Kura — The Surviving Storehouses of Kawagoe

The kura is a traditional Japanese storehouse and a distinctive feature of residential architecture throughout Japan. It is built from timber, stone or clay, and served for the storage and protection of valuables, including rice, gunpowder, artwork, kimonos, family heirlooms, religious items and cultural treasures. The city of Kawagoe, a once important trading outpost to the ancient capital of Edo (present-day Tokyo), has one of the most extensive collections of kura. They date back to the 18th century and have been constructed in a style called kurazukuri; depicted by the jabara doors and windows, onigawara roofs and thick earthen walls. The kura that survived past disasters have been preserved and many are now being converted into homes, offices, restaurants and shops.

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