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From Shimotsui Shipping Agent Museum To Seto Bridge 1
Shimotsui Shipping Agent Museum is a museum of a Meiji era maritime merchant situated in the city of Kurashiki. Within the museum complex, you will find several structures, including the main building, a collection room, an information hall, a museum shop and an event hall. The museum has been restored to its original state, preserving its historical charm. Admission to the museum is free; simply register your name at the entrance and you can explore its interior.
First, let me introduce Omoya, the main building. In Japanese, the word Omoya means the main house. Upon entering, you will notice on your left a model featuring two sailing ships and an introduction to the prosperity of Shimotsui brought about by these Kitamae ships.
Go further inside and you will encounter a reception desk. If you require assistance or guidance, feel free to request. You can also obtain tourist information including places to eat and bus schedules.
Shimotsui Shipping Agent Museum and Shimotsui Townscape Conservation Area have earned certification as Japan Heritage Sites under the title ‘Kurashiki and the Story of Fiber ~ East meets west through cotton ~.’ Additionally, Shimotsui Townscape Conservation Area is a port of call for Kitamae ships from across the country, and this historical town is registered as one of the Japan Heritage Sites titled ‘Ports and Residences Built on the Dreams of Brave Seafarers ~ Kitamae Ships Port-of-Call・Ship Owner’s Settlement ~.’
On the first floor, you can find displays of sea fish decorations and dolls.
As you ascend to the second floor, you will encounter exhibits related to the beliefs of the fishermen. During that time, fishermen likely sought safety and prosperity through prayers and amulets.
Toys from the Edo and Meiji periods are also on display. I was surprised to discover that some of them are similar to those from China. I wondered about the origins of such designs.
A variety of currency bills and clan notes, as well as wallets and paper cases from that period.
In the middle of the second floor, you will find a glass signboard showing the history of Shimotsui and the Kitamae ships. It describes incidents occurred in Shimotsui from 1783 to 1988 and the historical prosperity of the Kitamae fleet.