Where the Houkan-cho shopping district’s arcade ends, a 13-minute walk from Okayama station’s West exit, there is a curious space!
The entrance to that space is this torii gate. The area beyond is called NAWATE.
In the past, this area was called Nawatemotomachi, and that’s why the establishment was named NAWATE. One meaning for the Japanese word ‘nawate’ is a path between rice fields.
The establishment in the center of NAWATE is “Toriikuguru”.
Opened in July 2013, it’s Okayama’s first guesthouse!
The first floor of the building has been made into a lounge.
The interior, largely handmade by the staff, retains a lot of the character of the old house, but at the same time is clean and simple.
The lounge can be used by non-guests as well, and is frequently visited by local residents. The space is filled with interaction between locals and travelers.
There have been cases where travelers have become friends with locals and they’ve gone traveling together!
The second floor lodging space can accommodate up to 20 guests. In addition to dormitories, private rooms are also available.
This area also has kept some of the old building’s atmosphere, but at the same time it’s clean and comfortable. There is a women-only dormitory available, as well, so even female travelers can rest assured when staying.
On the other side of the garden, you can find NAWATE’s other facilities lined up:
a gallery, a private library, an accessory shop, a flower stylist’s studio and other shops filled with personality!
In this inner garden, film screenings and music events among other events are held frequently. Among these events one of the most popular ones is the “Takoyaki party”.
These are the owners of Toriikuguru, Mr. Noguchi (on the right) and Mr. Akashi (left).
“We are not trying to dictate the style of Toriikuguru, but instead wish for visitors to have their own individual experiences, “says Mr. Noguchi.
Spending all day reading a book by yourself is sure to be pleasant, or having a good time with friends and people you’ve met seems fun, as well. This is a guesthouse where guests have plenty of freedom.
How about using this slightly curious guesthouse as the base for your trip to the Setouchi area?
It may be so relaxing that your trip finishes without leaving the guesthouse at all !!
Address: 4−7−15 Within NAWATE, Hokan-cho, Kita Ward, Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture
Home page: http://toriikuguru.com/ (Japanese – Reservations can be made in English on a different site)
Mixed dormitory: JPY2,800 / person / night
Women only dormitory: JPY2,800 / person / night
Private room: 1 person / 1 night / JPY4,000, 2 persons / 1 night / JPY6,000
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Asami Asai / Katsutoshi Asai (Kokohore Japan)
Katsutoshi Asai Producer and member of the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association. Born in Yokohama in 1974, Katsutoshi is married and has a young son. Although he started his career with an advertising agency, he went to join the Tower Records team. Katsutoshi was involved with brand management, sales campaigns, collaboration work, and live events. Through his career, he experienced being the Sales Promotion Manager, and the Manager of the Live Entertainment Department. However, in 2012, Katsuyoshi retired from Tower Records and moved to Seto city, Okayama prefecture - a place where he had no prior friends, connections or relatives. Soon after moving, he joined the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association, and in July 2013 founded Kokohore Japan and began a number of projects to re-task old traditional buildings, invent new specialty products, and work on regional branding. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/ Asami Asai Editor & Writer I mainly write about social news, music, and lifestyles. I was born and raised in Tokyo, but in 2012 I decided on a whim to move to Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture. I contribute to magazines such as Liniere, Inakagurashi no Hon, and ku:nel. I publish books for my 'interesting' friends, too, and direct and write for programs at FM Okayama. Everyday I write about people and things for both readers and listeners. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/
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