Mitarai is a port town located in Osaki Shimojima, in the eastern area of Kure City and around the middle of the Seto Inland Sea. There are three islands on the way from the center of Kure City to Mitarai, but all are connected by a bridge, so traveling between them is also a chance to enjoy the beauty of the Seto Inland Sea. In the Edo period, as Mitarai came to be known as a port to wait for favorable tide and wind, the number of vessels in Mitarai increased and it developed rapidly. A merchant’s house, teahouse, boathouse, etc. were all built and crowded together. The townscape has been selected as a preservation district of important traditional buildings in the country.
Kure City, Hiroshima
Cultural Properties of Mitarai, Kure City
Traditional Building Preservation District of Mitarai, Yutaka-cho, Kure City
A port town to wait for favorable winds and tide where Kitamae-bune were constantly coming and going. It's a unique townscape where commercial houses and warehouses are lined up and most of the alleys head to the sea.
Ruins of Wakaebisuya
A teahouse used by Kitamae-bune shipowners and merchants. A magnificent building that shows the prosperity of this red light district.
Shinto shrine where merchants of Kitamae-bune paid visits. In the precincts, there are Tamagaki that were donated by the shipowners and wholesalers of Kitamae-bune.
There is a torii built facing the sea to welcome Kitamae-bune, and a lighthouse donated by a small-cargo vessel wholesaler of Kitamae-bune.
Chisago Wharf and Lighthouse
A large wharf 65 ken (about 120 m) long supported the development as a port town for Kitamae-bune. It was built by the Hiroshima clan to expand the ports of Mitarai.