Photo: PR Times
travel

Luxury Japanese inn: Rent an entire kominka house built 400 years ago in the Sengoku Period

6 Comments
By Ben K, grape Japan

Operated by Tanaka Co Ltd, Shoya no Sato Kominka Tanaka 庄屋の里 古民家たなか, is a luxury ryokan inn built on a 1,000 tsubo (nearly 4,000 square meters) plot of land nestled in the idyllic countryside of Isumi City, Chiba Prefecture, and only available for exclusive rental by one party at a time.

While retaining the atmosphere of the former residence of the Seki family—the leader of which served as a retainer for the Toki Clan during the Sengoku (Warring States) period and as a regional headman during the Edo period—the house has been fully renovated in a modern style. In addition to the Japanese garden, there is a swimming pool, BBQ area, an open-air bath, and a campfire area on the lawn.

Renovation of the ancient former residence

The ancient former residence has been entirely renovated inside, leaving only its framework. The interior is furnished with beds and dining tables using only natural materials and is fully equipped with home appliances to accommodate long-term stays. Air conditioners and heaters with ventilation have also been installed in all rooms to provide comfort as well as protection from airborne viruses.

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Indoor and outdoor baths are available

Kominka Tanaka uses water that has been pumped from an underground well and softened for use. It's great for your skin.

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Outdoor pool, BBQ area, lawn with campfire area

In addition to an outdoor swimming pool with an automatic filtration and cleaning system, there's also a BBQ table with a sink permanently installed in the adjoining pavilion, which you can enjoy comfortably even on rainy days.

In the lawn, there is a campfire space hewn from Oya stone, a kind of igneous rock, created from lava and ash, and famously used in the facing of Frank Lloyd Wright's Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. Here you can enjoy fireworks in the summer and campfires in the fall and winter.

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Layout Map

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Shoya no Sato Kominka Tanaka is not only a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the peaceful and idyllic country setting of Isumi, Chiba Prefecture, but the fact that you have the entire house to yourself also makes it the perfect choice for families and small groups of fully vaccinated people looking for a summer break.

Address: 1589 Shiigi, Misaki-cho, Isumi City, Chiba Prefecture 299-4501

Access by car: 30 minutes from Ichihara Tsurumai IC or Mobara Chonan IC (Approximate time: 1 hour and 30 minutes from Tokyo Station)

Access by train: 8 min. walk from Taito Sta. 太東駅 on the Sotobo Line 外房線, 10 mins. by car from Kazusa-Ichinomiya Station 上総一ノ宮駅 on the Sotobo Line (Approximate time: 1 hour from Tokyo Station to Kazusa-Ichinomiya Stn.)

Private shuttle available to and from Kazusa-Ichinomiya Sta.

Rates: 100,000 ~ 140,000 yen per night, plus tax, depending on season | Options: BBQ food plans (3,000 ~ 5,500 yen / person) | Catering plans (6,000 ~ 15,000 yen / person)

Parking: Available

Website (Japanese only)

Tel: 0470-62-6979

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© grape Japan

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

6 Comments
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That looks awesome! The article doesn't state the occupancy, but considering that there are ten chairs at the table, let's go with that. So with ten guests, that's around 10,000 yen/person, which is a wonderful deal for a private resort. And Google photos of the town: it is beautiful.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Looks great, and I agree that it's not expensive relative to a posh hotel or a.n.other oh-so-trendy glamping place.

We live in a renovated kominka ourselves. Kominka can be big as multigeneration homes, but this one is huge, notably so, and befitting the family status (clan leader). The frame is also likely to be a high-quality wood like keyaki (zelkova elm). Back in the day, Japan had essentially a caste system and the size and materials of houses was decided by it. The Japanese garden will have been there pre-reno, but a ton of money has been spent on the modern parts of the grounds with all the playful goodies.

My kominka-trained eye says this house is going to be dark inside, but that's probably what guests will expect from an old house, and kind of makes it a feature not a bug. My impression was/is that the kominka renovation industry is stuck in the past regarding things like daylighting, insulation/draughtproofing, room layout, and use of furniture, but if you reduce one to the frame, you can turn them into warm, bright, and very practical homes, little different to something architect-designed and built from scratch.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

just wish it was more original , just the way I am. I rather see a castle in ruins they totally rebuilt new, like they do in England on many sites there

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Looks delightful.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Google Map shows it next door to the train line with a level crossing just by the entrance. There's only a train or two per hour in each direction, but it might wake you up in the morning. Its only 1km from a surfing beach though, which is cool.

I rather see a castle in ruins they totally rebuilt new, like they do in England.

The obvious thing to compare this with from the UK is a barn conversion. Many kominka internally included a stable for horses and/or oxen, so they even functioned as barns. Barn conversions in the UK tend to have ultramodern interiors. While the photos above will hit the spot for some, I believe a more modern and practical approach to interiors would increase the appeal of kominka restoration, and help save more kominka from destruction.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bit of a nit-pick, I know…

But isn’t 400 years ago just a bit too recent to be a genuine Sengoku place?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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