In 2015 the castle town of Hagi in Yamaguchi prefecture was listed as a World Heritage Site. You can still use Edo period maps when navigating this town, which is famous for being the place where the Meiji Renovation started! The small private school where the leading spirits of the renovation studied, Shoka Sonjuku, retains its original appearance.
In one corner of the historical town, a guesthouse called “ruco”was opened in the autumn of 2013.
It’s visited by guests from all over Japan, as well as overseas. In the evening the guesthouse becomes a lovely, warmly lit space. The first two floors are communal spaces where both guests and locals mingle and have fun chatting.
On the day of our visit, guests included lone travellers from Tokyo and Tottori, a hitchhiker, and locals who work in Hagi. It’s easy to make friends here. Recommended by Mr. Naohiro Shiomitsu, the owner of ruco, at dinnertime everyone heads to ‘Fumi’ the local izakaya (Japanese pub). You can enjoy fresh sashimi made with freshly caught fish from the Sea of Japan, as well as the shop’s mistress’ prided agedashi tofu (lightly deep-fried tofu).
Here at the ruco counter are Mr. Hiromitsu (right) and Yasu (left) who just started work here on this day.
“Give this to the lady at Fumi,” Mr. Shiomitsu says, and Yasu takes a bag of sweets from him. You can feel the connection between the locals.
The drinks sold at the first floor counter are mainly produced in the area. They even have a cool beer called “Chonmage”(Japanese word for the ‘topknot’ (Sumo) hairstyle)! If you stay at ruco, you can find items related to Hagi everywhere. This wall is an example.
It’s been decorated with fabrics made by Iwakawahataten, a company that makes fishermen’s banners and curtains. Making the wall look almost like a mosaic, attached to it are also bottles of sand from Hagi’s symbol, Kikugahama Beach, along with porcelain fragments from Oogayama Ceramics, which makes Hagi-ware.
These unique chairs are created by a Hagi furniture artisan. Guests who stay at ruco quickly learn about the people who live in the area and it can lead to a chance to tour the region. Locals warmly welcome ruco guests.
Mr. Shiomitsu lived in the USA and Canada for 2 years. “Over there it was like everyone faced each other from the same standpoint, and it felt really comfortable. After returning to Hagi, my home region, I wanted to create a place where a diverse range of people could stay, interact, and accept each other.”
‘ruco’ has become the center for a continuous stream of people interacting, and has also created an opportunity for people who don’t know Hagi to visit the town. The entrance to Hagi originally envisioned by Mr. Shiomitsu is here right now!
Oidemase! Come to Yamaguchi!
Before being renovated into Guesthouse ruco, the 4-storey building used to be a music shop that sold instruments. It’s a great place to stay (without meals) and to meet new people. The owner, Mr. Shiomitsu, is all smiles and will tell you the most interesting spots to visit in and around Hagi. He is the town concierge!
Location: 92 Karahimachi, Hagi city, Yamaguchi prefecture
TEL: 0838-21-7435 (Calls taken: 9:00-11:00 /16:00-22:00)
Dormitory: JPY2800 / night, Private rooms: JPY4500/night (for one), JPY7500 (for two), JPY10000 (for three)
Check out: 10:00
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hagi.ruco/ (Japanese)
The Setouchi Finder Editors
Give us your Like
Setouchi Finder Editorial Dept.
> Speaking of Setouchi, the must-eat item is seafood! – A selection of 7 spots where you can try fresh seafood.
> A selection of 7 cafes and restaurants in Setouchi with superb scenery and views of the sea.
> A tranquil garden full of Japanese beauty and a huge carpet of green moss. / Gallery Teahouse Kokemushiro (Seiyo-shi, Ehime)
> 3 places for barhopping in Yokogawawhich carefully selected by a “hard-drinking” writer / Nice Yukari, Gohan-ya Haru-chan, and Trois Copain
> Please fully enjoy local sake brewed in Tokushima at the shop where you can “buy and drink.” / Taro Saketen (Tokushima-shi, Tokushima)
> A century-old Japanese house which an Onomichi merchant used as a villa has been renovated for accommodation. / The house rental “Kujira Bekkan” (Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima)
> An inn where you can find “ordinary Kobe” / Guesthouse MAYA (Kobe-shi, Hyogo)
> This could be the best choice for your stay in Awajishima! How about having a family trip while staying at a hot spring resort where you can get a great ocean view? / Hotel New Awaji Group (Sumoto-shi, Hyogo)
> Come and see, rail fans! A new base for a circular sightseeing tour in Shikoku, which is produced by JR SHIKOKU./ 4S STAY Awaikeda Sta.(Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima)
> Books, a bar, and international exchange!? 3 selections of hotel and guesthouses which have attractive little perks in the center of Hiroshima / (KIRO Hiroshima -THE SHARE HOTELS-, EN HIROSHIMA, and 36HOSTEL)
> Visit historic spots in the city center of Hiroshima on foot and learn about the history of peace (Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima)
> This is the ultimate soothing trip – feel the sense and the heart of Japan in Uchiko Town and Ozu City in Ehime.
> Beauty exists in every detailed corner of your eyesight! 8 spots where you can see wonderful views of Setouchi and its beautiful islands.
> Visiting the well-known “power spots” where mystical energy flows! This northern drive route visits temples, shrines, and cultural heritage sites in Tottori, Shimane, and Yamaguchi
> A continual stream of natural beauty which will make your heart tremble! The eastern drive route covers the best viewing spots in Okayama, Hyogo, and Tokushima
> Let’s enjoy a liberating new Setouchi voyage by “SEA SPICA”!
> The last report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi -Vol.5. STU48 members attended the launching ceremony. / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi -Vol.4. STU48 members paint the ship’s logo! / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the merging of the superstructure and the base of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi Vol.3 by members of STU48 / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi. Vol.2 shows you the “Reversal Procedure” where the ship is turned over. / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> Shimanami Kaido - Cyclist's Paradise
> Onomichi U2 and the Giant Store – the perfect partners for enjoying the Shimanami Kaidō
> Eating, Cycling & Getting Warm : Akiyoshidai Karst Road (Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)
> Kasaoka Island Hopping by Bike : A perfect 2-day trip! (Okayama)
> A Rare Lighthouse & Spelunking!? Traversing Ogijima by Bicycle! (Ogi, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture)
> “ONOMARU SHOUTEN” is the shop which has all of Onomichi’s fascinations. / JR Onomichi Ekisha (Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima)
> Kobe Shopping: 3 Distinct Local Brands to Bring Home（Kobe, Hyogo）【PR】
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
> “Meika Shitatsuzumi, ”a Japanese sweet from Yamaguchi which is soft, pleasant and melty on your tongue / San-in-do (Yamaguchi-shi, Yamaguchi)
> Let’s enjoy taking a walk down the shopping street near Matsuyama Castle./Matsuyama Ropeway Shopping Street (Matsuyama-shi, Ehime Prefecture)
See more articles about "Hotel"HotelList
Kobe City Himeji City Amagasaki City Akashi City Nishinomiya City Sumoto City Ashiya City Itami City Aioi City Toyooka City Kakogawa City Ako City Nishiwaki City Takarazuka City Miki City Takasago City Kawanishi City Ono City Mita City Kasai City Sasayama City Yabu City Tanba City Minamiawaji City Asago City Awaji City Shiso City Kato City Tatsuno City Inagawa Taka Inami Harima Ichikawa Fukusaki Kamikawa Taishi Kamigori Sayo Kami Shinonsen
- Okayama Pref.
- Hiroshima Pref.
- Yamaguchi Pref.
- Tokushima Pref.
- Kagawa Pref.
- Ehime Pref.