Another Famous Spot in Zentsuji City, Kukai’s Hometown! A 100+ Year Old Western-Style Villa & Kaikousha Café!

Designated as an important cultural property, the former Zentsuji Kaikousha building (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaikosha#Kaikosha_buildings) is an elegant Western-style house that stands quietly under the blue skies of Kagawa prefecture’s Zentsuji city, which is famous for being Kukai’s hometown.

It was built in 1903 as a meeting place for Japan’s former Imperial army. After the war, the building was used as a city hall, hometown museum, and for other purposes. In 2001, it was designated as one of Japan’s important cultural properties. Currently, it is used for a wider variety of activities, such as concerts and parties.
Well, without further ado, let’s head inside… and as I open the door, I have two destinations to choose from. To my right is the Kaikousha, and straight ahead is the café. Hmmm… let’s head first to the pleasant ambience of the café!

 

The Kaikousha café was built at the same time the building was being restored (finished in 2008).
Despite the café being more recent, it fits so well that it feels as if it’s been standing next to the Kaikousha building since the beginning.

I ignore the important cultural property, it’s teatime after all (lol).

 

This time I ordered a coffee and a dessert called “Haikara-san“. On top of the ice cream there are some colorful local sweets called “oiri“, and hidden in the bottom is a hot sweet potato.

 

In Kagawa prefecture, oiri are known as wedding sweets. Apparently wedding parties are even held here at Kaikosha café. A wedding dress is on display in one of the corners of the shop.
Finally, I return to the entrance and head inside the Kaikousha. If you ask at the reception, you can get a free tour.

Soft natural light shines into the corridor. Thanks to the city’s efforts, the building’s beautiful 100-year-old appearance has been retained.

 

A lady holding a camera takes her time touring the building. You are just taken in by its photogenic building.

This is a room the Showa Emperor used as a living and dining room. Today, as we welcome the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, I am deeply impressed that a historical building like this has been carefully preserved.

 

As it has been preserved so well, even officials from outside the prefecture who work with cultural assets visit Kaikousha.

 

Zentsuji is well known even on the Shikoku pilgrimage route for being Kukai’s birth region. As it’s not far from the temples, if you come to visit on a pilgrimage, how about taking a peek at Kaikosha, too?

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Former Zentsuji Kaikousha
Address: 2-1-1 Bunkyo-cho, Zentsuji city, Kagawa prefecture
Open: 10:00-16:00
Closed: Open every day (Apart from New Year, special events, etc.)
Tel: 0877-63-6362
Entrance: Free
http://www.city.zentsuji.kagawa.jp/soshiki/50/kaikousya.html (Japanese)

 

Kaikousha Café
Address: 2-1-1 Bunkyo-cho, Zentsuji city, Kagawa prefecture
Open: 08:30-17:00
Closed: Open every day (Apart from New Year, special events, etc.)
Tel: 0877-62-4906
Parking: Please use the parking area of Zentsuji city hall
http://kaikousyacafe.com/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Izumi Furukawa

 

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Izumi Furukawa

Izumi Furukawa

Izumi Furukawa Hello. My name is Izumi Furukawa and I was born in Kagawa Prefecture. Before getting married in 2012, I wrote for various magazine companies and Internet based media organizations in Tokyo. After marrying, I moved to Hiroshima and am now raising my child as well as writing stories about my fascination with this area through Setouchi Finder. Most of the articles I write are about places I visit on weekends with my family. My favorite driving course is Route 375 from Saijyo to the Miyoshi Area, and my favorite food from the Hiroshima area is Anagomeshi (from Miyajima)!!

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