“Kura” means “warehouse” or “storehouse”

In traditional Japan, as most of buildings and structures were made of wood, fires were the bane of society by and large.

This was especially so in Takayama where houses stand side by side with precious little space in between them if at all. 

Hence a special building or "kura" was needed to protect goods and properties from fire, weather, and theft.

Actually a kura was a status symbol, for it told the world you had something valuable enough to need protecting, and that you had the money to build one.

Moreover, a kura was made with thick clay walls which not only helped protect it from fire, but they also provided a high degree of insulation. This made kura ideal for storage of things that needed to be protected from wide temperature fluctuations.

A functioning kura was renovated just for the purpose of providing aesthetic treatments in an environment that is serene and truly historical.