KURA is what Japanese tangible cultural properties, and now is the time we should consider the current our awareness of Japanese old warehouses.

We are proud to present to you KURA OBIHACHI, the restored warehouse of the Ojima Trading Company. Built over 90 years ago in Yamagata City this special building, like most of its kind in Japan, had fallen into disuse. Fortunately the laying of a new access road presented the opportunity to open the treasures of this building -- its architecture and the many Japanese antiquities (furu-dougu) it contained - to the public.


So in the spring of 2003 we undertook extensive renovation (while preserving the warehouse's unique wood and plaster structure) to turn this once simple storage house into a cafe-bar, live music, and gallery space. And in bringing back an important part of Japanese history we respect the Japanese focus on healthy and refined slow food and drink, though updated for modern times.

Background on Japanese KURA

KURA (Japanese warehouses) are a relic of Japan's early commercial history. Yamagata prefecture is one of many areas were Kurds proliferated in the early twentieth century. In Yamagata city specifically, KURA construction was impelled by government edict following the a major fire around the turn of the century. Over 400 KURA were built, of which 150 were in the city's main commercial centre. KURAs then reflect an important part of Japan's history and their restoration is an vital project for preserving Japan's architecture and maintaining a quiet respite from an often too-fast modernity.We hope KURA OBIHACHI moves the community a step closer to these goals.

KURAs performed many functions as their thick plaster walls provided a fire-proof, secure space protected from the humidity and cold. Some KURAs functioned as storehouses alone, while others were used for living space and stores. Yamagata city centre KURAs - like KURA OBIHACHI - functioned primarily as warehouses for commercial goods and the storage of Japanese traditional ceremonial products (such as those used in weddings and funerals). KURA OBIHACHI in fact contained a treasure throve of these traditional crafts(furu-dougu in Japanese). As Japan modernized many KURAs in Yamagata no longer served their original function and many were in fact torn down. Still, dozens of KURAs can still be seen today along Yamagata main streets, offering a window into Japan's past and its lost habits and ways of life.

KURA network

Our KURA is gladly got an award of (hand-made home country award) by the national land and traffic agency. Also,it is got an award of the street view(Region) by the city government office.

  • KURA Gallery HIMURO
  • Twin gallery KURA
  • Yamatogawa brewing store warehouse
  • Pottery City of Miyagi, Gunma Tamachi built
  • Student farm「Omi Rakuza」
  • Restaurant NISHIKURA

If you have person there Kura fellow you would like a link to this page , please contact us .