Tsumesyo Mikuni

About Tsumesyo Mikuni

Savor the climate and flavor of a seaport town in freedom and comfort
Tsumesyo Mikuni — traditional townhouse accommodations in Mikuni for only two groups a night

Known since ancient times as one of the 10 great Sanshin-Shichito ports of Japan, Mikuni-minato flourished as a port of call along the old Kitamae-bune shipping route. In this long and narrow town built along the Kuzuryu River as it flows into the Sea of Japan, vestiges of the Japan of yore remain to this day. The streets are lined with traditional, atmospheric Mikuni townhouses. In a unique architectural style called "kagura-date," you'll discover wind and light pouring through the inner garden and a stately storehouse sitting-room. Here, harbor-town life and elegant culture remain, strong and deep.

Tsumesyo Mikuni has been created through the renovation of a Mikuni machiya townhouse, symbol of the seaport town. Preserving its machiya charm and tenor, a drugstore built a hundred and ten years ago has been reborn as accommodations equipped in modern comfort. The building's refined interior presents a private and cozy space. Here, you can freely enjoy time away from the everyday in a style distinctly your own. Taste the sea breeze as you stroll the streets at sunset and see the lives of the people who call this harbor "home." Come and take your time to enjoy this open and elegant space together with the culture and climate of a seaport town.

We'd like you to leave it all to the flow of nature, free and easy like running water or flowing clouds. Gentle and easy, unembellished — these were our thoughts when we christened our suites, Koun ("running clouds") for the left suite and Ryusui ("flowing water") for the right.

 

Greetings from the Producer of Tsumesyo Mikuni

Flourishing as a port along the Kitamae-bune ocean trading route, Mikuni-minato saw many splendid machiya townhouses built within its town center from the last days of the Tokugawa government into the Meiji era. Its refined elegance was much loved by the literati of the Edo period. Ryushokan and the old Morita Bank still remain as inheritances of the Meiji era's grand prosperity, two splendid and rare examples from the Bunka Kaika Westernization movement.
However, even as the nearby Tojinbo cliffs are quite well known, relatively few people come to visit Mikuni-minato. The Tsumesyo Mikuni came about to allow more visitors to savor the rich history and be introduced to the beautiful townscape of the port. The Tanaka Yakkyoku, a pharmacy and machiya townhouse that had been in operations since the Meiji era, was renovated and given new life as accommodation facilities. Even as we thoroughly refurbished in areas like plumbing and temperature control to create a comfortable environment for your stay, we also made every effort to preserve the precious history of the building, including hanging the walls with the shop's wooden medicine billboards and decorating with the jars, lacquerware, and other items found in the storehouse.
The phrase "tsumesyo" originally referred to the waiting room where daimyo lords or the Imperial Guard would gather in the Imperial Palace. This was a place to rest before a person would go for an audience or otherwise set out for work. It was in this spirit that Tsumesyo Mikuni was named. Going forward, it is my hope that many guests will come to enjoy their time here, leisurely exploring the charming portside streets of Mikuni-minato as they spend their hours here in a way all their own.

Alex Kerr
Eastern Cultures Researcher; Chair of the NPO Chiiori Trust
Born in the United States in 1952, he first came to Japan with his family in 1964. After attending and graduating Yale and Oxford, he lived in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture from 1977, involving himself in pursuits such as writing and lecturing on the culture of Japan and East Asia. From 2004 to 2010, Alex Kerr was engaged in the restoration of machiya townhouses in Kyoto, afterwards working as the chair of the NPO Chiiori Trust to restore and preserve these traditional townhouses, deploying tourism consultants to various locales across Japan. Publications: Lost Japan (1993, Shinchosha; winner of the Shincho Gakugei Literature Prize); Dogs and Demons (2002, Kodansha); Seryu ni sakarau ("Against the Time's Tide") (2012, Hokuseisha); Nippon keikanran ("Japanese Scenery: Theory") (2014, Shueisha)