An old local house with a thatched roof which was built about 200 years ago is reused as the reception house

By Kikki - Last updated: 日曜日, 6月 17, 2012 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment




The new Japanese inn is consisted of two houses. One is the reception house that is a 200 years old house with a thatched roof. Another is newly built guest house. The old house is moved from Shizukuishi inIwatePrefectureand reconstructed here. It was owned by the Koiwazawa Family who served as ‘Shoya (庄屋)’ or a village headman in the Edo period. Although, all required reinforcement by the law and slight refurbishment is done, as well as an outward appearance of the old house, but also most of its interior layout kept unchanged. Especially its high ceiling lobby lounge built in two-story well-hole style is the best part of the reception house, where used to be an earthen floor.


First thing you can see soon after entering the inn is a two-story entrance hall built in wellhole style with an ‘Irori’ hearth. A 200 years old thatch- roofed old private house is reused as the reception house.


Had been used as a house for the village headman, there are several characteristic designs and symbols of good luck, such as a large household Shinto altar placed at an upper part of the well-hole, a mallet of luck, a decoration of pine tree-bamboo-Ume apricot, and crane and tortoise. So, guest can enjoy being stay in a traditional atmosphere in the old house.


The front desk is located at the inner part in the reception house. A check-in procedure is performed here or at the lobby area around ‘Irori’ hearth.


The lobby lounge, furnished with an ‘Irori (囲炉裏)’ or a traditional sunken hearth and a set of sofa, is used as a public area for room guests. A cup of powdered green tea with a Japanese sweet is served here to arrival guest as a welcome drink.

Special event for folktales in Kakunodate is expected to be performed in a Japanese style hall.


It is also used as a small library, so there are various monthly and weekly magazines and books for their guests. Furthermore, at the evening between 8:00 and 10:00, a Japanese sake bar ‘Irori Lounge’ is opened here.



Japanese Sake Bar ‘Irori Lounge’ is open at the lounge between 20:00 and 22:00. ‘Kikizake Set’ is 1,050 yen, which is consisted of three brands of local rice wine and ‘Iburigakko’ or assorted local pickles.  On the back shelf, 16 brands of local rice wine are lined up. The back shelf is totally closed in normal hours.



Irori (囲炉裏) is a type of traditional sunken hearth common in Japan. Used for heating the home and cooking food, it is essentially square pit in the floor with a pot hook, or jizaikagi (自在鉤). These hooks generally were hollow bamboo tubes containing an iron rod, with an attached lever, often shaped like a fish that would allow the pot or kettle to be raised or lowered.

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<Reference materials>

Monthly Hotel Ryokan January 2012



For travelers from overseas

As a certified guide-interpreter in English and also a writer of the website “Cool Japan Guide”, I am very happy to introduce ‘Kakunodate-sanso WABIZAKURA’. If you have something to ask, like to make reservation, or need English speaking tour guide when visit to Kakunodate town inAkita prefecture, please feel free to contact us. Thank you for your kind cooperation, I am looking forward to your contact.

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