“aotokuru” is a guesthouse run by an orange famer in Katsuura-cho, Tokushima
Katsuura-cho is located on the east-side of Tokushima Prefecture, on the middle section of the Katsuura River. It is a valley town surrounded by mountains.
This town is famous for its production of oranges, and you can see beautiful orange colors at the foot of mountains from autumn to winter.
The guesthouse “aotokuru” is located among the orange farms, and it is an old Japanese-style house built more than 100 years ago.
Mr. and Mrs. Ishikawa moved to this town from Tokyo after inheriting an orange farm.
They decided to run a guesthouse on the side while doing their main work as farmers.
The busy season for farmers is between November and March, and they welcome travelers from the world to their guesthouse except during their busy season.
The owners are cats, and they decide the way of hospitality.
The guesthouse is named after the 2 cats who “own” this lodging.
Ao, on the right, is the owner, and Kuru was the vice-owner (however, Kuru passed away suddenly in February 2018).
Mr. and Mrs. Ishikawa are acting owners of the guesthouse, and caretakers of the cat there.
“We would like people to come here as if they were visiting their own friend’s house,” says Ishikawa.
They accept only 1 group a day, and the maximum number of guests is 4 people.
Maybe it is good for a family to stay here and enjoy a relaxing time.
The house is more than 100 years old, but the bath and toilet have been renovated to modern standards.
Free Wi-Fi is also available.
You will not have any difficulties during your stay, here in the midst of Mother Nature.
The most characteristic feature of this guesthouse is the warm hospitality.
The meal and barbecue using vegetables from the field is very popular, and the experience makes you feel that you are a member of this farm.
People from various countries (such as France, Australia, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Macau, and so on) have visited this guesthouse so far.
Also, visit “The Secondhand Bookstore Bun.”
“The Secondhand Bookstore Bun” opened inside of the guesthouse on August 31, 2018.
This bookstore was inspired by “Nata-sho” the bookstore in Takamatsu City, Kagawa, and is open by appointment just like Nata-sho.
The bookstore’s owner is Bun, the cat.
There are various books on the shelves selected from many genres, such as cats, foods, nature, farming, outdoors, travel, novels, art, design, and so on.
Not only can you check the books on the shelves, but you can also have some delicious drinks and sweets here.
They have coffee from “Salotto,” the Katsuura-style Italian café, plum juice made from home-made plum syrup, Kamikatsu Bancha, and rice cakes with nuts and sesame.
There are handmade accessories made of ceramics or glass cast ashore on the beaches from every region of Japan.
You can browse without any disturbance, and this is the best thing about a bookstore open by appointment.
“We hope that people will stay here as long as they can, so we can get to know each other more and more,” says Mio Ishikawa.
Please stay at the first book-hotel in Tokushima, where the cats welcome you, and experience the heart-warming hospitality there.
Farm-style Guesthouse aotokuru& Secondhand Bookstore Bun
Address／25, Hayashi, Mitani, Katsuura-cho, Katsuura-gun, Tokushima
Check-in: 16:00, Check-out: 11:00
Business hours／Please ask（※From November to March is the busy season – the owners reserve the right to refuse reservations at this time, depending on their workload.）
Accommodation charge／8,000 yen for 1 night /each person (including dinner with a drink and breakfast)
Photographs and text by Takashi Shigeto
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