Vol.1 We opened an old folk house in Miyama, Kyoto.

It has been quite hot this summer. How are you all who are watching this video?. 

My name is Toru and I moved to Japan with my wife Tina from Barcelona, Spain. We live in Miyama that is located very deep in the mountains of Kyoto. I’m sure some of you know it. Yes, Miyama is famous for that “Kayabuki no Sato”(Village of thatched-roof houses). There, we decided to renovate a 110-year-old thatched-roof old folk house by ourselves and started an inn.

I lived in Barcelona with Tina for more than 15 years. The two of us have traveled around the world as photographers, and for the past few years, we have often traveled to Japan. While shooting every corner of Japan where even Japanese people wouldn’t visit, we came across an old thatched-roof house that was 110 years old in Miyama, Kyoto.

In Japan, it is often said that you must be fated to find your house or apartment. I didn’t believe it at all. But, now I think yes, we were fated. It wasn’t that we were just lucky to have met this property, but there were mysterious coincidences. This story will be long, so I’ll save it for another occasion. But, anyway, as if we were led, we arrived at Miyama from Barcelona.  As you know, Miyama is a countryside. To us, rather, it is a “untrodden lands”. There is no convenience store. (In Japan it is almost impossible not to see convenience store even in countryside!) There is no supermarket. McDonald’s? No way! The only bank that was there disappeared almost at the same time as we arrived here. There is nothing.

However, a beautiful river runs through our village. A stream flows through the premises of our house. Water drawn straight from the mountain springs up from the faucet in our garden. The mountains just in front of us are deep. Whenever it rains, we are in the landscape of ink brush painting. When the rain stops, a pleasant breeze passes through the valley. At night, countless stars fill up the sky. 

This is it. The ideal place we were looking for.  

We decided to renovate this thatched-roof old folk house, and start an inn. This inn is quite our “handmade”. Although we hired professional carpenters, we did many things on our owns. We scratched off the paint of the outer walls and pillars and painted them all. We remade the mountain water fountain with Catalan tiles that we brought. We repaired and polished all furniture, windows, and paper doors. It took us more than half a year to repair these things. By now, both of us work as if we were professional carpenters! 🙂 Actually, a professional painter said us “You guys are no longer amateurs!” 

We thought it would take us forever, but we finally managed to open the inn this summer. We are worried every day if customers comes. So, please come and visit us! We will treat you well as much as we could. In this video blog, we will introduce you about our life and this inn. Have fun and feel at home! 

See you later!

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