This house was built in 1918 as the holiday house of Denbei Kamiya , an industrialist who was also known as the “Wine King”. At the time, the main building on the premises was a wooden mansion in a traditional Japanese style with an adjacent European-style building used as a guest house. But today only the European-style building remains which is now open to the public. As one of the first reinforced concrete buildings in Japan it withstood even the Great Kanto earthquake in 1923 without much damage.

Denbei Kamiya was known for the legendary ‘Kamiya bar’ in the Asakusa district in Tokyo which sold the well-known brandy mix named ‘Denki Bran’. He was also the founder of a big winery named ‘Chaterau Kamiya’ in Ushiku city in the Ibaraki prefecture producing a wine which will meet the Japanese taste.

The holiday house also serves as a monument from the time where the Inage region was still close to the sea and a lively holiday resort, and registered as tangible cultural property of Japan.

 ●Basic Information

Built:Taisho 7 (1918)
Architect:Unknown
Structure:Reinforced Concrete, 2-story,Basement
Total area:291㎡
Registered Angible Cultural Property (1997~)

●Architectural Feature

Exterior

The exterior wall is tiled with fine concrete and has stylish metal cobel.
The linear design has been influenced Art Noubeau and Zesseson, and has following Modernism.

 

Veranda

The veranda with 5 arches supported by columns, remains as a villa with a view bellow the sea.

Entrance

A stairwell with gentle arc-shaped steps.
Keyaki boards are used for the stair.

 

 

 

Grape reliefs can be seen in the center decoration of the ceiling in connection with Denbei Kamiya called “Wine King” .

1st floors Western room

The sitting room has a fireplace marble-based Victorian style painted tiles.
The floor of the geometric pattern that makes use of the color of wood is parquet .

2st Japanese-style room

The ceiling of the main room, built with a full-blown Shoin, is a raised ceiling framed by soot-colored bamboo.
The floor column of Tokonoma(alcove) uses bold old grape.

 

 

 

The Tsuke-Shoin(a buit-in table) has Ranma(transom) with grapes and bee openwork.These designs are inspired by ‘Bee Brand wine(fragrant wine with honey)’

 

Expensive fittings, such as a decorative window made out of single wooden board and shojis made of Indian ironwood, are well maintained at the time.

 

 

At the end of a broad veranda is an alcove that matches the Western design of the exterior.

 

 

 

●About Denbei Kamiya

Denbei Kamiya was born in Matsukishima-mura(now Nishio-shi, Aichi-Prefecture in 1856(Ansei 3). He gained experience in apprenticeships and peddling to become brewer at the age of 8.
At the age of 17, he was hired by Frelle Shokai in Yokohama and learned the Western liquor production method. At that time, he became sick, but he seemed to feel better when his French employer gave him a glass of wine.
In this way, he made the wine ‘Bee Brand Wine (fragrant wine with honey’ which was popular with Japanese people. This wine flourished throuout Japan.In 1873, he opened ‘Kamiya Bar’ in Asakusa, and sold quick-run brandy ‘Denki Bran’.
Rather than trying to make mixed wine for Japanese, he also charranged full-scale wine brewing using French grape seedlings. In 1890, he cultivated vineyards in wilderness of Ibaraki Prefecture, and in 1896, he built a winery ‘Chateau Kamiya(now ‘Ushiku Chateau’)’ and completed wines that were highly evaluated around the world. Until his death at the age of 66 in 1922, he dedicated his life to wine brewing.

●’Bee brand Kozan wine’ and ‘Denki Bran’

L)Bee brand Kozan wine:Mixed wine made by adding honey and medicinal herbs to imported wine. ‘Kozan’ is pen name of the father of Denbei.
R)Denki Bran:Cocktail that blended gin and medicinal herbs based on brandy. The alcohol content at that time was 45 degrees. Denki means ‘electricity’, which was all the trend at that time. It was popular among cultural people.

Shop where you can buy
These are sold at Inage Shopping Street.
→Namiki liquor store

●’Ushiku Chateau’ and ‘Kamiya Bar’

Ushiku Chateau’

In 1989, Japan’s first full-fledged wine brewing factory built in Inashiki-gun(now Ushiku city), Ibaraki. Currently, it is open to public as a nationally designated important cultural property.

→website of Ushiku Chateau

 

‘Kamiya Bar’

This is the bar that renewed the Japanese-style Izakaya’Mikawaya’ in Western-style in 1905. It is still open for over 100 years where you can taste ‘Denki Bran’.

→website of Kamiya Bar

 

●Usage Information

Hours:9:00~17:15
Closed:Mondays(If Monday is holiday, the following weekday is closed),
Year-end and New Year holidays(29 December- 3 January)
Admission:Free
Access:7-minute walk from Keisei Inage Station on Keisei Line,
17-minute walk from Inage Station on JR Line,
Address:in1-8-35 Inage-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba, 263-0034, Japan
Tell:+81-43-248-8723  Email:gallery-inage@ccllf.jp