KURA: Traditional Japanese Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 25: Shimada City, Yokoi Factory



“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 was exploring the south side of Shimada City when I discovered this enormous red brick kura near the Shimada Baseball Stadium.
As it was obviously part of a bigger complex I decided to investigate in earnest!


I walked around it for a few pictures first!
With all that ivy contrasting on the red bricks I could easily imagine a movie being enacted nearby!




The windows must have been locked for quite some time!


Apparently the ivy was not growing at that end…


It certainly looked old.
Red brick kuras are rare in Shizuoka Prefecture!


I finally reached the entrance to the normous complex where the kura was located.
It all belonged to the Yokoi Factory of Tokushu Tokai Seishi Kabushiki Kaisha (Special Tkai Paper Company)!


It was a Saturday and the company was closed, but the guard kindly informed me that the Kura, although presently unused due to its bad state, dated back to 90 years ago. He also old me that the original wooden office building of the same period could be found inside the complex.
He was also kind enough to tell me to come back on a week day when I could get official permission to visit it!


The kura from inside the company grounds.


It is completely locked out because of risks of collapse!


Looking forward to the “official” visit!


So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
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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

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