A Salt Merchant’s House, the Old Kasai Residence#Attraction ,#Historical Site ,#Old Townscape
The Old Kasai Residence on Tobacho Street directly overlooks Honmachi Street. There is a view of the street from the windows on the second floor. Let’s take a look inside this residence once owned by a salt merchant!
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|Old Kasai Residence|
|Address||1-9-11 Hommachi, Takehara (map)|
|Closest Station||JR Kure Line: 15min walk from Takehara station|
History of Old Kasai Residence
The Old Kasai Residence was originally constructed in April 1872 as the residence of a salt merchant, Mr. Seihachi Kasai. The long side of the building with the main entrance is four ken, while the gable side is three ken, for a total frontage of seven ken.
*”Ken” is a unit of measurement in Japanese architecture equal to about two meters.
Inside the building, you can see a model of the salt making process that was used in Mr. Kasai’s time. Some tourists visit to experience salt making, and the materials for that can be seen here.
The Takehara Nonprofit Organization Network
The Old Kasai Residence is currently managed by the Takehara Nonprofit Organization Network. They rent out the vacant Old Kasai Residence, allow the public in at no charge while making restorations, and use it as a venue for town events and concerts.
Such events include the weeks-long Takehara Hina Doll Festival, held every year around Doll’s Day (March 3rd). In this event, “hina” dolls which have been passed down in the old families of Takehara since the Edo period are exhibited. The seasonal events are part of the charm of this house.As you can see, there are panels exhibited in a room on the second floor about the anime Tamayura, which was set in Takehara. On the day we visited, preparations for university events were going on in another room.
When you enter the building from the main entrance on the side, you can see all the way to the back garden.In the garden, French hydrangea, which were just coming into season, had started to bloom. The view of the garden through the bamboo screen hanging in the corridor was quite elegant. In summer time, it has an especially calm and refreshing atmosphere.
Just like at the Matsuzaka Residence, the transoms at the Old Kasai Residence are worthy of note. The motifs of the transoms in this residence vary depending on the place, so it is quite fun to search for them.This is a pattern of mallow flowers. There are also several other kinds shown below. When you visit, raise your gaze and take a look.Let’s continue on to the second floor. In other residences, even when there are two floors you can often only tour the first, but the Old Kasai Residence allows you to browse both.
As seen in the photograph, the second floor also has a weaving machine, a spinning wheel, and so on.
The beams on the ceiling are magnificent! It looks almost overwhelmingly sturdy. The events are another highlight of this residence that has a sweeping view of the street.
The Old Kasai Residence is at the end of the main street of the Takehara Townscape Preservation Districts, so you can get a sweeping view of the street from the windows on the second floor.
This residence is often rented out for various events. Why not come and try experiencing one of the seasonal events?
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