The Kura Town - Nakamachi
Ever since the Edo period, Nakamachi, the town in which this building is located, has prospered as the backbone of the castle town of Matsumoto. It used to feature many large stores as it formed a part of the Zenkoji Kaido (an old road connecting Nagano’s Zenkoji Temple to Matsumoto).
Though most of Nakamachi was destroyed in the big fire of 1888, many highly fire-resistant kura-styled (earthen walled) buildings were built in response. As a result, the town developed its own unique atmosphere with its black and white “namako-kabe” walls, (a white mortar grid pattern on black tiles) and with its concentration of merchants, machiya (traditional townhouses) and people, Nakamachi Street developed into a bustling area.
As the Kura Town, Nakamachi maximizes the remaining scenery of its characteristic townscape, while also working to renew it with its many folk art and craft shops.
The Kurassic-kan Buildings
Kurassic-kan is made up of three building surrounding a Japanese garden and a plaza which features a classic hand-pumped well. A cafe is located in the kura-styled storehouse directly on Nakamachi Street. Inside the main building you will find a spacious doma (an earthen floored area), zashiki (tatami mat area) and itanoma (wooden floored area) which are used for a variety of exhibition and special events.
Also, every Wednesday from May to December, a lively farmers market is held on the plaza in front of the Kurassic-kan where you can buy seasonal fruits, vegetables and flowers.
Matsumoto has an abundant supply of natural ground water, hence several wells can still be found in the heart of the city, including the well at Kurassic-kan. Kurassic-kan's well is 25 meters (82 feet) deep and is a constant 15°C/59°F year round. Everyone is free to pump and use the water from the well.
Note: Water tests show the well water is safe for drinking, but keep in mind that it has not been treated or purified.
Kurassic-kan is at the center of many of the town's seasonal festivals and events.
January - Ameichi "Candy Festival"
May - "Craft Selection" Craftwork Fair
July - Tenjin Festival (Dashi, traditional wooden floats, gather in the plaza)
August - Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival (Live on screen concert in the plaza)
November - Matsumoto Citizen's Festival
Nakamachi Street, where Kurassic-kan is located, is a popular tourist destination with several tradition arts and crafts shops, and plenty of places to enjoy Matsumoto's delicacies. On the opposite side of the Metoba River, which flows to the north of Nakamachi, you will find Edo-themed shopping street Nawate Dori and Yohashira Shrine, and just an 8-minute walk away is Matsumoto Castle. Also, Matsumoto Performing Arts Center can be reached on foot in 8 minutes and the Matsumoto Museum of Art in 10 minutes.Access