Joetsu City, Niigata

Naoetsu (Imamachi) was part of the Sanshinshichiso that constituted of the ten most important ports in Japan, as listed by the “Kaisen-Shikimoku,” the oldest collection of Japanese marine laws established during the Muromachi period. During the Edo period when Kitamae-bune went into service, Naoetsu was an outport of the Takada clan used to receive salt, sugar, tea, salt fish, etc. transported from various ports, and then carried to the castle towns of Takada, Kubiki-gun, and Shinano.

  • ports of call

Cultural Properties of Joetsu City

  • Mt.Yoneyama

    A mountain that was a major landmark during voyages for Kitamae-bune shipowners and has been worshipped for maritime security.

  • Townscape of Naoetsu

    The townscape of the port town where the atmosphere that prospered through Kitamae-bune remains strong. The Shakudani stone and granite that Kitamae-bune brought are seen all over the town.

  • Former Naoetsu Bank

    A bank building in the Meiji period that supported Naoetsu's commerce and industry, which prospered through Kitamae-bune.

  • Materials for maritime prayers in Naoetsu

    Funa-ema, models of ships, etc. that Kitamae-bune shipowners dedicated to the temples and shrines to pray for maritime safety.

  • Materials relating to Kitamae-bune

    Old documents, funadansu (a chest for ships), ship bills, etc. that relay the state of prosperity by the trade of Kitamae-bune to the present.

  • Votive goods of Sumiyoshi Shrine

    Stone lanterns, hand basins, etc. that merchants of Awaai goods in Awa Province donated to prayers for maritime safety and prosperity of Kitamae-bune that transported Awaai.

  • Stone Lanterns of Kotohira Shrine

    Stone lanterns made by Onomichi masons of the Bingo Province transported by Kitamae-bune.

  • Yasaka Shrine

    A shrine worshiped by the townspeople, including the boatmen of Kitamae-bune and the shipping agents of Naoetsu. There is a torii gate by Onomichi masons and a Shiba Inu with inscriptions from Chikuzen.

  • Travel events and street stall parade of Naoetsu and Takada Gion Festival

    Kitamae-bune produced various livelihoods in Naoetsu and this festival for Yasaka Shrine supported by the townspeople. The mikoshi parades around the castle town of Takada.

  • Beidaishu

    A folk song popularized by Kitamae-bune sailors. The original melody is said to be the Sakata-bushi of Dewa Province.