Translated by Sandy Lau
Staying At A Traditional Japanese Home In Village Maruyama, Sasayama
Written by chia
Sasayama, Hyogo is where Japan’s traditional culture and lifestyle thrives. Several traditional Japanese homes in Village Maruyama have been renovated into lodging houses. We’ll introduce how you can experience it yourself!
Perfect Comfort! Presenting An Old Lifestyle
Although this is an old home that was built 150 years ago, it is in extremely good condition and was reborn as a warm, traditional Japanese lodging house following its renovation.
The interior still retains their characteristics from being a former farmhouse. One thing we definitely want you to experience is the goemonburo (a bath heated directly over fire) inside.
Enjoy the World of My Neighbor Totoro with Goemonburo
There is a scene in the famous Ghibli animated film “My Neighbor Totoro” where the main characters Mei and Satsuki bathe together with their father. This goemonburo, or cauldron bath, is the iron bath that is depicted in the film.
Iron is highly effective at retaining heat and is able to maintain a comfortable temperature for a long time even after hot water has been added.
The bottom of the bath is extremely hot if touched directly due to the fire warming the bath from below. Soak in the bathtub by submerging the wooden board to the bottom and sitting on it. The sides of the bathtub are fine to touch since they don’t get as hot as the bottom does.
A thermometer will also be floating in the bathtub to adjust the temperature so it doesn’t become too hot. This is a valuable opportunity that you can’t easily experience these days!
Sleep Together with a Starry Sky
The lodging houses have no televisions so that visitors experience an authentic agricultural lifestyle.
Once the night falls, the sound of the insects around the house, the charcoal fire inside, and the smell of black soybeans inside the pot will hang in the air. By creating your itinerary for the next day while sitting under the kotatsu (table heater) or on the sofa while sorting out your memories of the day, it feels as if you’re blending into the lifestyle of the olden days.
Wake Up to the Smell of Breakfast
The next morning, we were made breakfast by a village granny. The smell of the rice wafting in from the kitchen will naturally get you up even when you want to sleep more or don’t want to come out from your mattress.
Once you’ve eaten this warmhearted and rich breakfast, a new day begins.
Craftworks made by an 85-year-old grandma that lives in the village is on display in the lodging house. If there is an item that you like on display, then let the front desk know and you’ll be able to take it home!
We’re sure Granny would be happy if she knew!
Traditional Japanese House and French Cuisine
Aside from the lodging houses, there is also the French restaurant Hiwa no Kura in the village. This building was also remodeled and created from an old Japanese home.
The interior, decorated with a large number of collectibles, is a trace left behind by a former shopkeeper who loved antiques. When you set foot into this building, a world overrun by the image of a French restaurant will spread out before you!
You can feast on food prepared by chefs in front of you by sitting in this traditional Japanese-style home. Naturally, its taste is phenomenal.
The Simple Agricultural Life at Village Maruyama
Although there are many traditional Japanese lodging houses in this district, there aren’t many lodging houses where you can closely experience the lifestyles of the locals.
In an environment that is rich in nature and fauna, after all is said and done, the fire that wakes you up and the meal made for you by Granny is unforgettable.
It is sure worth going further to Village Maruyama and to experience the simple life of the locals.
To learn more about Sasayama please refer to this website: https://visit.sasayama.jp/
* This article was translated and revised from an article written originally in Chinese.