next February when the plum trees will be in full bloom!

SEIKENJI TEMPLE
Shizuoka City, Shimizu Ku, Okitsu
Tel.: 054-369-0028
Hours: 08:30~16:30 (closed during services)
Admission: 300 yen (adults), 200 yen Junior and Senior High School Students), 100 yen (Primary School Students)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-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