The former Kaichi School in Matsumoto City is currently closed for quake-resistant construction. The construction is expected to take about three years, and the museum will open in the fall of 2024.
At the site, an explanation of the construction work is posted, and the location of rest areas and photo spots are also written in the diagram.
It also told me that the former Kaichi School’s introduction corner and museum shop are set up in the old Catholic Church priest’s house next to the museum.
From the rest area on the map above, we can see the old Kaichi School building. A construction enclosure had been erected, but part of it was used as a doorway for construction, and part of the enclosure was made transparent so that the building could be photographed.
The lower part of the building will be enclosed, but not the entire school building, so the decorations above the main entrance can still be seen during the construction.
There is a sign “for the neighbors", which describes the construction work for the week and seems to be rewritten every week.
I went there on a Saturday, so the construction was closed.
In addition to this spot, there is a road in front of the site, so we can take pictures of the front of the building from the road.
Let’s go into the former Catholic Church priest’s house. There is a sign that says “National Treasure: Old Kaichi School Building Introduction Exhibition. Entry is free.
Since the size of the building is different, only a part of the exhibition of the former Kaichi School can be exhibited, but some explanation panels has been installed.
This is a panel of Seiju Tateishi, the carpenter who built the Kaichi School.
There was also a model of the school building on display. All that remains now is the building that has a tower, but when it was used as a school, it was an L-shaped building. Kaichi School was originally built on the banks of the Metoba River and was moved to its current location for preservation.
Some panels has been displayed in other rooms, and a museum shop is open. It will probably be continued until the old Kaichi School Museum opens in 2024.
This is the north side of the Kaichi School building. The plaster of the tower was partially broken by the typhoon in 2019, and it seems that a temporary cover has been put on. I imagine that this part will be repaired too while the seismic retrofitting.
As I mentioned above, the old Kaichi School is now located on the north side of Matsumoto Castle, but before moved, it stood on the banks of the Metoba River as shown in the map below.
As a matter of fact, I recently noticed that there is two monuments of the former Kaichi School at the location of the red circle on the map.
The first one is this. A stone monument of “Important Cultural Property Former Kaichi School Ruins". The date of October 2002 is on the right side.
On the other side of the stone monument, it is written that it was designated as a national treasure in September 2019, so I think it was additionally carved later.
And another one near the stone monument. There is a monument next to the parking lot.
On the monument, there are stone slabs with photos and letters carved on them.
On the upper left is an aerial photo taken in the 1950 or 60s, and below it is a front view of the main building of Kaichi School.
And on the right, the history of Kaichi School is written in Japan and English.
Since it is written that Former Kaichi School is designated as a national treasure in 2019, I thought it was a monument that was set up after becoming a national treasure, but I find that this monument can already be seen in his Google Street View in 2012.
It seems that I just didn’t know and the monument was probably installed more than a decade ago. I searched the Internet and found photos of the monument from a few years ago, and since there is no mention of a national treasure on it, it seems that the text plate has been replaced.
“Visit to the Former Kaichi School" (2019.11.23)
“Visit to the Matsumoto City Former Catholic Church Priest’s House" (2019.11.24)