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Private Hotel SOMOS (in Nakijin Village) Offers True Joys of Nature and Down to Earth Time
post : 2019.04.02 06:00
The northern region of Okinawa Island is referred to as Yanbaru. Here in Yanbaru, there is an area rich in nature called Nakijin Village. Located just 15 minutes from Okinawa’s popular sightseeing areas of Churaumi Aquarium, Kouri Island and others, there is a quiet settlement perched on a small hill, where the gentle breeze flows through. This is Kaneshi, and this is where SOMOS, a private hotel is located.
The owner, Ito-san is from Mie Prefecture, and his wife is originally from Cuba. With the help of their friends, they built the hotel themselves and opened for business in 2015. It was always their dream to open an accommodation facility that brought together the colors and characteristics of themselves. Limited to two parties of guests a day, the hotel has become a popular choice to stay for domestic and international travelers.
Their well-tended garden welcomes the guests with tropical plants like butterfly palms, Japanese bird’s nest ferns, agaves, velvetleaf soldierbrush, and others. The tropical plants are acquired from the lineup of plants offered at Nakijin’s roadside station, So-re, one of Ito-san’s favorite spots. Whenever he has time, he goes in search of plants he likes to add to his garden or rooms.
The main entrance to the hotel is the diner and cafeteria. The walls are painted in earth tones of red and yellow. The dry-texture of the painted walls give that South American feel, perhaps influences of his wife’s home-country.
The interior is comfortable with the gentle curves of the wooden window frames giving a very warm feel to the room, casually decorated with small pieces of antiques. The atmosphere is heartwarming. This comfortable atmosphere is freely created with their concept, “If we create the way we want to create, then people will surely visit our place.”
Placed on display on the tables and shelves made by the owner, are many pieces of antiques that have likely traveled across many miles and over many decades before reaching SOMOS.
There are two guestrooms to accommodate the limited two parties of guests per day. The guestrooms are called Sabado and Domingo, meaning Saturday and Sunday in Mrs Ito’s mother tongue. The couple designed the two rooms separately according to their tastes.
Inside one of the rooms, the living room contained a large sofa. From the large window in front of the sofa, there was a great view of the beautiful blue seas.
Further in from the living room is the bedroom. The brilliant red bed throw was eye-catching against the white of the bed.
Up the ladder by the bedroom is a loft space with a red carpet and a bed. It looked like a great place to spend some quiet time and a perfect place to immerse yourself in thought. For guests staying with their family, this is a perfect “secret base” for the kids and an exciting place to play, like an attic.
The bathroom was decorated with charming tiles and plants. It had an antique atmosphere like a hotel room in a foreign country.
Some guests choose to stay at SOMOS saying, “We wanted to come because of their breakfast,” because they offer breakfasts prepared with care. Mrs Ito bakes the homemade breads that accompany various side dishes using plenty of vegetables harvested in Nakijin Village. When breakfasts are good, they certainly leave a strong impression of your travels. It was understandable for the couple to place extra care in their breakfasts, as they’ve done quite a bit of travelling themselves.
Located atop a hill in a small settlement in Nakijin Village, SOMOS is a place where you can stay like you live here. The owners highly recommend that you “do nothing” when you visit. Just enjoying the lush nature of Nakijin and the calm and peaceful time that passes here are luxurious on their own. Visit the little co-op store, stroll along the beach that you can enjoy to yourself, or find a comfortable spot in the garden or cafeteria and dive into that book that you’ve been travelling with. When you feel like it, you can close your book together with your eyelids to fully enjoy a relaxing moment. Just let yourself go and delight in the time and air that flows there, and enjoy the moment just as it is. That’s the kind of trip that really suits Yanbaru.
Just Be Yourself.
Address: 271-1 Kaneshi, Nakijin Village, Kunigami, Okinawa
Okinawa CLIP photo writers, monobox (Tetsumasa & Kozue Kawano)