Monday, February 22, 2021

Historic streets of Kiragawa


Kiragawa is a small port on the west side of the Muroto Peninsula in Kochi on Shikoku. If you are following the Shikoku pilgrimage in the standard clockwise direction you reach Kiragawa after visiting Kongochoji Temple.

Kiragawa is one of the featured sites of the UNESCO Geopark of Cape Muroto, but before that it was registered as  a historic preservation district.

One of the notable features of the architecture is the lines of rooftiles embedded in the plaster walls to help shed water on this storm-lashed coastline.

The port gre to prominence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by exporting lumber and a particular type of charcoal called Tosa Binchotan. Still made today, it is made from a type of oak and has a metallic ring when struck. Its main feature is that it is odorless and so great for barbecuing.

There are about 120 of these preservation districts throughout Japan, and while some are very touristy and disneyfied, i find the less visited sites like Kiragawa more appealing. A longer guide to Kiragawa I wrote can be found here.


  1. Love your blog and seeing these less known places. Might be worth investing in a new camera though ;-) Your technology is letting down your otherwise excellent resource. Warm wishes.

  2. I love the Kura buildings !
    keep going