In the year 1052, Fujiwara no Yorimichi built the Byodo-in Buddhist temple, effectively establishing the City of Uji in the Southern outskirts of Kyoto. 1000 years later, Uji, with its abundance of tea shops and traditional cormorant fishing, continues to be a popular destination. Bringing together everything good about ancient Uji, and putting a modern twist on it, is the Nigauri guesthouse that opened earlier this year in March.
The Nigauri is an entirely rentable guesthouse with a traditional ryokan-type feel. It is unstaffed so visitors are free to come and go as they please without worrying about any rules. The guesthouse can sleep up to 4, but can host many more. The 2-story structure was designed by local architects at Alts Design Office. On the 1st floor is bicycle parking, an office and a bathroom with a luxurious hinoki wood bath. On the 2nd floor is a dining room, kitchen, tatami room and kitchen.
The ground level consists of stepping stones the lead deep into the home. It was designed to mimic the enjoyment of turning onto one of the city’s many unmarked side streets and making fantastic discoveries. If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto or Uji, it’s worth checking out!