Miyazu City, Kyoto

The castle town of Miyazu prospered, supported by Tango chirimen (silk crepes), marine products and the brewing industry. A large number of big warehouses lined up in this small-cargo vessel wholesaler’s port, where products arrived by Kitamae-bune which crisscrossed the Sea of Japan. The entertainment district Niihama became famous throughout the country as mentioned in the Miyazu-bushi, which sings “I will never go to Miyazu in Tango again. My striped wallet will be empty.” In addition, it is known throughout the country as one of the Japan Sea side’s leading port towns, as travelers gather and stay in many inns to catch a glimpse of one of the three most scenic spots in Japan, the “Amanohashidate”.

  • ports of call
  • shipowners’ settlement

Cultural Properties of Miyazu City, Kyoto Prefecture

  • Former Mikami Family House

    A house of a wealthy merchant, the Mikami Family “Motoyuiya” who was one of the leaders in the Miyazu clan and made their wealth through Kitamae-bune.

  • Hiyoshi Shrine

    A shrine where “Fukuroya” Kanbei Tanaka and “Otsuya” Zenji Yamamoto, who made their wealth through Kitamae-bune, prayed for the safety of the ships.

  • Tamagaki of Wakimiya Shrine

    A shrine where tamagaki (decorative fence) containing names, such as Kitamae-bune shipowner “Gohei Zeniya”, were dedicated.

  • Yura-Konpira Shrine

    A shrine that sailors in the Yura District, which produced many boatmen of Kitamae-bune, worshiped and dedicated funa-ema.

  • Townscape of Niihama (red light district)

    A red light district in Miyazu Port, which prospered as a port of call for Kitama-bune.

  • Series of funa-ema in Yura

    Funa-ema devoted to the Konpira Shrine of Yura, Shokoku Shrine, and Tamashi Shrine by sailors of Kitamae-bune.

  • Exhibits of the Mikami Family

    Old documents passed down by the Mikami Family “Motoyuiya”, who made their wealth through Kitamae-bune. Documents related to the shipping business are included.

  • Exhibits of the Kato Family

    Voyage diary and an old-fashioned account book by Chosuke Kato, a sailor of Kitamae-bune.

  • Miyazu Odori

    It consists of “Miyazu-bushi”, “Aiyae Odori”, and “Matsuzaka Odori”, which were sung in the red light district of Niihama. It is said that the origin of “Aiyae Odori” is the Haiya-bushi, a form of entertainment brought by Kitamae-bune.