I had a wonderful day with two friends in the nearby town of Okitsu. I had no idea such a great place was a short train ride away!
The first place we visited was the historical Minaguchiya Inn, which was written about in Oliver Statler's book The Japanese Inn. (Yes, of course I want to read this book now!) It was an actual hotel from the mid-16th century until it closed in 1985 and is now a museum. Starting in the Edo period, this inn served as a place for the waki-honjin to stay as they traveled along the Tokaido Road. By the end of the Meiji restoration, when people were no longer required to travel this route, the inn reinvented itself as something like a beach hotel. At some point a highway was built, blocking the view of the beach and water and business slowed, causing the inn to close in 1985.
Many famous people stayed at the inn over the years including Tokugawa Ieyasu and the Showa Emperor, as well as samurai, daimyo, poets, artists, and others.
These photos show a few of the things on display in the museum now. I highly recommend visiting the Minaguchiya Inn!
|Showa Emperoro and Empress|