Japan’s aging demographics is a well-known issue that’s been talked and written about countless times. But combined with a greying population, the country has also seen another long-term trend: population growth in city centers, spurred by younger generations moving from suburban to urban areas. Combined, the two issues have resulted in what the Japanese government dubs genkai shuraku (限界集落) or marginal village: areas that are at risk of disappearing altogether due to their demographics.
Various creative efforts to revitalize these regions—it’s believed there are over 750 of them—has been somewhat successful with young professionals taking a renewed interest in Japan’s outer suburbs. One of the latest initiatives is Nipponia Kosuge: an attempt to transform a village of just 700 people into a sprawling, interconnected hotel.
The village of Kosuge is located Yamanashi prefecture, just 2 hours west of central Tokyo. The main lodging facility is a renovated 150-year old home, endearingly referred to by locals as the ooya, or big house. It houses a restaurant facility, as well as 4 rooms that can accomodate two to four guests.
Each of the rooms have different configurations and offer unique experiences.
But what sets Nipponia Kosugi apart is the way it connects guests to the rest of the community. Visitors are encouraged to use electric bicycles to explore the community, go hiking with local guides, pick vegetables with local farmers and learn about mushroom foraging. Of course meals are all prepared using seasonal, local ingredients that have been grown or caught by the villagers. The resulting experience is one the blends the walls between tourism and locality, allowing for richer and perhaps more stimulating experiences.
You can learn more about Nipponia Kosuge and book your stay on their website. You can also follow them on instagram.
October 16, 2022 at 12:24 am
We stayed there, and it was… Ok. The food was Ok. The whole experience was not bad, but it should not have cost that much.
We had the largest room with the view on the pond. Again, nice, but like all these places we stayed in, the overall problem we have with them is that prices are outrageously high for what you really get and the Japanese approach of checking in/out time is a misery.
The ONLY place we truly enjoyed, despite been way too close from a very busy railroad was the Kominka Tanaka in Chiba. Huge place, you are alone, huge garden just for you, small pool with BBQ… really worth every yen (still I wish the nearby railroad was quieter)
October 16, 2022 at 11:57 pm
How much did you spend?
Compared to “what you get”….
October 21, 2022 at 10:21 pm
It was around 50,000 Yen per persons (we were 3) if I remember correctly. I can look if I still have pictures on the cloud. Again, not bad but only 25,000 ~ 30,000 Good.
October 17, 2022 at 7:25 pm
You are welcome to come and stay at our ‘riders house’ for only about 5000 yen/night. Plenty of historic village around and pretty sure any of the neighbors would love help in picking vegetables. Agreed this is a bit pretentious way to ‘improve’ the Japanese Inaka… #cafe_astuto