Tag Archives: Japanese Culture

Kura: Japanese Traditional Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 10

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Partly stone-built kura in Yoshiwara, Fuji 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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This very old kura I discovered along the street leading to Bishamonten Myouhouji Shrine/Temple in Yoshiwara, Fuji City, has the particularity to have walls covered with chiseled stone slabs, an unusual occurence in our Prefecture!

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Although the iron window and door curtains are very old it is still used as demonstrated by the recent water drain pipes!

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Another unusual feature: a very small window not leading to the actual inside of the kura but into its foundation!

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Looking at it from the side it is practically double-walled.
Very solid, indeed!

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I discovered this small-sized cocncrete block kura south of Yaizu City JR Station!

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It certainly looks old but the concrete blocks would denote its date just after WWII!

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It is still used as a warehouse. After all Yaizu City is a trading and fishing port city!

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

Pavement “Regulations” Signs on Pavements in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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This sign against illegal bicycle parking was commissioned to a primary school by the City of Shizuoka!

If you look at pavements in any city in Japan, especially near stations and in crowded neighborhoods, you will discover all kinds of notices/signs directly printed onto pavements to remind citizens of regulations, be they friendly or prohibitive!
Some ar definitely welcome, while some are a bit useless, to say the least!
let me show you some examples I have have taken recently!

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Non smoking street signs found in many spots in Shizuoka City. Note that the bird is a kingfisher, symbol bird of Shizuoka City!

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A faded non smoking street sign near Yaizu City JR Station!

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Illegal bicycle parking in Shizuoka City!

Although Shizuoka City and Prefecture respectively hold the record for the largest numbers of bicycles citis have declared war, albeit a losing one, against illegal bicycle parking, a totally un-ecological measure when you know that Shizuoka is also suffering from one of the highest ration of car exhaust fume pollution!

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Illegal bicycle paring taken at night in Shimada City!

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Two-hour limit bicycle parking zoen in front of Shizuoka City main post office!

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Another type of illegal bicycle parking sign in Yaizu City!

Some sign manufacturer must make a fortune with all those different types being ordered by cities!

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Another type of illegal bicycle parking sign in Shizuoka City!

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A somewhat confusing sign!
Pavement area reserved to pedestrians and bicycles!
Bear in mind that bicycles are allowed on pavements in Japan!

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Within short distance from the sign foreamentioned you will find this sign in front of Shizuoka JR Station requesting people to get off their bicycles and push them along!

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Signs in front of Shizuoka City main post office requesting pedestrians and cyclist to use their own half of the pavement! Unfeasible in practice unfortunately!

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Cycle on this side of the pavement! (Shizuoka City)

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Red-colored sign indicating pedestrians zone on the pavement!

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Orange color instead of red color used for pedestrians!

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Some streets in Shizuoka City have a blue lane area for bicycles along streets.
In that case cyclists are asked not to use the pavements along them!

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Although no strictly on the pavement, the city felt obliged to warn cyclists using the blue area zone on the streets of bus stops!

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In Umeya Cho, Shizuoka City, I was a bit flabbergasted to notice this sign asking bicycles to run along the houses and the pedestrians to walk along the street half of the pavement!

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Sign asking bicycles to stop at the crossroads in front of the zebra crossing in Yaizu City!

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Sign reminding school kids to stop, look left and right before crossing the street!

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The same with a different design!

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This sign was sponsored by by the Shizuoka Prefecture Government to signify that the part of the parking in front of Yaizu Hospital next to Yaizu City Hall is reserved to physically impaired visitors>
Apparently pregnant women are also called physically impaired visitors…..

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 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

Koike Village Chief House in Yui!

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Because Shizuoka City and Prefecture were more an area of intense travelling than Kyoto or Tokyo where people gathered and built according to the size of their population (and money), it seems that our region lacks in historical and cultural assets.
Actually, until Tokugawa Ieyasu made his retreat at the beginning of the 17th Century in Sumpu (Shizuoka City) travelers had still to stay there overnight and eat and drink. Accordingly, many old houses and lodgings can still be discovered along the Old Tokaido Route.
Tourists should not overlook them as their smaller size, easier access and cheap/free entrances provide them with a rare glimpse of life of past times. Sometimes such sightseeing off the beaten tracks is more rewarding than grandiose but crowded monuments!
One house worthy of a visit lies along the Old Tokaido Route in Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City, only a few minutes away on foot from Yui JR Station: Koike Village House which was incidentally registered as a National Important Cultural Asset in October 1998.

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The entrance!

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Note the “namako/seaslug wall”!

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Time to study Japanese! Don’t worry most of what is written on the board is mentioned in this article! LOL

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The entrance and the noren/暖簾/entrance curtain!
Such a village house would also serve as a registar house in Edo Times hence another historical source of importance!

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A small room has been refurbished into a small museum you will get into through another noren!

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Take time to look at old pictures of Yui Village!

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Through the bay window of the small museum you will discover a tiny but adorable Japanese garden!

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Important documents are still preserved there!

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Life articles of a time past!

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The modest size of the very well preserved living quarters will give you a chance for great photogtraphy of a true Japanese abode of yore.

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You actually may walk inside if you take your shoes off! That will permit you to not only take great photographs but experience a real feel under the soles of your feet!

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Contrary to the interminable lodgings of ancient nobles, it has the merit to introduce you to a real size living house!

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If you are am antique buff you will be surprised to find this very heavy antique shave ice machine worth a fortune at auctions!

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Take all your time to admire the small exquisite garden full of surprises!

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I have never seen that lantern-supporting sumo wrestler anywhere before!

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Every season will offer you a different glimpse!

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Very unusual moss!

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An ancient well!

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Having a second look before departing…
Irori/firplace!

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Mobile partition!

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Old hanging scroll!

I would advise you to take a good camera along as the place is dark inside, but you must have also a look at the raftings, the ceiling and theattic!

KOIKE VILLAGE CHIEF HOUSE/小池邸

421-3112 Shizuoka Prefecture, Shizuoka City, Shimizu Ku, Yui, Terao, 464-9 (10 minutes on foot from Yui JR Station. Proceed left of the Station exit!)
Tel.: 054-376-0611
Opening hours: 09:30~16:30 (March~October), 09:30~16:00 (November~February)
Closed on Mondays and National Holidays (except if happening on week-ends), December 26th~January 5th
Entrance: free
Parking for 6 cars

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

Wall Paintings in Yaizu City!

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Yesterday I was ambling along streets in Yaizu City in search of the manhole covers I had found out on the net when I reached a small bridge over the river crossing the city into the sea (yaizu City is one the major fishing harbors in Japan!).

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The pavements in the vicinity of the bridge were decorated with some interesting tiles I was going to take pictures of when I noticed paintings on the wall along the pathway of the very quiet river full of Japanese carps!

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The paintings had been ordered to real artists by the city to help promote its tourism!

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This particular series depicted the Yaizu Harbor Festival, a major one in Shizuoka Prefecture which is held every year!

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The local fishermen must be really looking forward to it!

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O Mikoshi/Portable Shrines!

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At least one lady seems after all to be part of it!
I will have to investigate!

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As I amble along I found out that the river was in fact crossed by three bridges to allow the many avenues to go through and had a glimpse at another painting on another wall!

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A legendary hero in a fiery scene with an erupting Mount Fuji in the background!

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There were more to be seen from the third bridge!

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They were all about and ancient legendary hero with hints of religion!

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Confrontation!

SN3O5041Offerings!

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Praying for succor!

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Deity Symbols?

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!

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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