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How You Spend Your Time is Up to You. Located at the Westernmost Island of Japan, Minshuku Omoro (Yonaguni Island) Offers Unique Traditional Lodging under their Red Tile Roof
post : 2019.07.12 23:00
Only a minute away on foot from the bus stop and with an izakaya pub, a beer garden, and a cake shop all within walking distance is this Japanese style lodging, Minshuku Omoro. It’s located pretty much at the center of this westernmost island of Japan that has a population of under 1,700 residents. Even at the most vibrant part of town, it’s not the flow of people that you’ll notice, but the comfortably slow and luxurious passing of time in a peaceful atmosphere.
At Minshuku Omoro, there are six guestrooms in total, all Japanese style rooms with tatami mat floors. Of course, there’s air conditioning in each of the simple yet comfortable rooms that’s made largely with cedar wood. The rooms are quiet and has a relaxing atmosphere.
The bathroom is shared and meals are served at the communal lounge and dining area that has a warm wooden feel. There’s no TV in the guestrooms as the owner hopes to invite exchange and conversation more with and among the guests. Don’t worry, though, they do have Wi-Fi and wired LAN. Breakfasts and dinners are different every day, and you can enjoy various dishes using the ingredients harvested on the island.
On Minshuku Omoro’s website, they welcome the guests with their catch phrase, “Supporting a fun and wonderful trip to Yonaguni Island, whether you’re a solo traveler, on a vacation in a group, or on business.” Of course, whether you want to have fun while in Yonaguni is totally up to you, but for the proprietress of Omoro, Manami Hokama, it means a whole lot for her guests to enjoy themselves in Yonaguni.
The reason for this, she explains, is that if visitors to the island enjoy themselves and Yonaguni Island has a spot in their hearts and memories, it would bring great joy and a sense of pride to the islanders.
In her book, “Nihon Saiseitan no Kuni-e Koisuru Tabibitotachi (Travelers who fall in love with the land at the westernmost end)” (published under Bungeisha Selection), Manami-san writes, “Traveling is to reflect and to take a good look at yourself and others. To feel the island (or places you visit) and to feel and think of others. To feel your true, kind self. That would be wonderful, wouldn’t it?”
Travelling is to take a step away from your regular life. To put yourself in a spot where the flow of time is different from the ordinary. They say the feeling you experience when seeing landscapes of an unfamiliar land or when talking with people you cross paths with while traveling, are feelings that you’ve always had deep within you, and that you’re rediscovering.
When you feel comfort in the great expanse of nature that spreads before your eyes and feel a positive vibe that shakes your soul, then that just proves that you’ve always had comfort and positive energy in your hearts.
“I was blessed with a lot; great guests, helping hands, and of course a wonderful husband and great family. I came here upon marriage and made a life here, made a life here with this Minshuku.”
By observing Manami-san, it’s clear how she’s very careful about offering hospitality that meets her guests. For the more friendly and talkative guests, she enthusiastically engages in conversation, and for the more quiet guests, she’s attentive but never overbearing. Omotenashi or hospitality that meets the guests. That’s what makes Minshuku Omoro a very special place.
“I hope our guests will feel the wind, feel the hearts, and open themselves up to the dynamic nature and receive the energy of this island,” Manami-san says quietly. Usually she’s very cheerful and charming, but when she spoke, she showed a calm kindness in her expressions.
Summer, winter, spring and autumn. Although being the westernmost island and in the subtropics, Yonaguni Island shows different landscapes through the seasons. Visiting the island would be a wonderful experience any time of the year.
Address: 14 Yonaguni, Yonaguni Town, Yaeyama, Okinawa
Rates: From 6,200 Yen (For 1 Guest, Includes 2 Meals)
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Nobuya Fukuda