A Japanese washi merchant’s traditional century-old house has become an inn, part of a growing tourism trend that enables tourists to live in traditional recreated villages.
In July, the inn, Nipponia, opened its doors in the Japanese city of Mino, Gifu Prefecture, where there are still many old merchant houses. The inn provides homage to the once-flourishing production and trade of high-quality washi (Japanese paper) during the Edo period.
The inn houses six rooms that can accommodate up to seven people; room rates start at 20,000 yen (186 dollars) per guest. A nearby vacant house is currently being renovated to add a second facility for the hotel.
The renovation of typical deserted villages into hotel accommodation, also known as “scattered-style hotels,” started in Europe for the first time and spread to Japanese cities from Kyoto to Otsu in Shiga Prefecture, Obama in Fukui Prefecture and elsewhere.
Now, more of these hotels are being opened in Hokkaido and Kumamoto Prefecture.
The pioneer in Japan is said to be Maruyama Village, a hotel that opened in 2009 in Sasayama, Hyogo Prefecture.