From Shimotsui Shipping Agent Museum To Seto Bridge
Shimotsui Shipping Agent Museum is a museum of a Meiji era maritime merchant situated in the city of Kurashiki. Within the museum complex, you will find several structures, including the main building, a collection room, an information hall, a museum shop and an event hall. The museum has been restored to its original state, preserving its historical charm. Admission to the museum is free; simply register your name at the entrance and you can explore its interior.
First, let me introduce Omoya, the main building. In Japanese, the word Omoya means the main house. Upon entering, you will notice on your left a model featuring two sailing ships and an introduction to the prosperity of Shimotsui brought about by these Kitamae ships.
Go further inside and you will encounter a reception desk. If you require assistance or guidance, feel free to request. You can also obtain tourist information including places to eat and bus schedules.
Shimotsui Shipping Agent Museum and Shimotsui Townscape Conservation Area have earned certification as Japan Heritage Sites under the title ‘Kurashiki and the Story of Fiber ~ East meets west through cotton ~.’ Additionally, Shimotsui Townscape Conservation Area is a port of call for Kitamae ships from across the country, and this historical town is registered as one of the Japan Heritage Sites titled ‘Ports and Residences Built on the Dreams of Brave Seafarers ~ Kitamae Ships Port-of-Call・Ship Owner’s Settlement ~.’
On the first floor, you can find displays of sea fish decorations and dolls.
As you ascend to the second floor, you will encounter exhibits related to the beliefs of the fishermen. During that time, fishermen likely sought safety and prosperity through prayers and amulets.
Toys from the Edo and Meiji periods are also on display. I was surprised to discover that some of them are similar to those from China. I wondered about the origins of such designs.
A variety of currency bills and clan notes, as well as wallets and paper cases from that period.
In the middle of the second floor, you will find a glass signboard showing the history of Shimotsui and the Kitamae ships. It describes incidents occurred in Shimotsui from 1783 to 1988 and the historical prosperity of the Kitamae fleet.
Exiting the main building, you will come to the collection room. Many items used in the past are on display here.
Out of the collection room, this is the information hall. Here you can discover the story of how Shimotsui prospered.
On the second floor of the information hall, there are several models that recreate scenes of past prosperity. Notice the moving characters?
Out of the information hall is a museum shop, where a wide variety of products are available for purchase. Notably, dried octopus is a specialty of Shimotsui. If interested, why not buy and savor this local delicacy.
After leaving the museum, I strolled through the old townscape. Although the prosperous days of the past have faded, it still offers the feeling of stepping back in time.
I have now arrived at the nearby Shimotsui Port, where many fishing boats are docked.
Leaving the port, this is Tanoura Park. Here you can see Seto Ohashi Bridge nearby. Looking up from below, it is an impressive sight isn’t it?
At last, I reached the Washuzan Observation Deck. Today's report concludes with a view at the magnificent Seto Ohashi Bridge. Although I had hoped to see the sunset here, the cloudy weather prevented it. Nonetheless this is a recommended spot where you can enjoy a beautiful sunset on a clear day.