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.