Sandwiched between Okayama city and Kurashiki city, Hayashima-cho is a town that once prospered on rush grass production. Indeed, at one time it was the top producer in Japan!
Within a 200-year-old traditional Japanese house that has been left practically in its original state, “Guest House I…,” was opened in the town last year.
As you would expect from a 200-year-old, its pillars and beams are refined… or should I say, have dignity.
Even if you’re not a fan of traditional Japanese houses, this is the kind of place a Japanese person would want to stay in at least once in their lifetime.
However, during the winter it is cold due to drafts… But, with the “secret base plan” located on the second floor, visitors stay inside indoor tents during the cold months.
There are objects within the house that remind you of bygone times.
These are old signboards on which the character for “shima” of Hayashima is written differently from the way it is today.
Rust grass weaving looms were once made in the house, apparently.
The biggest feature of “Guest House I….,” has to be rush grass.
Here you can experience everything from cultivating to harvesting and even processing rush grass.
Straw by individual straw, rush grass is inserted in the loom and woven together.
You can take part in this rush grass experience whenever you want, if you’re interested.
Charmed by its history, even young people from overseas gather at what once was the town of rush grass.
It takes around 20 minutes on a rental bicycle to get to Kurashiki from “Guest House I….,”.
Uno, the closest port to Okayama and Naoshima is also close, and is a convenient base for a trip to the Seto Inland Sea. Even the fees are more economical the longer you stay.
How about setting up the base for your Setouchi trip in a town that once prospered on the back of rush grass production? Enjoy comparing the past with the present!
Guest House I…., (Guest House Igusa)
Address: 1257 Hayashima, Hayashima-cho, Tsukubo district, Okayama prefecture
Homepage: http://www.igusagh.com/ (Japanese)
1 Day: JPY2800
2 to 6 Days: JPY2400 per Day
1 week: JPY2200 per Day
2 weeks: JPY2000 per Day
Setuchi Finder Photo-writers: 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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