Translated by Jasmine Nishino
Kamakura Guest House: Enjoy An Inn With An Irori Fireplace!
Written by Naoko Matsumoto
With both the mountains and beaches, Kamakura is a city with history and great places to eat. Why not stay a night at the Kamakura Guest House and spend time touring around the area?
Kamakura in Kanagawa is a popular tourist spot that is known for its historical structures, delicious foods and for being surrounded by mountains and the sea. Being only one hour from Tokyo, this makes for a perfect one-day excursion.
However, you may be able to better see the charm of the city when you stay for a longer time. A perfect place for you to stay in Kamakura is the Kamakura Guesthouse!
A Former Restaurant Renovated into a Guesthouse! The Charm of "Kama-Gues"
Kamakura Guesthouse, also known as Kama-Gues, was built by a type of architects called miya-daiku who specialize in constructing shrines and temples. The structure was originally used as a traditional Japanese restaurant, but the current owner remade the traditional house into what it is today. When you explore the building, you will find remnants of the time it was used as a restaurant.
One of the charms of this guest house is the irori (*1) fireplace found in the common room. At times the staff will grill fish and offer it to the guests staying in the guest house. This is also the room the guests use to get together and drink alcohol and relax.
*1 irori: A square hole dug in the floor used to light fire and warm the room and cook food.
Authentic Japanese-Style Rooms
Within this dormitory, a futon is prepared for each person instead of a bed. The rooms have a tatami-mat floor. The futon provided is very fluffy and is hung out to soak up the warmth of the sun on a daily basis on sunny days.
In a private four person room, there are beds provided. They are great for groups of friends or families. The large wooden beds give the large, well-lit room extra warmth.
There are plenty of utensils and dishware available in the shared kitchen. A refrigerator is also available to store any food. It is a perfect place for fellow guests to cook or simply chat with one another.
In the dormitory for men, you will find a magnificent ceiling made without any nails by the miya daiku architect! This is a part of the structure that is sure worth a look.
Discuss Life and Travel at TABLE AND BAR10
Another fun area to visit while staying at Kama Gues is the bar in the half-basement of the guest house. It opens at 17:00 daily, and many locals visit along with the customers staying at the guest house. This bar with a calming atmosphere is run by the owner's friend who helped remodel the guest house into what it is today.
At the bar, you can find original house-special drinks and delicious seasonal dishes that are made with local Kamakura vegetables!
Wouldn't it be nice to spend time talking about traveling and life with others while savoring delicious drinks and food? Even if you drink too much, you can simply return to your room and sleep comfortably.
Interview With the Owner of KamaGues
The lovely owners of KamaGues are Mr. Takumi Okamura and Mrs. Natsuyo Okamura. Both of them are former backpackers who traveled all over the world. They met in a guesthouse in Okinawa and eventually began to think about having a family in an environment surrounded by the beach and mountains. That is how they began a guesthouse in Kamakura.
They found a location in the Fukazawa area of Kamakura and opened the Kamakura Guesthouse in 2010. With the help of many supportive friends, they remodeled the building into a guest house. However, right after opening, the Tohoku earthquake happened and they nearly gave up when the number of customers visiting Japan dropped drastically.
With the help of their friendly staff, they managed to become a high-rated guesthouse on popular sites such as Trip Advisor. The owner hopes tourists from Japan, outside of Japan, travelers on bicycles, and those on motorbike rides across the nation will casually stop by. "The charm of this guesthouse is how people who normally do not meet, come together" is what the owner says.
If you have a chance to stay in KamaGues, you will notice how considerate and kind the staff members are. The nature of the owners attracts warm people and creates an inviting atmosphere for all visitors. One of their acts of kindness is the yaki-imo, or roasted sweet potatoes, in the photo above. They are left in the kitchen for guests to eat for free.
The Kamakura Guesthouse in the Fukazawa area is located slightly away from the main tourist spots in Kamakura. This is a perfect place to make you feel like you are living in Kamakura. There are also 24-hour supermarkets, convenience stores, and drug stores that are conveniently located for long term visitors.
It takes around 10 minutes by bus to reach central Kamakura from here. If you rent a bicycle for 500 yen a day, you can visit the highlight of Kamakura, the Great Buddha of Kotokuin Temple very easily from here - it's just a ten minute ride down a straight path away!
By staying more than a day, you may be able to see the charm of the ancient city of Kamakura up close. Why not stay at the Kamakura Guesthouse during your next visit to Japan to indulge in the warmth of the people and culture of the city?
Address: Kanagawa, Kamakura, Tokiwa 273-3
Hours: Check-in 14:00-20:00; Check-out by 10:00
Credit Cards: None
Languages: Japanese, English
Menus in Other Languages: English
Nearest Station: Shonan Fukazawa Station on the Shonan Monorail
Access: 9 minute walk from Shonan Fukazawa Station
Price Range: Dormitory: 3000 yen per person. Private room: From 15000 yen per room.
Phone Number: +81-0467-67-6078
Official Website: The Small Inn with an Irori Fireplace: Kamakura Guest House