■Name: Minshuku Horohanoie
■Type: Farmers Inn
■Pick-up service: Not available
■Amenities: Thank you to bring your own toiletries and pyjamas
■Room only rate. Meals costs an extra ¥1620. For further details, please enquire.
We live in a mountain village near Ichinoseki, in Iwate prefecture, Tohoku. After retiring from an architectural design company, I came back to the place I was born to run this farm. After 40 years away, coming home and seeing the mountains of my birthplace, I remembered the vibrant days of the past, with the leaf tobacco and silkworms. And yet, there are noticeably fewer young people here, and this mountain village is now quieter. We have to do something about that. I love the outdoors and people from different countries, so I rented some abandoned arable land and started a farm raising "wagyu", Japanese cattle. Then I thought I could make it feel like a ranch, and have guests from the cities come and stay. The ranch stretches from the heifer's paddock at the end of the garden to the foot of the mountains. When you get up in the mornings, it feels good to fill your lungs amid the morning dew, don’t you think?
Our home consists of new buildings and aof traditional house built around 150 years ago. I refurnished the traditional building and turned it into a Farmer's Inn. It was my wife’s idea, the lovely Sachiko. When you hear the words "mountain village" you might imagine somewhere that is far away from civilization. But don't worry. There’s a convenience store nearby. Rest assured. In our area we have a cultural centre and a general hospital, so we are still within the bounds of civilization. Nearby, there is also a mountain hotel, a tourist farm and a leading motocross circuit, where major competitions are often held. These races are wondrous events where you can meet all kind of people from famous competitors to manic kids. There is also the site of the Okago Roman Catholic martyrs not far away. At the beginning of the Edo period, this village was a producer of iron-sand, and had a Christian community. However, the shogun’s government’s anti-Christian edicts led to the execution (martyrdom) of over 300 people. The mountains are filled with caves where the Christians were worshipping their God and sites connected to the martyrs. The area also has the Martyrs’ Park, with a museum about these Hidden Christians. In the Kurusu Museum, there are life-size statues of Jesus Christ made by the eminent sculptor Funakoshi Yasutake. After the Great East Japan Earthquake, many pilgrims came to visit. Even today, there is no Buddhist temple in the village, only a single Catholic church. In recent years, Christmas has been celebrated there in grand style. It's an unusual village; we'd be happy to show you around any time.
Right, then… The meals we offer are almost specialities of the countryside, and our specialty is the local dish known as hatto. This is also called suiton or totte-nage. The flour is kneaded and then drawn out and cut into strips, then boiled in a pot. Various vegetables and meat are added, and the result is delicious. Guests from the city often ask for a second helping. But, don’t worry, we can cook other tasty dishes too.
When my wife Sachiko was young, she used to stroll through the streets of Ocha-no-mizu and Kanda, in downtown Tokyo, in her mini-skirts and long coat. And yet… now she is just a countryside granny. Anyway, one thing we are especially proud of is how clean we keep our place. The kitchen is ultra clean, the baths are modern ‘unit baths’, and our toilets are working. This is the one thing we have in common with the city. In addition to having internet and the TV (terrestrial digital, and BS). There's also a laundrette, and guests are allowed to cook for themselves if they choose.
ABOUT THIS ROOM
1. Please keep quiet after midnight.
2. Dinner is until 9 p.m.
3. Please bring your own pyjamas and toothbrush. We provide towels.
4. If you bring a pet, please tie it up outside.
5. If you are physically disabled thank you to come with your carer.
6. We do not accommodate people coming on missionary work or other kinds of proselytising.
- Air Conditioning / Heating
- Face Towel
- Bath Towel
- Bed Sheets
- Bath Mat
- Body Soap
- Laundry Detergent
- Pets Allowed
- Smoking Allowed
- Wheelchair Accessible
- Family / Kid Friendly
- Free Parking