Showing posts with label kitamaebune. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kitamaebune. Show all posts

Friday, May 3, 2024

Takuno Port


From the harbour at Nima, it is not far to Takuno port, with just the Nima beach, a small headland, and a small cove in-between.

There are a couple of small islands just offshore and they provide good protection so the harbour became one of the Kitamaebune ports. The next Kitamaebune port down the coast is Yunotsu.

The small town has several warehouses and large merchant homes that would have prospered during the Edo and Meiji periods when the trade route was at its peak.

I have passed through Takuno several times, most recently while walking the Iwami Kannon pilgrimage.

The largest of the offshore islets is called Karashima and according to the myth it was the "stone boat" that brought Susano from the Korean peninsula in a little-known variation on the ancient myths of Japan.

Nowadays there are no tradeships, only inshore fishing boats and a few squid boats use the harbour.

However, like so much of the Shimane coastline, there are plenty of fine views.

The previous post in this series exploring the coastline of the Sea of Japan was on Nima harbour.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Yunotsu Harbour

Yunotsu Japan Travel

Early morning on Oct 15th 2019 and I start the third day of my walk along the Japan Sea Coast exploring as many of the nooks and crannies as I can.

Yunotsu is one of the sites included in the Iwami Ginzan World Heritage Site, and the old street of traditional hot spring guest houses and public baths is also a preservation district, but today I bypass that part of town and stick to the waters edge.

The port is now mostly a fishing port although there is a section where tetrapods are produced.

During the Edo and early Meiji periods it was a harbour used by the Kitamaebune ships on the major trade route that connected Osaka with Hokkaido.

Carved into the cliff is a small Buddhist shrine......

There are several side-inlets to the harbour filled with smaller fishing boats. Twenty years ago when we first came to the area one inlet had the remains of a large, modern boatbuilding factory, but it has long since gone.....

From one inlet a small tunnel leads through to Okidomari another site of World Heritage and one of the original Mori-controlled ports that served the silver mines..... I have already done a post....

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Gotsu Honmachi

Gotsu Honmachi

Gotsu Honmachi is the original town of Gotsu. In the latter half of the 20th century, embankments on the banks of the river mouth were constructed and seawalls erected, so the town spread to where it is now located.

Sheltered in a narrow valley and protected by a hill, the original town was on the Sanindo, the imperial highway that ran from Kyoto. At the top of the valley, a section of stone paving marks the original Sanindo route.

With its sheltered location, Gotsu became a Kitamaebune port, the next one west of Yunotsu, and some evidence of this merchant history still remains in what could be called the historical district.

The old clinic and doctors' house is one of the most well-known buildings in the old town, mainly because of its ochre-colored roof tiles rather than the traditional black or red.

I've seen a photo from 1917 that shows a bridge across the river at this point, probably the first Gotsu bridge, that must have replaced a ferry. The port was so important that it was incorporated into Iwami Ginzan, and controlled directly by the shogunate, whereas the rest of the land on this side of the river was Hamada domain.

Built in the Meiji period, the original Gotsu post office was a pseudo-western structure.

Built in 1926, the original Gotsu Town Hall..... used as such until 1962

Green Tea

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Takuno Hachimangu

Takano Hachimangu

On day 3 of my walk along the Iwami Kannon Pilgrimage I eft Isotake and carried on down the coast into Takuno where there was the next pilgrimage temple.

Right next to the temple was the main shrine for the village, a Hachimangu. A pretty standard village Hachimangu, though there were quite a few different styles of komainu.

Hanging inside was an ema, a painting of a kitamaebune, one of the cargo  boats that plyed the major trade route along the Japan Sea coast. I had often thought that Takuno must have been propserous in earlier times as there are a few large merchant houses and warehouses.

If it was a kitamaebune port that would make sense. Just outside the mouth of the harbor are a couple of small islets that would have made the port a safe haven in a storm. According to myth these islets were the boats that Susano and his family came in from the Korean peninsula.

Friday, June 19, 2020


Japan has almost 30,000 kilometers of coastline, which ranks it 7th in the world, so it is not surprising that it has thousands of coastal settlements. Takeno is a small town on the Sea of Japan coast in Hyogo.

There is a lovely, white sandy beach that is popular in the summer. Takeno is part of the UNESCO San'in Kaigan Global Geopark.

Now still operating as a fishing harbor, in former times it was a stop along the Kitamaebune trade route that ran all the way down the Japan Sea Coast from Hokkaido, round through the straits at Shimonoseki and then through the Inland Sea to Osaka.

In many ways it is typical of such seaside villages, with narrow alleys between weatherbeaten wooden houses. Pleasant enough for a stroll and exploration