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.

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-1

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!

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-2

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!

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-3

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

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-4

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!

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-5

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

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-6

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

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-7

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

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-8

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

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-9

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

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-10

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

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-11

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

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-12

A closer view at the upstairs window!

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-13

The roofing must be hard to maintain in good repair!

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-14

A “rear” view!

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-15

The other “oni gara”!

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-16

The door and lock dating back from the Edo period!

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-17

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

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-18

Taken back to another era!

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-19

I marveled at how it can have been preserved!

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-20

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!

KURA-KAWANE-KATSUYAMA-21

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!

SN3O5441

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

SN3O5448

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

SN3O5439

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

SN3O5440

Wait for the green light before crossing! LOL

SN3O5443

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!

SN3O5442

Lord Kazutoyo and his wife, Chiyo!

SN3O5444

Another facade!

SN3O5446

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

SN3O5445

Even this Shimizu Bank sign is an antique!

SN3O5447

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!

SN3O5365

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

SN3O5358

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!

SN3O5359

Difficult to miss as it stands by a park!

SN3O5361

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!

SN3O5362

The front access!

SN3O5363

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

SN3O5364

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

SN3O5366

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!

SN3O5394

From the inside!

SN3O5377Somebody will be on hand to introduce the whole building!

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

SN3O5374

The guide explained us the handling of the front entrance!

SN3O5375

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

SN3O5376

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

SN3O5365

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.

SN3O5373

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.

SN3O5372

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

SN3O5370

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

SN3O5384

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

SN3O5371

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.

SN3O5379

Candles and lanterns!

SN3O5382

Portable stove to heat water or sake!

SN3O5383

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

SN3O5380

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

SN3O5396

Money and purses of the time!

SN3O5395

Traveler’s portable gear including inkstone and so forth!

SN3O5367

Access to the upper floor!

SN3O5368

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

SN3O5369

“Kamidana”/Home Shrine!

SN3O5385

A fireman’s gear of the time!

SN3O5387

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

SN3O5388

A “biwa”, my favorite Japanese music instrument!

SN3O5397

Traveling gear!

SN3O5398

Traveling clothes!

SN3O5400

Lower middle-class guests on the upper floor!

SN3O5378

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

SN3O5405

Ceiling rafters!

SN3O5401

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

SN3O5402M

More copies of ukiyoe of the era!

SN3O5403

A relief map of Edo Era Okabe!

SN3O5404

An Edo Era scene of the Inn!

SN3O5389

Japanese carps in the pond of the small outdoors garden!

SN3O5390

A cute garden!

SN3O5391

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.

SN3O5284

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!

SN3O5285

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

SN3O5286

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

SN3O5287

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

SN3O5288

Depending on the season they will make for great photography!

SN3O5289

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

SN3O5290

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

SN3O5296

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

SN3O5297

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

SN3O5298

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

SN3O5299

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

SN3O5300

Enter Utsunoya!

SN3O5301

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!

SN3O5302

Rare blue glazed roof tiles!

SN3O5303

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

SN3O5304

They share all the same wooden architectural design!

SN3O5305

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

SN3O5306

Antique rain water stone jars!

SN3O5307

A postcard view!

SN3O5308

Now the owners have generally turned to farming!

SN3O5309

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

SN3O5310

Walk the stairs keeping an eye for interesting details!

SN3O5311

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

SN3O5312

Try and imagine tired travelers stopping there overnight!

SN3O5313

Looking down on your tracks up the slope!

SN3O5314

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

SN3O5315

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

SN3O5319

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

SN3O5316

Souvenir Shop and restaurant!

SN3O5353

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

SN3O5406

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.

SN3O5291

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.

SN3O5292

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

SN3O5293

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

SN3O5294

It is still relatively new but the concept is traditional!

SN3O5295

No way you can get in!

SN3O5406

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

SN3O5407

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!

SN3O5409

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

SN3O5410

Both of them now house a museum and gallery!

SN3O5411

“Namako” design walls!

SN3O5408

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!

OKABE-7-pine-tree-and-window

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!

OKABE-1-bus-stop 7

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.

OKABE-2-bus-stop-Okabe

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

OKABE-3-Hatsukame

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

OKABE-4-close-to-it!

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

OKABE-5-right-across-the-bus-stop

Can you spot the kura?

OKABE-6-a-pine-tree

Getting close!

OKABE-8-trees!

Behind beautiful pine trees!

OKABE-9-wall-of-east-side

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

OKABE-9-warehouse-and-pine-trees

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!)

OKABE-10-behind-the-warehouse2-1

Another view of the second side of the kura!

OKABE-11-behind-the-warehouse2-2

A closer view of the beautiful window!

warehouse2-1

There are actually two more warehouses along the same street!

warehouse2-2

This one is quite similar to Hatsukame Brewery kura!

warehouse2-3

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

warehouse3-1

The second kura! Very imposing!

warehouse3-2

Very well preserved!

warehouse3-3

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

SN3O5249

“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!

SN3O5248

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

SN3O5250

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!

SN3O5241

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

SN3O5242

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

SN3O5243

The window and the roof were in good repair!

SN3O5244

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!

SN3O5245

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

SN3O5246

Now, that window lock really looks ancient!

SN3O5158

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

SN3O5160

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

SN3O5188

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

SN3O5185

I nonetheless decided to investigate!

SN3O5186

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

SN3O5187

No openings at the back!

SN3O5183

They had reformed the entrance, though!

SN3O5184

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