Apr. 11, 2016
Experiences at old Japanese-style houses and one of 100 Landscapes of Japan, Geibi gorge
Hi! My name is Cesar and I am from the US and I am currently working in Japan while also traveling.
Hi! My name is Nanami Hanzawa. I am a University student in Japan and I love traveling. I have been thinking that I want many foreigners to have great experiences in Japan. Then I found a web service where you can book a homestay and experience Japanese life. I took two of my friends to Ichinoseki, Iwate.
My name is Alex. I’m 29 years old and I’m french. I have lived in Japan for almost a year now, and I’m still learning japanese. I’m a french teacher and I like to travel all around the world to teach my language and my culture. But I also like to share my experience as a globetrotter.
Japan top one hundred checked
First we went to Geibi gorge. It was close from our homestay.
Riding in style to Geibikei
We got on Kotatsu boat. Kotatsu is a traditional heating system in Japan, which is a table and a heater combined as one piece of furniture. This Kotatsu boat is limited only in Winter.
The gorge was huge and we even look so small in the photo.
200 years old house!
We arrived at 200 years old house.
I’m the meat in this sandwich
The bedding was already set and we felt very welcomed. This house was built 200 years ago. It is made of wood and has a lot of whole long trees. We felt nostalgic and comfortable.
Grandma borrowed us Japanese old style jacket and we challenged dried persimmon.
Please call me grandma
Grandpa and grandma welcomed us and we talked. They gave us green tea and let us wear nice warm Japanese traditional jackets.
Even we came from different cultures and speak different languages, we felt very connected.
Scarely first but delicious
We had grandma’s hand made dried persimmon. Cesar had this for the first time so grandma explained him how to make dried persimmon. I think you can guess how sweet and delicious it was by looking at his face, right?
The origin of golden village? Golden mine adventure!
Secret passage to finding gold. I wonder if I find seven dwarfs.
After we rest a little, grandpa took us to this gold mine and Fujitsubo fall near to the house. Both Cesar and Alex were so excited that they can go into the gold mine.
Cesar and Alex travel a lot so they like this adventure as well.
This is the source for Kinkakuji ( as known as golden temple) in Kyoto.
There is a power for the lights outside so you can visit and go into the gold mine by yourself. Grandpa told us that the gold were transported to Hiraizumi and Kyoto. Cesar and Alex were interested in the stories grandpa told them and asked me to translate.
Full of goodness on our table
Country side hospitality means family dinners.
When we came back, the dinner was already ready. As a countryside food experience, we only paid for 500 yen for one meal. We had so much food on our table!
Grandma said, ‘I have been preparing from two days ago for you guys.’ Oden was very nice.(Oden is a typical Japanese hodgepodge suitable for colder seasons. Many different foods are boiled together in a large pot with a soup seasoned with soy sauce and dried bonito flakes.) Everything was handmade by grandma.
We helped grandma to set the table. We felt like we are in the family too.
Grandma provided us traditional countryside meal. Grandma made sure we were well fed with a variety of traditional Japanese meals.
We had great time talking and eating with grandma and grandpa. They told us that they are happy to have us here. I’m sure eating together makes the food taste even more delicious!
There were a lot of things Cesar and Alex never tried before but they challenged to eat. For me as a Japanese, I was filled with warm feelings. Thank so much for making dinner all by yourself, grandma.
Japanese night gown, Haori!
Rocking out the night gown.
After dinner, we went to our room and there were Haori. (Japanese night gown) Wearing the Haori, we took some pictures. They were happy to wear them. We fell asleep very early like countryside life style.
Grandpa’s chickens and peacocks
The next day, snow was piled up!
The snow make their garden even beautiful.
We walked to see grandpa’s chicken and peacocks.
Grandpa showing us his chicken house and his pikok.
We had fresh eggs from the chickens for breakfast.
Show me the fan.
Grandpa got these peacocks from Wakayama prefecture. There were 5 of them.
This is handmade pizza oven. You can enjoy fresh baked pizza in warm season.
There were so many bamboos around the house. The snow view made us forget busy daily life.
Girl’s day, Hinamatsuri
One big collection of dolls. What a beautiful HInamatsuri set up. Hinamatsuri is basically a girl’s day
It was very close to the girl’s day in Japan, Hinamatsuri so they had this huge doll set in the room. (March 3rd is Hina-Matsuri, the Doll’s Festival for girls. People display a set of dolls and pray for the sound growth of girls in the family.) Grandma explained the meaning of Hina dolls. Then the conversation became the cultural differences about marriage.
It was our first time to stay in old Japanese-style house. when we arrived, we felt as if it was our home. After talking a lot with the host, we thought it would be nice if many more people could experience this.
This 200 years old house stay is recommended to people who want to see traditional Japanese life. Of course with families and friends will be nice too. Using the website STAY JAPAN(ex-Tomarina), you can experience and connect with hosts which you can not have at normal hotels.
※ Ms. Hanzawa of the monitor interviewed the guest and the host. Please also have a look!
Interview with the guests&hosts | Geibi-kei’s lodge