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Rooms 12 /Architecture Toru Iwasa, Kei Kaihoh, Musashino Art University /Interior Design Shun Kawakami, Ryuichi Ohira & Kanzo Shibata /The Original Toru Iwasa
Satoyama Jujo not only borrows the Japanese terms for “mountain village” and “10 stories” for its name, but the 12-room hotel also conceptually tells its own stories throughout the 150-year-old house and modern extension that it calls home. For example, the story of organic growth and harvest is told through the farm-to-table process that the hotel’s Sanaburi restaurant employs to serve up cuisine inspired by the Minami-Uonuma region, while the story of art is present in the hotel’s mountainous village-like location, believed to be perfect for unlocking one’s inner creativity. The communal areas—such as the lounges, bars, and meeting space, as well as the multidisciplinary events that take place at the hotel—all tell a story of social gathering and togetherness. The hotel’s wood structure was designed to withstand the area’s intense snowy seasons, exemplifying the region’s architectural heritage. And with a hot spring spa and a chef that has a three-Michelin-star restaurant on his résumé, the hotel offers an indulgent respite just two hours from Tokyo amid a landscape characterized by rice paddies, mountains, and forests.
NRT - Narita International Airport
Food & Drink
Sanaburi: contemporary Japanese cuisine, Koyagumi Lounge, Hito-Bito Lounge
1 event space
Spa & Recreation
Open-Air Spa Bath, Yoga
Rooms & Suites
The hotel’s 12 rooms and suites range from the 30- to 40-square-meter Standard Twin Room to the 84-square-meter Maisonette Suite. While the Standard Triple Room and the Corner Triple Room—at 40 and 52 square meters, respectively—offer space for an extra bed, the Corner Triple Room, the 50-square-meter Corner Suite, the 36- to 40-square-meter Superior Twin Room, and the Maisonette Suite all feature a spa bath. Many of the guestrooms also offer working desks and tranquil views of the surrounding woodland.
After studying at Musashino Art University, Tokyo-native Toru Iwasa founded the Jiyujin lifestyle magazine that quickly became one of the most popular publications of its genre. Moving in a new direction, Iwasa then initiated a project that aimed to bridge the gap between the consumers and producers of organic food, guided by the notion that “a grain of rice is the medium.” This “Organic Express” project won the Food Action Nippon Award in 2013, shortly after Iwasa moved from Tokyo to Minami-Uonuma, in Japan’s Niigata region. After Iwasa was asked by a friend to take over an old inn in a mountain pass, he accepted and undertook the meticulous renovation and preservation of the 150-year-old folk house to create Satoyama Jujo.
1209-6, Oosawa, Minami-uonuma, Niigata
Minami-Uonuma City 949-6361,
Situated in Minami-Uonuma in the middle of the Osawa mountain pass in Japan’s region of Niigata, Satoyama Jujo offers a countryside escape that’s also perfect for a day trip to Tokyo, which is just two hours away by high-speed train.