We have grown yet again and still have lots of ideas and plans in the works. We have come to accept and even embrace the idea that we will never ever finish renovating, growing, developing, designing, and creating. We hope you too will enjoy our constant transformations.
2 years ago when I was showing a good friend the dilapidated building near Retreat wabi-sabi, I told him I envisioned a cafe and reception area, with a big deck, hammocks and early morning yoga. He responded with, “Forget it, just tear it down”. Well we obviously didn’t listen to him, and although it was a huge job, it was well-worth the extra effort, bloated budget, and extended (and ongoing) deadlines. Although our initial goal for the grand-opening was July 1st, 2016 we merely got to have a “soft-opening” in September. We’ll be back in Shimoda soon (summer 2017) to brew coffee, offer breakfast, blend up smoothies, serve up light meals, draft beers, and more. Everyone is most welcome at the cafe. Have a drink and enjoy the large chill space on our shaded deck. However, our rental gear, like bikes, surfboards, snorkels, beach towels, and luggage storage, will be available for staying guests (Retreat wabi-sabi, Guesthouse tabi-tabi, and Coya Cottage) only.
You can find more flickr pics transformation photos from boro-boro to our new cafe and chills space at Retreat wabi-sabi here.
See you soon!
Angela & Yasu
Retreat wabi-sabi is expanding! We have added Coya Cottage to our expanding options of accommodation in the very popular Kisami area of Shimoda. Coya means “small house” but it’s big enough for families and larger groups who prefer a bit more privacy. Coya Cottage is a Japanese style cottage that was built over 40 years ago. We have revamped and refreshed the entire building inside and out but worked hard to retain it’s very quaint Showa Style. There are 2 tatami rooms so couples or kids can have their own rooms. There is a large dining kitchen with seating for 5 plus a very cute retro baby chair in case you have a little one. We have managed to save the original tama-ishi retro tiling in the bathroom. The cottage has a Japanese style engawa, a small deck where you can laze around on zabuton cushion or have a freshly brewed morning coffee. There is parking for 2 cars right next to the building. Coya Cottage rental house is in the lush green valley called Kisane, behind Kisami Ohama Beach, less than 5 minute walk from the sea. We are on a private road so there is no through traffic or road noise. Listening to an orchestra of crickets is sure to calm any restless sleeper. This vacation home has everything you need in the kitchen along with complimentary coffee and tea, organic toiletries in the bathroom, as well as fresh linen, towels, yukata (Japanese cotton robes), original maps with personalized recommendations. Rental surfboards, bicycles, snorkels, body-boards, and so much more! We hope you will come and check out our latest creative space. Check out our website to book direct!
If you are only looking for a room or need a bigger house, check out your options at Retreat wabi-sabi and Guesthouse tabi-tabi. We are waiting for you!
We would like to announce the birth of a new tabi-tabi! On July 19th, 2014 we opened our second location in Shimoda (third in Japan), and proud owners we are! Although our other 2 locations, Lodge tabi-tabi in Hakuba and Guesthouse tabi-tabi in Shimoda, bear the tabi-tabi name, we quickly realized that having 2 places with the same name in the same area could get confusing so we decided to fittingly name it after Japan’s humble aesthetic, wabi-sabi. And since we are (will be) more than just a place to stay, and because of it’s serene private location we decided on the title “retreat”.
The latest incarnation of Retreat wabi-sabi has actually had numerous lives in the past. The building as it stands now was originally a guesthouse constructed some 40 years ago, however, many of the materials that were used came from a much older farmhouse in northern Japan.
The old wooden beams along with the natural rock walls in the building creates it’s own unique character. We have updated and upgraded the rooms with fresh tatami, re-done the walls with traditional Japanese plaster, put in hard-wood flooring, created a kitchen better suited for communal living, installed air-conditioners in every guestroom, and have connected to fiber-optic cable to provide guests with high-speed wifi.
The location as well is truly extra-ordinary. In fact, many of the locals didn’t know this hidden gem even existed and many of the people who have now had the chance to join us feel they have made a rare discovery.
Retreat wabi-sabi is propped up on the side of the lush green valley, Kisane. Just like our Hakuba lodge, we are the last one (ichiban oku) on the road tucked into the surrounding woods. Which means there is no traffic to ruin the soothing sounds of nature that thrives all around us. Although it might sound like we are absolutely isolated, we are less than 5 minutes on foot from Ohama Beach in Kisami, Shimoda.
Just like the name suggests, wabi-sabi, is far from perfect, it shows it’s age yet will never be completed. However, it reveals it’s beauty in it’s imperfections.
So please understand, the creatures that create nature’s orchestra may sometimes get curious and find their way in the house. In other words, you might see some bugs. We are up on a hill so the driveway is steep and on rainy days when the roads are wet, cars without 4WD can even expect to spin their tires a bit. If you are coming by car, and don’t have much confidence in your driving, you are also welcome to park at the bottom of the driveway.
We hope you can join us to see what this wabi-sabi-ness is all about.
Angela & Yasu
P.S. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who made it possible:
Kat0-san, the friendly and forgiving ownerAbhi and Kenta, the creative carpenters
Ben-san, the electrical genius who also donated the beautiful washi light in the dorm
Ito-san for sharing his secret shikui recipes and mixer
Horiuchi-san who has provided us with a new home and unexpected opportunities
Nobuhiro, our artistic (and very patient) web-designer
Machami, master of logos
Yuji and Taku, the handymen
Pachamama for her endless creative power and beauty
and all our friends and neighbors in Kisami who unknowingly provided support and made us feel nothing but welcome.
We are getting ready to expand! We are working hard to offer a second location for Guesthouse tabi-tabi in Shimoda. We have already moved in and are now renovating and updating this secluded house on the hill. Surrounded by nature, we wake up to the sound of birds every morning and since we are a mere 4 minute walk to Kisami Ohama Beach we can listen to the sound of crashing waves as we nod off to sleep at night. As you can probably tell, we are very excited about this new spot and hope to be welcoming guests by July 2014.