Stroll in Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, an Imperial Demesne: UKIYO-E KURASHIKI / KUNIYOSHI


Utagawa Kuniyoshi is one of the prominent ukiyo-e artists of the Edo period.  Kuniyoshi was born in a dye shop in Nihonbashi, Edo, and became an apprentice of Utagawa Toyokuni I at the age of 15, after a long period of apprenticeship, he came into the limelight when he was over 30 years old with his series “One hundred and eight heroes of the popular Water Margin, all told (Tsūzoku Suikoden gōketsu hyakuhachinin no hitori)” based on the Chinese historical novel “Water Margin” and became a popular painter known as “Kuniyoshi the Samurai painter”.  The UKIYO-E KURASHIKI / KUNIYOSHI displays about one hundred works by Kuniyoshi and his apprentices.




Photography is prohibited inside the UKIYO-E KURASHIKI / KUNIYOSHI, so I cite a photo from its website.





After being inspired by the ukiyo-e prints in the UKIYO-E KURASHIKI / KUNIYOSHI, let’s take a stroll in the Bikan Historical Quarter.  We can enjoy the quaint sight with Japanese-style storehouses with white walls, namako walls (white grid pattern walls) and rows of willows.  Traditional buildings are lined up and we can see the retro-modern scenery along the Kurashiki River.




We can take a riverboat on the Kurashiki River.  The boat ride is called Kawabune -nagashi.  These boats were used for transporting goods in the Edo period.  Kawabune-nagashi requires reservations on the day and the fee is 500 yen for adults, 250 yen for the children from 5 years old to elementary school students, and free for children under 5 years old.  Kawabune-nagashi is so popular that the reservation for this visit was not available unfortunately.




There are rickshaws in the Bikan Historical Quarter.  The rickshaw drivers are all handsome (lol).  We would feel so good if we ride one of these rickshaws.




I met a swan living in the Kurashiki River.




Getting tired of walking around, I got to “Miyake Shouten”, a café in a renovated townhouse built more than one hundred and decades ago, and I had a refreshing white peach shaved ice.  The shaved ice was melty and the peaches were sweet, it was perfect for a hot day.  This is my top recommendation.  It was 1,210 yen for a heaping cupful.




After taking a break and I continued to stroll, then I bumped into a samurai and took a photo with him.  I think the folding fan he lent me went with my mood very well (lol).




Various Japanese-style products are sold in the Bikan Historical Quarter. For example, Geta (traditional Japanese footwear).




Why don’t you buy a delicate and high-quality souvenir of Kurashiki Momoko and give it to someone precious?




Writer  Cherry

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