A Guide to Kyoto’s Wooden and Traditional Architecture

A construction method of building foundation that developed during the time of Japanese Style was the kamebara (亀腹), or turtle belly. The ground is raised and the edges are round, and finished with plaster with its white colour, the kamebara somewhat resembles a bun.
Kamebara was first constructed to protect the raised foundation stones of the main pillars of the building, but also to improve drainage. Among its other usages in architecture, kamebera can often be seen in the underfloor foundation of a temple or shrine, as seen here in Daihoon-ji (大報恩寺) and Sanjusangen-do (三十三間堂).

Even though Suikoushya International Craft School is now up and running in France, our Kyoto workshop will still continue to operate and we want to welcome you when you’re in Kyoto!

Here in Kyoto you can explore the many different wooden architectural treasures of Japan!




the kamebara (亀腹), or turtle belly : A construction method of building foundation