Mar. 10, 2016
Traditional lodging blog
Blog by Maya Fujisawa, Student
“After I came to know STAY JAPAN(ex-Tomarina), two of my friends and me decided this time to try to stay at the guest house in Otari, Nagano.
Together with two friends I made quiete unexpectedly, we discussed on going on vacation which ended eventually in us booking at STAY JAPAN, a page I recently disovered and overlooked a few times. We chose the a nice-looking guest house in the countryside and decided to go by car ourselves (as students we felt pretty much like grown ups going on our first road trip). Turning on our favorite music and being very excited, we started our journey heading towards Nagano.
3 hours later. We found ourselves in a wonderfully green landscape.
It was so beautiful that we stopped our car and got out to enjoy the view.
The family-like guest house
Almost thinking “Seriously, are we right here?!”, we finally found the small entrance path to guest house .
What a fantastic house!
We were all very nervous staying for the first time at a guest house, but the staff welcomed us warmly and were friendly, so we got along with them well immediately.
About the lodge
“This is a guest house, not a hotel. So for us, you are not customers, but family.” You feel quiet happy hearing words like this, right?
Farming under the summer sky
We went off to the fields that the guest house is cultivating and harvested cucumbers. That would be definetely something you could never try out in Tokyo! “All the vegetables we harvest we can use later for BBQ!” BBQ, yum!
For dinner, everyone came together and we had a BBQ with all the harvested vegetables from the fields. It was the best! Especially since we all harvested the ingridients ourselves, I think it became even more delicious.
Because everyone at the house came from different parts of the country, we could talk a lot about our hometowns and have a nice time. That’s one of the good sides of staying at a guest house.
Everyone who stayed joined the BBQ and we talked very openly, so after a while, it seemed like we have known each other for a long time.
The milky way in the starry sky
After everyone finished eating, we went off to look at the stars — something you should try doing in the nature. The sky that was so cloudy earlier cleared up and was full of thousand of thousands of stars. You could even see the milky way. That really made me loose my speech.
End of a fun day
At the end, everyone helped to tidy up the leftovers from the BBQ family-style.
After we finished, some of us went to sleep, some had a drink and kept talking about work, the things they like about the lodge, dreams for the future and alike together with the hosts. The time went by fast and in the end we went to bed after 12PM. That was an eventful day.
Waking up by the sunlight
It felt so good waking up by the sunlight.
Home-cooked meals for breakfast!
Eggplant just picked from the field! So fresh and so delicious~ We didn’t know what we would get for breakfast since the staff was kind of mysterious about it. But still, couldn’t wait!
After breakfast we got desert with coffee made out of freshly grinded beans. Of course we werent in one of those stylish cafes in Tokyo, but with the different atmosphere around us, it was definetely stylish, too!
Right after we had the desert and coffee it was about time to leave, unfortunately… With a heavy heart, we all started packing. The guy next to me was Yamaguchi, one of the staff who we got along very well with almost thinking of him like an older brother.
Hard to say goodbye
We took pictures together with everyone and thanked the staff for accommodating us and left the guest house. Everyone came to see us off — a warm gesture you don’t receive just like that in your everyday life.
Saying “We’ll be back again” we took off for our next destination.
The mysterious lake Kamaike
As our next destination, we went to lake Kamaike, a lake everyone recommended us back at the guest house. After 30min by car, we arrived and after climbing up a hill, we made it to the lake.
There were no people around and it was very quiet. It was a peaceful place surrounded by the green. At the guest house, the hosts also recommended to have breakfast at the lake. I’d totally go for it!
Sad way back home
Breathing in the last bit of the fresh ait of the nature, we jumped in the car and started heading back home calculating in extra time for traffic jams. Well, but now we go back to the hustle and bustle of great Tokyo. Altough I’d liked to stay a little bit longer…
Filled with good memories, we arrived in Shibuya. Of course, as the last day of the Japanese holidays of O-Bon, we got struck in traffic jams so it took 7 hours until Shibuya. I already missed the nature of Nagano.
Even if it was only a short trip, these two days were an awesome summer vacation to escape our daily routine. And we could get to know each other more.
I think this is a journey where you can explore at lot of things about yourself and find new things you like. Unless you try and go, you will never know. Yes, I mean that. Unless you don’t go yourself and visit the guest house , how much I may tell you, you never catch the real value of it. So, don’t hesitate and try something new in Nagano.