The Warehouses of Kitakata

The Warehouses of Kitakata

In the Meiji and Taisho eras, Kitakata City experienced a boom in the construction of kura (traditional Japanese storehouses). There are approximately 4,200 still left in the city today. While these were used both as storehouses for businesses in the brewing and lacquerware industries, the building of a kura has traditionally been considered among Kitakata locals as a great symbol of status, and a source of pride. In the Mitsuya District, the rows of brick storehouses are reminiscent of rural Europe, whereas in the Sugiyama district, they have roofs that take the appearance of helmets. Visitors can see a range of kura and other traditional buildings at Kitakata Kura-no-Sato museum, or enjoy exploring the kura of the city on foot or by bike.

See here for a 1 day itinerary for visiting Kitakata City.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttp://www.kitakata-kanko.jp/(Automated translation available)
Contact

Kitakata Tourism & Local Products Association

(+81) 241-24-5200

info@kitakata-kanko.jp

Best SeasonAll Year
Related infoCheck out this map of the kura located around Kitakata City.
Access Details
Access7244-2 Oshimizu Higashi, Kitakata City, Fukushima Pref. 966-8601
View directions
Getting there

By Car: 20 min from Aizuwakamatsu I.C. exit off the Ban-etsu Expressway

By Train: Some warehouses are within walking or cycling distance from Kitakata Station (JR Ban-etsu West Line). Others require access via taxi.

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Kitakata Kura-no-Sato

Established in 1993, Kitakata Kura no Sato is a base for passing down the cultural tradition of building kura (traditional warehouses) and magariya (L-shaped houses), which are valuable parts of the lifestyle heritage of the Kitakata area. Ten traditional-style buildings stand within this 4,500 square-meter area. These include a mise-gura (a kura used as a shop), a miso-gura (kura for preserving miso paste), a kokumotsu-gura (a kura for storing grain), and a kura-zashiki (a kura used as a residence), as well as the residences of local officials (Go-gashira and Kimoiri) constructed around a courtyard. The landscape with its old warehouses and residences induces a sense of nostalgia in the minds of Japanese people. Each of the warehouses also serves as an exhibition space for various resources on different themes: stencils for Aizu dyeing; a photo gallery exhibiting the works of Minoru Kaneda, who introduced Kitakata to outsiders as the town of kura; Iwako Uryu, a social worker during the Meiji Period; Monzo Hasunuma, the leader of a youth movement group called Shuyodan; and the Kitakata Incident, which took place in the midst of the democratic movement during the Meiji Period. Visitors can also acquire background knowledge here before going on a tour to see the many kura that are dotted around the city of Kitakata.

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Ouchi-juku

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