After a long and happy dinner with the farmer’s family, we lost track of time in the dining room. The firewood was burning slowly. The fireplace keeps the entire 200-year-old house warm all day. I think I made the right choice staying at a farmhouse instead of staying at a hotel.
All the dishes that were made from fresh vegetables were seasoned lightly and elegantly. The food was so friendly to my stomach that was tired from the long flight and the long car ride. I was surprised that the rice was served in a ohitsu, which is a rice container made out of Japanese cedar wood. This wooden container is very traditional and it appeared at the end of dinner along with miso soup and vegetables. When I ate the rice, I smelled the light scent of cedar wood.
I heard the old clock on the wall striking 10 o’clock. When the farmer and his family were washing the dishes, I was advised to take a bath in the authentic Japanese bathtub made out of Japanese cedar wood. The bathtub was filled with hot spring water and it had a peaceful smell of wood. It was relaxing and I had a hard time trying not to fall asleep.
After spending about half an hour in the bath, the house became tranquil. The sound of the wind came to my ear. The wind sounded like it was flowing from the mountaintop to the bottom of this village. The wind was telling me not to nap, to leave bathroom and to sleep well in the winter futon.
Following the voice of nature, I left the bath to the soft, clean and warm futon. I fell asleep quickly. At midnight, I woke up with the strong sound of wind, but the warm futon lured me back to sleep.
The next morning I opened my eyes and left the lovely futon to go rambling. I opened the sliding wooden door softly so I would not wake anyone up. I looked up at the sky. Above the thick clouds, the sun was shining down.
For about an hour, I walked around the house. I said “Ohayou-gozaimasu” (good morning) to the birds. I was so happy.
For your information :
Name of House : Koya Yauemon
If you departed Tokyo at late morning by Tohoku Shinkansen, arrived Shin-Hanamaki Station at late lunchtime.
Rented a small car with english-speaking rent-a-car at Shin-Hanamaki Station, enjoyed about 1 hour ride to Tono, the village of folktale,
famous for Tono-monogatari (Folk Tales in Tono). Your smartphone tells you the traffic information you may need.
This kominka house is for experience and learn the rural life not for commercial stay.
This house is located in the mountain area around half hour ride from JR Tono Station.
Photograph and text by meguru hayata