The Day we saw some old houses
Trip Start Jul 23, 2010
43Trip End Aug 31, 2010
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We decide to go to Kawagoe, a scenic little town just an hour away from Tokyo. We took the loop bus from the station and went to our first destination-- Kitain temple. It's also a shrine to Tokugawa Ieyasu (that man returns everywhere!) and it contains the Gohyaku Rakan Statues, 540 statues of disciples of Buddha with each it's own facial expression!
Unfortunately, you had to pay to get in there and we were basically not really up to go inside, so we just photographed the outside. :)
After another short ride on the bus, we went to Kawagoe's main attraction-- Kurazukuri dori. In the Edo Period, Japanese cities consisted almost exclusively of wooden buildings. As a result, they were very vulnerable to fires, which occurred frequently and could destroy whole city districts.To store and protect their most valuable goods like ride, people constructed warehouses (kura) with massive, fireproof walls, consisting of several layers.
Thanks to this prosperous trade, the merchants of Kawagoe grew very wealthy, and many of them could afford to build not only their warehouses, but also their stores in the fireproof kurazukuri style.In the old times, there were more than 200 kurazukuri buildings in Kawagoe. A few dozens remain today, with most of them lining the town's main street, a 15 minute walk north of Hon-Kawagoe Station.
Needless to say, it looks like a movie set for a Japanese movie set in Edo times. It's very old, and you can easily see that-- but every kurazukuri building has it's own charm and I really loved it! We walked around this part of town for a while, ate something at a Japanese fastfood chain and returned home seeing as we were quite tired!