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Discover the charms of "MABUSHI-ya", an accomodation connected with the local community, just a 2-minute walk from Tomioka Silk Mill, a world heritage site in Tomioka city

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"MABUSHI-ya" is a renovated old folk house that is available for rent, just a 2-minute walk from Tomioka Silk Mill, a world heritage site in Tomioka city. It was created with the hope that customers would be able to stay comfortably, just like silkworms in the moss used in sericulture. We would like...

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Travel back in time Showa era Japan

This year, 2024, Tomioka Silk Mill will celebrate its 10th anniversary as a World Heritage Site. The surrounding townscape makes you feel like you have traveled back in time to the Showa era, nostalgic post-war Japan. The dignified scenery of old houses and shops gives a glimpse of the warm yet crisp way of life of the people of Tomioka, who cherished things and continued to quietly protect them.

This time, I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Baba, one of the members who runs MABUSHI-ya in Tomioka.

"MABUSHI-ya", which Mr. Baba, who has a gentle smile and a gentle atmosphere, guided us to is a retro Showa era row house that blends into the townscape. This inn was opened in 2019 by renovating an old folk house. “Machiyado” is a place where the entire town is connected to the accommodation. Only lodging will be provided, and meals will be provided at restaurants in town. This style of inn allows you to experience the daily life of the area while enjoying interaction with the locals.

The curtain has small embroidery with “Chiyogiku” and “Sanjimatsu”. These are the names of each of the two buildings. .

"A long time ago, this place was a geisha's residence, and an older sister called Chiyogiku lived there.That's why I gave it the name Chiyogiku.It was also the name of the caterer next to the okiya, "Sanimatsu.'' (Mr. Baba)

Soft lighting and an atrium ceiling give a feeling of openness even in a small space. The pleasant scent of cypress wafts out from the bathroom at Chiyogiku.

The difference between the two buildings is whether or not there is a bath. It's a cypress bath with a very nice scent, so if you like it, I recommend choosing "Chiyogiku". Of course, Sanimatsu also has a shower room, so don't worry.

Each building has two beautiful Japanese-style rooms that are large enough to accommodate three people's futons.

Each building can accommodate 6 people.

Both buildings are rented out, and the more people you have, the better value you get. Prices are not uniform and vary slightly depending on the number of people, so please check the reservation site for details.

How to spend your time at "MABUSHI-ya" - A journey to enjoy Tomioka's daily life and interaction with people

"Tomioka was not originally a tourist destination, but after the silk mill became a world heritage site, it became a tourist destination. Of course, I think there are notable spots, but I think it's actually in Tomioka's daily life and its people.I want people to experience Tomioka's daily life and get a taste of interacting with people. I think that's what makes customers the most happy.'' (Mr Baba)

When you make a reservation for accommodation, they will provide you with information about the area and things you should know via email. It seems like you can make fun plans based on more information than the internet.

The place to check in is Iriyama Clothes Store on Miyamotocho Street near the inn. When you have something you don't understand or are having trouble with, you can go to Iriyama Western Clothing Store or to Il Pino, an izakaya restaurant run by Mr. Baba, and they will respond flexibly and appropriately.

You will enjoy interacting with the people of Tomioka, such as exchanging emails when making reservations, checking in at the nearby Iriyama clothing store, walking around town, and talking at various shops.

"Since I'm not a lodging professional, I try to make you feel at home, like when you're visiting relatives.'' (Mr. Baba)

Baba-san speaks with a gentle gaze.

"Morning walks'' with Mr. Iriyama of Iriyama Clothing Store are also popular. The course changes depending on the day and your wishes. I would like to get up early and participate to enjoy Tomioka's clear air.

"When someone asks me if there are any restaurants that I recommend, I introduce them to various restaurants in the neighborhood and ask them to choose one from among them. It's not just our house, we're introducing a lot of different places.'' (Mr. Baba)

It might be a good idea to go out for drinks after dinner. There are many small snack bars in the town, so it is recommended even for young people who have never been to a snack bar. It's easy to get into the store because you're introduced to it, and it's easy to get along with the store staff and regulars. Customers have become friends with each other, and sometimes they end up having another drink at the next restaurant.

“Our guests say, "It's fun to make new connections." 'It makes me happy to see people connecting with each other on Instagram, etc., and hearing that they've become friends. I'm very happy when people I've connected with come to visit me.'' (Mr. Baba)

People from other countries may also be interested in the machiyado style and the construction of old folk houses.

It is said that about 20% of all guests are foreigners.

"Some foreigners seem to have a different sense of distance than we do. They feel it's closer to Karuizawa, and their destination is Karuizawa rather than Tomioka, but they chose it because it was a place they could stay nearby. There are some people who rent a car when they arrive in Japan, use Tomioka as their base, and go to Karuizawa or Kusatsu.'' (Mr. Baba)

It's an inn that's easy to stay in for a long time, so it's interesting to use it as a base. If you travel by rental car, you can have fun like that.

Full of carefully selected amenities and equipment

Body soap and shampoo are from OSAJI. It has a nice scent, and those who use it seem to like it. The cypress bath at “Chiyogiku” is popular. The water area and amenities are clean and it looks like you'll be able to spend a comfortable time here.

Generally, breakfast is not included, but if you ask in advance, a breakfast box (for a fee) can be prepared for you. You can pick it up when you check in and have it the next morning. Contains bread, small fruits, and side dishes. There is a Balmuda toaster in the room, so you can rebake it.

You will be informed about the breakfast box during the email communication at the time of reservation, so don't miss out if you would like to use it. By the way, the bagels from Tsubame Bagel, which is open from 7am in front of Joshu Tomioka station, are also recommended. Why not take a walk and go shopping and enjoy Tomioka early in the morning?

The coffee beans provided in the room are Il Pino's original blend. This is also said to be popular.

“It may be a bit of a hassle, but we have customers grind and grind their own coffee.” (Mr. Baba)

The aroma of coffee permeates the room, making for a relaxing and wonderful breakfast. Rather than being a hassle, it seems like it will be a lot of fun.

In the winter, a kotatsu (a table with a heating device) is provided, so you can stay warm and relaxed.

A guest book placed in one corner of the room. I felt that each page of "MABUSHI-ya" was full of comments and colorful pictures from people who had visited it, proof that they had enjoyed Tomioka to the fullest.

Why not stay at MABUSHI-ya, or go out and enjoy the atmosphere of Tomioka?

MABUSHI-ya Basic information

Location: 28-5 Tomioka, Tomioka City, Gunma Prefecture

Contact information:Telephone number: 0274-62-0149Fax number: 0274-62-0146Email: info (@)

Access:・2 minutes walk from Tomioka Silk Mill・8 minutes walk from Joshu-Tomioka Station ・5 minutes by car from Joshinetsu Expressway Tomioka IC

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The Tomioka City Tourism Association utilizes the tourism resources of Tomioka City, including the Tomioka Silk Mill and Mt. Myogi, in order to increase the number of visitors while contributing to the development of the local economy.

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting. Some of our articles contain affiliate links. We kindly ask our readers to exercise careful judgement when making a purchase or booking a service online.

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