Thursday, December 22, 2016

Kappa Backpackers

The Yodo-line runs right next to the guesthouse
Shimanto River, the last clear stream in Japan, only a minute away!
   About 8 minutes walking distance from Tokawa Station on the Yodo Line, Shimanto-Cho’s first ever guesthouse preopened in July. The property, a former abandoned house which the owner rented out, is currently being renovated with major layout changes and new interior design. It is located next to the Yodo Line railroad, which is only a one minute walk from Shimanto River! Time seems to go by slower in this area, which is surrounded by mountains and the river. This time, a CIR and KIA staff member stayed at the guesthouse and gathered information.
Sprawling mountains are only a short walk

Owner Muraoka
Building a guesthouse, based on an outsider point of view
   Owner Akinori Muraoka moved to the Shimanto-Cho Towa area approximately five years ago. As he got involved in tourism work and attracting permanent residents, he saw that Towa was lacking in lodging facilities, and that there was almost nobody who was communicating to the outside world about the abundant tourism resources and interesting people of the area. As a result, he realized that he wanted to be the one to connect Towa with the outside world, and decided to build a guesthouse. He also wanted to act as the information facilitator and support center for people who were considering moving to Shimanto-Cho.
   By sharing fruit and vegetables with neighbors and inviting them to the guesthouse for parties, he is following countryside tradition while bringing a breath of fresh air, to community and finding joy in supporting a “help and be helped” lifestyle.
No plans for the next day? No problem!
   Muraoka will help you build a plan tailored specifically for each guest by using all the tourism information he has compiled. He says he knows “who to ask for what kind of information”. Muraoka can provide a wide range of information from his network because of his rapport with the local residents. For example, he can tell you “where to eat tsugani (river crabs) and ayu (sweetfish)” “where to eat local homemade food” “where to find a hot spring” “where to play in the river”. The staff member from KIA was introduced to a yakiniku restaurant serving delicious Shimanto beef, and was very pleased. One of the best parts of a guesthouse is having fun interacting with fellow guests, the staff, and local residents. It also sounds like foreign guests searching for Kochi’s original scenery stop by often.
A wall being renovated using
local wood material. A Kappa
can be seen inside
Kappa Backpackers
   Address: 223-1 Tokawa, Shimanto-Cho, Takaoka-Gun
   Price: Single-sex dormitory starts at ¥2,800. Separate rooms start at ¥3,800.
   Reservations available online
   Free Wi-Fi available

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