JapanInns created from century-old buildings part of growing trend that lets visitors experience traditional cuisine and culture

Japan’s traditional village inns pop up to offer taste of rural life

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Miyama, an agricultural village, is known for its traditional farmhouses with thatched roofs.
Miyama, an agricultural village, is known for its traditional farmhouses with thatched roofs. Photo Credit: LeeYiuTung/Getty Images

GIFU – A traditional century-old house that once belonged to a Japanese washi merchant has been turned into an inn, part of a growing tourism trend that lets visitors stay in recreated traditional villages.

The inn, Nipponia, opened doors in July in the Japanese city of Mino, Gifu Prefecture, where many old merchant houses still stand. The inn pays homage to the region’s once flourishing production and trade of high-quality washi (Japanese paper) during the Edo period.

The inn houses six rooms, which can each host up to seven people; room rates start at ¥20,000 (US$186) per person. A vacant house nearby is currently being renovated that will add a second facility for the hotel, according to a report by Japan Times.

The recreation of traditional abandoned villages into hotel accommodation, also known as “scattered-style hotels”, first started in Europe and has spread to cities in Japan from Kyoto to Otsu in Shiga Prefecture, Obama in Fukui Prefecture and other areas.

Currently, there are preparations to open more of such hotels in Hokkaido and Kumamoto Prefecture.

Maruyama Village, a hotel which opened in 2009 in Sasayama, Hyogo Prefecture, is said to be the pioneer in Japan.


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