Shimo-kamagari : The Garden Island of History & Culture!

 

Located offshore at Kure city, Hiroshima prefecture, the island in the foreground with the appearance of a calm Japanese garden is Shimo-kamagari Island. Known as “Garden Island”, the whole island is landscaped. As well as beautiful scenery, there are also facilities that hold both historical and art exhibitions. Let’s head on over!

A feast from a restaurant…?!

These are actually replicas depicting the dishes served to Korean Emissaries during the Edo period. This exhibition is in a historical museum called Gochiso Ichiban-kan, which is located within a facility called Shotoen.

 

In the Edo period, Shimo-kamagari was an important base where Hiroshima’s feudal lord entertained foreign diplomats such as Korean Emissaries dispatched from the Korean dynasty during the Edo period. In order to welcome such groups in the proper manner, numerous elaborate dishes were offered in the very best omotenashi style (often translated as ‘hospitality’).

 

Right next to “Gochiso Ichiban-kan” there is a museum for porcelain. Seen in the photograph are Kakiemon-style works that are extremely valuable even among Imari porcelain. In addition to these, there are plenty of other works on display that will make fans of ceramics cry with joy.

Full of curiosity after touring the historical museum and seeing the ceramics, we head over to this building. It has an elegant appearance, but I wonder what kind of facility it is.

 

The Rantokaku Art Museum has gathered valuable works from a range of Japanese artists including Taikan Yokoyama and Ikuo Hirayama.

 

To allow visitors to again feel the wonders of Japanese culture, both the exterior and interior of the building have been constructed in traditional Japanese-style.

Hakusetsuro is another building surrounded by beautiful scenery. The second floor was once a school for Chinese studies. I could spend hours in here, but I visited the lower floor for a cup of green tea.

 

A moment spent gazing at the garden while sipping green tea…

Shimo-kamagari, the garden island of Setouchi, is a place visited incidentally when travelling by train and exchanging buses. It’s an ideal little-known place for people fed up with tourist areas!

 

How about getting in touch with history and culture in a relaxed atmosphere?

Setouchi, Island Tour / Shimo-kamagari Island

For hundreds of years, this island prospered as a key point for maritime traffic in the Seto Inland Sea area. During the Edo period, the island played an important role as a representative of the Hiroshima feudal lord in, for example, entertaining the Korean Emissaries who were foreign diplomatic envoys.

 

Since the 1990s the island has been promoting “Garden Island planning”. In addition to the facilities introduced this time, there are other interesting facilities such as an insect museum!

Shotoen (includes facilities such as “Gochiso Ichiban-kan, a museum related to the Korean Emissary, and the ceramics museum)

Address: 2277-3 Shimojima, Shimo-kamagari-cho, Kure city, Hiroshima prefecture
Open: 9:00-17:00 (Entrance until 16:30)
Closed: Tuesdays (If Tuesday is a national holiday, closed the following day)
Tel: 0823-65-2900

Rantokaku Art Museum

Address: 200-1 Sannose, Shimokamagari-cho, Kure city, Hiroshima prefecture
Open: 9:00-17:00 (Entrance until 16:30)
Closed: Tuesdays (If Tuesday is a national holiday, closed the following day)

* Museum may also be closed due to work being carried out on the displays.
Tel: 0823-65-3066

Hakusetsuro
Address: 197 Sannosa, Shimokamagari-cho, Kure city, Hiroshima prefecture
Open: 9:00-17:00 (Entrance until 16:30)
Closed: Tuesdays  (If Tuesday is a national holiday, closed the following day)
Tel: 0823-65-3066

Check the link below for information on access, events, etc.

Public Interest Incorporated Foundation Ranto Culture Promotion Group
http://www.shimokamagari.jp/ (Japanese)

Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Izumi Furukawa

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Izumi Furukawa

Izumi Furukawa

Izumi Furukawa Hello. My name is Izumi Furukawa and I was born in Kagawa Prefecture. Before getting married in 2012, I wrote for various magazine companies and Internet based media organizations in Tokyo. After marrying, I moved to Hiroshima and am now raising my child as well as writing stories about my fascination with this area through Setouchi Finder. Most of the articles I write are about places I visit on weekends with my family. My favorite driving course is Route 375 from Saijyo to the Miyoshi Area, and my favorite food from the Hiroshima area is Anagomeshi (from Miyajima)!!

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