The Perfect Winter Date Spot: Ryugon Hot Spring Ryohkan
Relocated houses give a refined beauty
Everyone wants to see some snow in winter right?
The snow silently falls onto these traditional houses, and contrasts with their black stained exteriors.
For most Japanese people, this site is one of nostalgia. It is the quintessential hometown image.
Which is why we're introducing the "Ryugon Hotspring Ryohkan" in Echigo's Muika.
Founded in 1969, it is fairly well known. In particular, it is known as the "Muika Ryohkan" that appeared in Junichi Watanabe's novel "Karisome". The novel itself was essentially a romantic one, and the location couldn't be more fitting. It's the perfect date spot.
The buildings are actually relocated high class homes from other parts of Echigo. Since all of them were originally private homes, they have thick beams and pillars, which give them a stately feel. Further, the materials for the corridors and connecting buildings also largely use period materials. This is what gives it that special feeling when the snow begins to fall.
When asked, the owners told us "Buildings from other areas wouldn't work. Without the thick pillars, beams and boards from this snowy area, people wouldn't experience the strength and warmth needed", and for 40 years after founding the ryohkan, they continued to search for new buildings to add.