Our newly renovated building with 200 years of history is in the heart of Samegai-juku, a former lodging village of the hisoric Nakasendo trail. Now famous for the rare aquatic buttercups called baikamo which decorate the clear stream water, we welcome vistors here to Izamean guesthouse.
I first came to this town as a complete outsider.
Attracted to the deep historic atmosphere, I enjoyed exploring the historic Nakasendo route. There are many shukuba-machi, or old lodging towns, along such trails but I was most drawn to this one called Samegai-juku. Alongside the street is a stream of clear spring water, where I found the green baikamo water plants. I had discovered my perfect landscape here.
On a return visit in 2016, I spotted a “for sale” sign outside of an old-looking buildings here. It felt like destiny, so I dialed the number immediately and learned that the building would be torn down soon if no buyer was found; an all-too-common fate for many such old buildings in Japan. I feared that the town I had grown to love wouldn’t be the same without this building.
After several discussions, I acquired the building for renovation, and construction went well thanks to much help from the community. In January of 2020, we were finally able to open our guesthouse here in Samegai.