Translated by Lester Somera
A Comfortable Stay At Keyaki Guesthouse, Sendai - Traditional And Friendly Lodging
Written by Miho Moriya
Keyaki Guesthouse in Miyagi, Sendai, is an accommodation inside a renovated traditional Japanese home. The staff are warm and will make you feel at home after a day of traveling. This guesthouse is ideal for chatting with locals and other travelers.
Have a Pleasant Stay in Sendai, an Ideal Sightseeing Base
It is also renowned for gourmet dining, with traditional Japanese sweets made using zunda (*1), as well as dishes like beef tongue. You can go a bit further and take a day trip to one of Japan’s three famous sights, Matsushima, so Sendai is perfect to base your travels.
*1: Zunda is a bean paste made from mashed soybeans.
After enjoying sightseeing and having a delicious meal, how about talking with locals and other travelers? This time, we’ll introduce you to Keyaki Guesthouse, where it will feel like you’re staying with friends. Also, as this guesthouse is inside of a renovated high-class restaurant, you can enjoy a traditional Japanese character.
Greetings from the Friendly Staff
Left: Nozomi-san Right: Ryu-san
When we visited, hostess Nozomi-san and Ryu-san, from Taiwan, were working.
Nozomi-san said, “If you stay at a guesthouse and become friendly with the staff, you'll feel that you’ve gotten to know the place you're visiting better. You may even think to stop by again. I have experienced this personally. This has increased the number of places that I was familiar with, which made me want to be on the hospitality side of this exchange.”
Nozomi-san has a big, charming laugh.
Ryu-san has worked and lived at the guesthouse for since September 2018. She came on a working holiday visa and fell in love with Keyaki Guesthouse after she saw the homepage. “Talking with a lot of people is fun,” she told us with a smile. Naturally, the other staff employees are very friendly as well. They know the surrounding area well, so ask them for recommendations and they’ll give you thorough advice.
The Interior of the Guesthouse, Where Showa-Era Japan Remains Intact
The Common Area and a Cute Retro Tea Table!
Just past reception is the common area. The tatami, fusuma, and a round chabudai table(*3) give the living room a traditional Showa-era atmosphere. Some of the furniture used is from the original restaurant. Use the common area to chat with staff, plan your travels, and spend your time however you want. Sometimes guests gather around the table to chat, and some people also bring their laptops to work here.
*3: Chabudai tables are low dining tables. In the Showa era, families would gather around them for lively conversation, so they are regarded as a typical Showa-era sight.
Green tea, black tea, and coffee are also available. After you’re done, wash your cup in the kitchen and return it to the cupboard.
Secure a Private Space in the Dormitory or Your Own Room
There are three room types: women-only rooms (3,000 yen), co-ed rooms (2,800 yen) and private rooms (3,800 yen). All prices are tax-inclusive.
The dormitory beds are comfortable, with an alcove to put your belongings, two outlets and a reading lamp. You can also hang your clothes up. To preserve your privacy you can draw back the curtain.
Put large suitcases by your bed and take off your shoes in the guesthouse. The rooms have tatami, so if you want to rearrange your suitcase, you can use the area by the bed.
A Kitchen Where You Can Cook and a Bar Counter for Casual Drinking
Guests can use the kitchen freely, so you can buy ingredients yourself and cook for yourself. There is a microwave, an oven, and kitchenware.
There is a bar counter near the entrance. There is a bar quarter, Kokubun-cho, located near the guesthouse, but if you don’t want to go out talk to the staff. You can use the area freely even if you don’t order a drink. You can sit at the stools here too to relax your feet.
Simple, Clean Shower Rooms
There are two shower rooms. The first is open until 22:00, but the other is open 24 hours a day. You can rent a hand towel for 50 yen or a bath towel for 100 yen. There is a washer and dryer in the changing area, which you can use between 8:00 and 22:00. Be sure to ask the staff if you want to use them.
Spots Within Walking Distance
The Local Public Bath
The public bath Koma-no-Yu is five minutes from the guesthouse. The signs are only in Japanese, but you can relax in the water and refresh yourself as you gaze at a Matsushima landscape. An admission ticket is 440 yen, which you buy from the vending machine. You can purchase shampoo and body soap at the public bath or bring your own. You can also rent towels for 50 yen each.
Stylish Jozenji Street and the Drinking Quarter
TheKeyaki in the guesthouse’s name comes from the prefectural tree of Miyagi, the zelkova (“keyaki” in Japanese). You can see beautiful rows of these trees on Jozenji Street, three minutes away. The center of Jozenji Street is a pedestrian walkway, which makes it a fun place for a stroll. In autumn, you can see the fall foliage, and in December the trees are lit up, creating an arch of light.
In front of Sendai Mediatheque, which faces out onto Jozenji Street, is a bus stop for the Loople Sendai bus. You can use this to get to Sendai Station in about 15 minutes (260 yen). Perpendicular to Jozenji Street is Kokubun-cho, a bar district. No matter which street you go down, there are plenty of places to eat or drink, so you have no need to worry.
Relax and Prepare for Your Next Trip
You're probably going to become tired after walking around and traveling at the end of the day. You can relax in your room by yourself, but it can also be refreshing to have a chat with somebody.
“I want this to be a place where people can relax as they please, whether they want to lay in their bed, read a book in the common area, or chat with staff and other guests,” Nozomi said.
When we stayed at Keyaki Guesthouse, their warm hospitality allowed us to have a comfortable stay. If you want to visit a place that will make you want to go again, why not choose Keyaki Guesthouse?
In cooperation with Keyaki Guesthouse