The Renovated Ryokan – A Blend Of Travelers & Locals : uzuhouse (Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)

Part guesthouse, part café & bar, part event space, the newly opened uzuhouse even facilitates shared-offices, and with that it is poised to bring about change to the streets of Shimonoseki.

Built By Many People

One of uzuhouse’s greatest charms is its lovely staff. They are neither too frank, nor too stiff in their approach to guests. The man in the middle of the photo wearing glasses is the representative of the establishment, Mr. Okino.

Uzuhouse is actually a prime example of a hugely successful crowdfunded project. It managed to raise 44,389,000 yen from its 425 backers, Japans largest sum ever (at the time). In other words, many people have tremendous hopes for its success. Formally a kappo ryokan – a hot spring inn offering Japanese cuisine – the 4-story building’s renovations were completed in August, 2016.

The dormitory curtains are lovely! Here and there throughout the building guests can find signs of the staff’s various tastes. From funding to renovation and now opening: uzuhouse truly was “built by everyone”.

Outside The Windows

I glanced out the window, and to my great surprise I saw a huge oil tanker passing by! A pleasant breeze blows in from the sea, and standing on the balcony makes it seem almost as if you are on the deck of a ship.

The wall painting by the entrance on the 1st floor illustrates the dynamic beauty of the Kanmon Straits. Created by world-renowned otsu-e painter Saori Kanda, it was apparently painted during a live painting event.

Crafted With Local Materials

I just have to mention that at least once in my lifetime I would like to stay in the deluxe room. It is packed with items made from local materials, such as a floor made from chinquapin and fittings made of Tokuji paper.

Even the clothes hangers and the lighting installations were chosen with the utmost sense of detail. The forest fragrances that fill your nostrils as soon as you enter the room make you stop and take a long, deep breath.

The Local Resting Place

After staying a night, drinking coffee and enjoying myself, I have come to understand that this is a gathering place for many different people from many different places. I came across local senior citizens as well as tourists from Australia!

Maybe thanks to it being easy to relax among the large furniture and the wide space, but the cafe is bustling with guests and their small children at lunchtimes on weekdays.

Travelers want to come back and locals want to visit for their weekly café trip. Work and play are easily combined thanks to the offices and event space. The guesthouse still has many more exciting things to bring in the future! Anyway, if you are visiting Shimonoseki, be sure to drop by uzuhouse!

Address: 7-8 Amidaijicho, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Parking: Bike parking and car parking for 8 vehicles (prior reservation required)
Open: 9:00 – 23:00
Closed: no regular holidays
Tel: 083-250-9787
Accommodation prices:
3,000 yen per night (incl. tax)
-Japanese-style room
2 people – 9,000 yen per room per night (incl. tax)
3 people – 12,000 yen per room per night (incl. tax)
4 people – 14,000 yen per room per night (incl. tax)
5 people – 15,000 yen per room per night (incl. tax)
-Western-style room
1 person – 4,500 yen per room per night (incl. tax)
2 people – 7,000 yen per room per night (incl. tax)
-Deluxe room
39,000 yen per room per night (incl. tax)

Setouchi Finder Photo-writer Shinji Otokura

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Written by

Shinji Otokura / Hiroe

Shinji Otokura / Hiroe

Shinji Otokura Though I’m currently living on an island in Hiroshima prefecture, I previously lived in Okayama for 18 years and in Yamaguchi for 6 years. I work in architecture and design. I will be spending my days traveling around and sharing the places and things I discover with all you wonderful people.
 Hiroe After working as an environmental analyst in Fukuoka, I went to study in London, England. Since returning to Japan, I have been living among the beautiful nature of Osakikamijima, an island in the Seto Inland Sea. I’m going to walk the Setouchi islands wherever my feet take me, and write about the distinctive lifestyles, culture and scenery of the area as experienced by a complete newcomer.


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