Saturday, March 09, 2013

Kurayoshi - Shirakabe Dozogun 倉吉市ー白壁土蔵群

Place Name: Shirakabe Dozogun 白壁土蔵群
Type: Historical Preservation District 
Location: Kurayoshi city, Tottori Prefecture, JAPAN 
Latitude: 35.432089 
Longitude: 133.825031 
Date of Visit: December 28, 2012 
Access: JR San'in Main Line - Kurayoshi Station (山陰本線ー倉吉駅) 


The Shirakabe Dozogun [白壁土蔵群] or Utsubukitamakawa [打吹玉川] as it's officially known is a "Group of Traditional Building" or in Japanese a 重要伝統的建造物群保存地区. Basically, it's a historic district of warehouses dating back to Edo period that have been preserved over the years. The beautiful neighborhood can be explored in a half day and has many small, and tasty looking, cafes hidden throughout the area. Small shops aimed towards the tourist trade are mixed among local shoe stores and boutiques. Even in the rain we had a great time wandering around the small streets.

Free parking and, lucky for us, free umbrella rental is available near the tourist information office.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Kokawa-dera 粉河寺 #3

Place Name: Kokawa-dera 粉河寺 
Type: Temple 寺 
Location: Kinokawa city, Wakayama Prefecture, JAPAN 
Latitude: 34.280961 
Longitude: 135.405908 
Date of Visit: February 11, 2013 
Access: JR Wakayama Line - Kokawa Station (和歌山線ー粉河駅) 
Fee: Parking ¥500 
Hours: 8:00~17:00 


Kokawa-dera is impressive for the beautiful stone work throughout the complex. Easy to walk to with no long stairs or hikes from the entrance it's also one of the most accessible of the Saikoku 33 temples. If you don't come by car, it's only 10 minutes or so from the nearest train station to the entrance also. The gem of Kokawa-dera is the amazing rock garden that makes up the retaining wall of the temple. It's also registered national cultural asset. While the garden dates from the 16th century the temple itself has a history dating back to 770. A picture scroll describing the foundation of the temple by a hunter is a natural treasure and is kept in the Kyoto National Museum. The lotus flower fountain in the front is amazing too. Behind the temple is a small Shinto shrine that had a two peacocks and some koi fish to look at. 

The hill next to the temple is a city park with a small playground, view point and walking trails.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.