Sunday, April 20, 2014

KURASHIKI BIKAN HISTORICAL QUARTER

I went to Kurashiki this weekend for annual meeting of a organization that I belong to.

It was so beautiful and warm day. I feel like a tourist when I am in Kurashiki because I always see many tourists who visit a historical district in Kurashiki.


Technically, a street along Kurashiki river is designated as Traditional Architectures Preservation District (重要伝統的建造物群保存地区) by Japanese Government. Then Kurashiki City designated the district and around the area as Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter (Kurashiki Bikan Chiku,倉敷美観地区). People just call it Kurashiki Bikan Chiku.



I always get to the area through old shopping malls that are spread from JR Kurashiki Station. At the end of the malls, you will see this wide street.


I like this simple street without any white line or road marking. City recently made the road like this to make its appearance look like the one of 150 years ago.



My meeting was held at a hotel, Kurashiki Ivy Square in Bikan Chiku. This hotel was renovated from former spinning plant, Kurashiki Bouseki. The hotel was named after its actual square surrounded by ivy on brick walls.


Streets along Kurashiki river used be busy area as an important landing port that is directly governed by central government in Edo era. In Meiji era, Magosaburou Oohara, who is former owner of Kurashiki Bouseki, initiated preservation of the historical scenery and various kind of  cultures such as paintings, crafts and textile.



Magosaburou and his son, Soichiro, and grandson, Kenichiro are well known as patrons of Kurashiki cultures. Not only Oohara family, but many other entrepreneurs still have a spirit of traditional patron. The area is very stylish and crowded by many women's tourists. On the other hand, this town is also very attractive for men because it has cool patron culture that is called Danna Bunka (旦那文化).



official site of tourism information by Kurashiki City
http://www.kurashiki-tabi.jp/see-kurashiki/

It takes about 15 minutes from JR Okayama Station to Kurashiki Station by train.

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