Tag Archives: Utsunoya

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

Meiji Tunnel in Utsunoya, Shizuoka City!

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Shizuoka Prefecture being located between Tokyo and Nagoya had always been crossed by very busy routes forcing the Meiji Government to dig out many tunnels for faster and easier access and transport.
The Meiji Tunnel in Utsunoya, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City is not only one of them but had the distinction to be first toll tunnel in Japan!

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One easy way to visit this piece of engineering history is to take a bus bound to Fujieda from Shizuoka JR Station North exit platform N0′ and to get off at Utusnoya bus stop just before the Fujieda Tunnel. Cross the road to the right hand side and walk along the well paved street. Walk across Utsunoya and turn left when you find the sign above!

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You will also find this wooden sign board indicating the Old Tokaido Route/Track through the mountains.

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Of course you can walk/climb along the old route through mountains, passes and forests but you will nee a backpack!

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There are plenty of indications to keep you on the right track!

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You are on the right path!
Take your time as it is not a long way away and depending on the seasons there are plenty of pictures to take of the environment!

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You’d better have a good look at this map!

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You will discover that for many reasons there are more than one tunnel in the area!
On the map above the Meiji Tunnel is the second one from the bottom in yellow.
The second tunnel was dug out in the Tasho Era, the one at the very bottom.
A third tunnel was dug during the Showa Era, the third from the bottom.
The latest tunnel was dug out in the Heisei Era, The fourth from the bottom.
The last two are very busy thoroughfares.

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There is small space before the entry of the tunnel equipped with a public washroom, but also with a great relief map!
Take the time to check it and realize the scope of the work invovled in digging out these tunnels!

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You will notice that only pedestrians (and cyclists?) are allowed through these days!

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It is the oldest toll tunnel in Japan! According to the records, it was first opened as a wooden tunnel in 1876. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed it in 1896. It was reopened in 1904 as a brick tunnel!

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Don’t worry! There are no ghosts there! It is lit 24 hours a day!
Actually many lovers walk through it! LOL

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It is actually relatively dry and cool inside!

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Within the space of this tunnel yo walk out of Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City directly into Okabe, Fujieda City!

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The mMiji Tunnel is registered as an intangible Culture Asset!

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