Kura, the Japanese traditional store houses, are to be found everywhere around the country. Built to withstand fires, with thick walls protected by wall cladding made of charcoal tiles (see namako walls), they were usually annex buildings housing the food reserve and other valuables.
However, the Kurashiki city in Okayama was built almost entirely of kura… The reason is that, during the Edo Period, Kurashiki was the main rice distribution point for Edo and Osaka. The rice collected from the surrounding areas was stored, before being shipped out, in these storehouses.
Today, the kura were converted to shops, restaurants and coffee shops, with all the charm of the old times…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: