“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.
The other day I had the pleasure to witness the good use of an old kura for an event!
The place is one of the many kuras found around Jirocho area in Shimizu Ku, shimizu, which used to stand just by the harbor.
Now the harbor has moved completely away and the area around the Tomoe River whose mouth was part of the harbor, has gone quiet.
The owners of the old house and kura are still living there but they stopped their liquor shop business which used to be housed inside the two old big kuras.
But they the enormous merit to lend the premises to events and parties from time to time!
On that day a remarkable young group of young Japanese called MAP CAFE SHIZUOKA (FACEBOOK) led by a young artist named Tomoyuki Sugiyama</strong> were holding a Map Cafe Event!
Actually a shimizu Kura Club does exist!
They contributed to the event by holding very instructive conversations with all willing visitors!
They were all holding a one-day Map Cafe Shizuoka Coffee Shop there.
I found them also organizing a kind of BBQ for the veening!
Modern concept decoration for an ancient building!
The forefront kura is a bit derelict and used as a shed but the kura at the back is splendid!
For all their ancestry, the door and roof are so well-preserved!
In comparison the window shutters of the forefront kura are dangerously peeling away!
The place is simply and aptly called “KURA/蔵” althoough everybody agrees on its nickname “Ishi Kura/石蔵/Stone Kura”!
The cafe was nicely organised by young members!
Not only the kura is lent for events but it also includes a minuscule museum!
As well as maps of Shimizu when it was a city and still a harbor next to the kura.
No wonder MAP CAFE SHIZUOKA had chosen this location!
Antique earthenware sake bottles!
MAP CAFE SHIZUOKA had prepared their own map of the vicinity featuring all the kuras still standing!
I visited the place and event with a friesnd and had Shizuooka green tea with Shizuoka wagashi cakes!
My friend had the same, but with black tea!
Well done, gals and lads!
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