Category Archives: Kura

Kura: Traditional Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 41: Honkaku Temple 8(本覚寺) in Ikeda, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka 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.

HONKAKUJI-1a

The other having some time on my hands I decided to cycle down to Ikeda in Suruga Ku, south of Shizuoka JR Station to look for a kura that had just been introduced to me by my good friend, Philip Kreiner.
It is an old Buddhist Temple dating back to 1307 during the Kamakura Era.
The monk there kindly explained me that the kura had been built in the 2nd Year of Meiji Era (1869) after a great fire destroyed the biggest part of the Temple to preserve precious documents although nowadays it is used only as a shed.

HONKAKUJI-1

Although comparatively small it looked different from the usual kura built by rich merchants or high officials.

HONKAKUJI-2

It had an unusual portico at its entrance with typical Buddhist Temple decoration.

HONKAKUJI-3

It even bore its own mon/Japanese crest!

HONKAKUJI-4

it was in excellent repair in spite of the large smudges caused by rain running down the roofed portico.

HONKAKUJI-5

The alignment pegs were in a very straight line proving that the building was not suffering from any warping!

HONKAKUJI-6

Old but very solid window panels and awning!

HONKAKUJI-7

That door seemed very solid, too!

HONKAKUJI-8

It was open on both sides for better draft.

HONKAKUJI-9

Well-maintained tiled roof pinion!

HONKAKUJI-10

Well-maintained and grilled openings to let the water flow under the building!

HONKAKUJI-11

Walking around the building…

HONKAKUJI-12

Well-maintained on any side!

Interesting discovery, all in all!

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

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Kura: Traditional Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 40: Edo Era Village Kura in Nakajima Elementary School, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka 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.

NAKAJIMA-KURA -2

Yesterday I was cycling in Nakajima District in Suruga Ku, that the part of of Shizuoka City south of Shizuoka JR Station, an area I still have a lot to learn about in spite of my living in Shizuoka City for 40 years!

NAKAJIMA-KURA -3

Veering into of the straight streets going south I found myself cycling past Nakajima Elementary School.

NAKAJIMA-KURA -4

That is when I espied a rare site beyond the School Disaster Evacuation sign!

NAKAJIMA-KURA -5

A small and very old, but splendidly preserved with little or no repairs standing on the grounds of an elementary school!
I had to investigate!

NAKAJIMA-KURA -6

Simple but stolid enough!

NAKAJIMA-KURA -7

Thanks to this welcome sign I learned it had been built in Edo Era to serve as a warehouse for Nakajima Village as the area was called then. It served mainly as a warehouse for all important documents concerning the Village.
The Elementary School was built by it only many years later.
Apparently it is the only one of its kind in Shizuoka City!

NAKAJIMA-KURA -8

It was wholly built with uncut or cut stones!

NAKAJIMA-KURA -9

It was also located so as toe let the prevailing winds provide needed draft through the two windows opened at each extremity!

NAKAJIMA-KURA -10

I should come back to take a picture of it with cherry tree in blooms!

NAKAJIMA-KURA -11

Do you notice the opening at its base?

NAKAJIMA-KURA -12

This is to make sure that any water accumulated between the high foundation and the kura can be expelled quickly and to insure the same area stays dry!

NAKAJIMA-KURA -13

With the modern elementary school buildings in the background!

NAKAJIMA-KURA -14

The roofing is in good repair!

NAKAJIMA-KURA -15

The pinion with “水/mizu/water” carved in!

NAKAJIMA-KURA -16

Tiled roof details!

NAKAJIMA-KURA -17

How old are the wooden eaves?

NAKAJIMA-KURA -18

How many schoolchildren has this window seen walk past under it?

NAKAJIMA-KURA -19

The door, although repainted, seems original enough!

NAKAJIMA-KURA -20

Only one of the alignment “pegs” was missing!

NAKAJIMA-KURA -21

it was too late in the day to talk with the staff, but I certainly intend to interview the schoolmaster someday!

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

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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

KURA/Japanese Traditional Warehouses: An Introduction

“Kura” (in Japanese 蔵 or 倉) means “warehouse” or “Storehouse”.
In traditional Japan, especially during the Edo Era, as most of buildings and urban/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.

SN3O0300
SN3O0300

Of course “kura” come in all sizes and it is fun to discover the smaller ones tucked in between houses in cities or among the trees in a big farm property! Some are grand and well-maintained, others are left derelict exposed to the vagaries of natural erosion.

ivy-covered-1

Abandoned red brick warehouse in Jirou Cho, the old harbor district in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City.

These kuras cost a fortune to erect but they are also extremely expensive to pull down. Therefore you can still find many abandoned by rich owners who suddenly had to leave, disappear or fell on hard times, especially in harbor cities or rich districts of large traditional cities such as Kyoto, Kanazawa, Fukuoka and so forth.

SN3O5024
SN3O5024

On the other hand quite a few a few have been maintained or reformed to house companies, clothes shop like the one above in Shizuoka City, one of the very few buildings that survived WWII in that City, or restaurants and cafes and even book stores and art galleries.

SN3O0114
SN3O0114

Kura transformed into an Izakaya/Japanesestyle bistro in Shimada City!

“Kura” come into two basic styles and many sizes.
-All built in red brick, although the interior might be reinforced with concrete, stones, metal or/and wood.
-Stones and concrete covered with white plaster.

SN3O0136
SN3O0136

An ancient kura, probably the property of a rich land owner, erected on a stone base with traditional lattice design around the lower part of the first story.

SN3O0611
SN3O0611

Abandoned kura in Shizuoka City owned by the defunct Inoue sake Brewery.

Many sake breweries, soy sauce and miso paste manufactures reside kura of their own.

SN3O5194
SN3O5194

A typical warehouse will comprise two stories, although single-story and triple-story warehouses are not uncommon.

Entrances will be limited to a minimum and even very large kura might only have one on the ground floor/first floor, whereas windows are almost invariably opened on the top floor. The same windows are closed with panels of the same thickness as the walls. Once closed they become integral part of the walls!

SN3O0049
SN3O0049

Former Suzuki Honkei Sake Brewery in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

Many will be found attaining traditional Japanese houses with the same roofing made of kiln-baked tiles.

SN3O5409
SN3O5409

Warehouse reformed as small museum and souvenir shop in Okabe, Fujieda City!

SN3O0338
SN3O0338

Grand kura owned by Shinseido Company in Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City! Note the imposing roof pinion!

warehouse3-2

The “pegs” often found around the walls are not for hanging things but to check the proper alignment of the walls as the land is subjected to earthquakes. The same apply to the pegs linked to the roofing. A break in the link will become a telltale sign that the roof is warped!

SN3O5613
SN3O5613

You may notice such small opening at the base of kura especially in the country side. Their purpose is to check the foundations and eventual excess water!

SN3O0417
SN3O0417

Of course, not only kuras are the source of very interesting photography, but they are also used as backdrops for movies and TV reportage such as this enormous red brick kura building owned by a printing company in Shimada City!

Good hunting!

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

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

KURA: Traditional Japanese Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 28: “Reformed” Kura in Mishima 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.

SN3O0545
SN3O0545

Whereas the bigger kura are very often maintained by rich individuals or local government these days, some smaller ones are sometimes “reformed/adapted” with various success.
I found the\is one the other day in Mishima City ensconced between newly developed touristic spots!

SN3O0546
SN3O0546

The very old windows and doors were left as they were.

SN3O0547
SN3O0547

It looked like a real house from a distance!

SN3O0548
SN3O0548

The original owner(s) didn’t that rich, though!

SN3O0549
SN3O0549

It seems to being used as a storeroom or some kind of atelier!

SN3O0550
SN3O0550

With a little effort and more decoration it could be turned into romantic spot at night?

SN3O0551
SN3O0551

For all the corrugated iron it seems very solid as the alignment hooks seem in the right position!

SN3O0552
SN3O0552

At least it must be very dry inside as the roof is in good repair!

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

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

KURA: Traditional Japanese Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 27: Akino Family House in 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.

SN3O0555
SN3O0555

the other day I noticed a kura hidden inside a big property and s\decided to investigate!
The whole property was locked up and unfortunately access and views were very limited in spite of its splendid state!

SN3O0563
SN3O0563

I decided to find the entrance of the property where I found this commemorative pillar erected beside the entrance gate!
It stated that this home erected during the Meiji Era was owned by the Akino Family and had been designated as a national Cultural Asset in 1935!

SN3O0565
SN3O0565

Beside the very door hung this name plate with name of Akino Family and a rare kind of Arms representing agricultural tools! The Arms were evidently inspired by those of noble families in Europe!
I found out later that the Akin Family was probably the richest and the most powerful family in Edo Period and beyond in Shimada City which was then one of the richest cities in the Prefecture!
Unfortunately in spite of its status as a Cultural Asset it is uninhabited and closed to the public although local politicians are fighting to have it open as a local Museum!

SN3O0556
SN3O0556

What I found hidden behind all manners of vegetation was not one but a double imposing kura!
I was told there was even a third one hidden by trees inside the promises!
The family must have been enormously rich!

SN3O0557
SN3O0557

Still in incredibly good state and repair!

SN3O0558
SN3O0558

Unusually tall walls with their alignment hooks still unmoved or unbent!
I was told the kura contained an incredible wealth of documents and what else!

SN3O0559
SN3O0559

A shame we can see only a glimpse of it all!

SN3O0560
SN3O0560

The double kura from the back!

SN3O0561
SN3O0561

All windows safely barred!

SN3O0562
SN3O0562

Splendid roofing!

SN3O0564
SN3O0564

It is good-by for the moment but I sincerely hope that one day I will be allowed to discover all that is hidden behind these trees!

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

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

KURA: Traditional Japanese Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 26: Shimada City, near Baseball Stadium

“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.

SN3O0430
SN3O0430

The other day, as I was exploring the south side of Shimada City JR Railway Station I discovered another kura, white this time, just standing next to Ykoi Factory and its enormous red-brick warehouse!

SN3O0429
SN3O0429

By individual home standards the two-storey kura was big!

SN3O0428
SN3O0428

The ancient door is still in good functional state!

SN3O0427
SN3O0427

Actually it has two main doors, a bit unusual fact which probably means the inside is divided into two distinct rooms.

SN3O0426
SN3O0426

For all its apparent grime, the building is very sound as shown by the straight alignment of the “hooks”!

SN3O0425
SN3O0425

I would say it is still used as a large farm equipment shed!

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

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City