Let's travel like living in Japan

We're Now Booking.com "Proud Certified"!


We are thrilled to share a significant milestone in our journey to make our guesthouse a welcoming haven for all. On April 30th, we participated in Booking.com's "Proud Hospitality" training and received the "Proud Certified" accreditation, marking us as a safe and inclusive destination for travelers from all walks of life.

At our core, we believe that travel should be enriching, eye-opening, and accessible to everyone. The "Proud Hospitality" program equipped us with valuable insights and tools to enhance our services, ensuring that every guest feels valued, respected, and, most importantly, safe during their stay.

Our commitment goes beyond just amenities and decor; it's about creating a space where guests can truly relax, be themselves, and make lasting memories without the fear of discrimination. Whether you are looking for a peaceful retreat in nature, a dive into the historical charms of our town, or even a unique musical experience with jazz lessons from our very own jazz pianist owner, our guesthouse promises an experience where comfort meets culture and diversity.

We understand that the essence of hospitality lies in the ability to cater to diverse needs and ensure that all guests leave with positive memories. This certification is not just a badge for us but a reminder of our ongoing commitment to fostering an environment where differences are celebrated, and everyone can find a home away from home.

As we continue to grow and learn, we invite you to experience the warmth and inclusivity that our guesthouse has to offer. Book your stay with us and discover a place where every journey is cherished, and every story is welcomed with open arms.


National Treasure of Nara

Discovering Fujiwara-kyo, Japan's first permanent capital - a glimpse into the Asuka period's heritage

Nara Prefecture is one of the regions with a wealth of National Treasures.

A National Treasure is the highest accolade given to significant cultural properties recognized by the Japanese government. It is equivalent to the American "National Register of Historic Places", the British "Listed Building", the French "Monuments Historiques", and the Chinese "Key Cultural Relics Protection Units Nationwide".

Of the 1132 National Treasures, 206 are located in Nara Prefecture. Kyoto possesses 237 National Treasures, outnumbering Nara's 206. However, as Kyoto became the capital after Nara, you can see cultural properties from an older era in Nara.

The capital was established in Nara in 694 AD, but the imperial residence has been in Nara even before that. For example, Horyu-ji temple (in Ikaruga Town, Nara Prefecture), considered the world's oldest wooden architecture, was built in 607 AD. The capital moved to Kyoto in 794 AD, and Kyoto's National Treasures belong to the period thereafter.

Yoshino Town has been a place frequented by the imperial family from ancient times, so many cultural properties have been preserved.

Kimpsen-ji Temple

Among them, Kimpusen-ji Temple on Mt. Yoshino is a National Treasure in its own right. The temple was founded in the late 7th century, but the Zao-do Hall, which has been designated as a National Treasure, was built in 1590 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the highest authority in Japan at that time.

Although it is not in Yoshino Town, there is a temple called "Shorin-ji" about a 15-minute drive from my house, and the statue of the Eleven-Faced Kannon in this temple is famous for its extreme beauty.

Ernest Fenollosa (1853–1908)

This Buddhist statue was hidden in the temple as a secret Buddha for a long time, but it was discovered in 1887 by Ernest Fenollosa, an American who was teaching philosophy at the University of Tokyo.

When Fenollosa saw this statue, he was reportedly amazed by its extreme beauty.

Japanese Temples and their Treasures, Vol.2, 1910 (Shimbi Shoin) PD


Fenollosa recognized the importance of this Eleven-Faced Kannon statue, positioned it as "the most worthy of preservation in Japan," and actively engaged in preservation efforts.

From these efforts, the Ancient Shrines and Temples Preservation Law was born, the term "National Treasure" was created, and this Eleven-Faced Kannon statue became one of the first to be designated as a National Treasure, as number 24 in the National Treasure Sculptures category.

If you ever come to Nara, please make sure to visit the statue of the Eleven-Faced Kannon at Shorin-ji, which is often compared to the Venus de Milo and considered one of the finest examples of Japanese Buddhist sculpture.

Tanzan jinjya Shrine

If you come by car, you can also visit the nearby Tanzan Shrine. This shrine also has a long history, said to have been founded in 678 AD, and it is so beautiful it is referred to as the "Nikko of the West". While there are no National Treasures, it is home to a large number of important cultural properties.

From our house, both Kimpusen-ji Temple and Shorin-ji are about the same distance away.

Nara is a place filled with so much charm that no matter how long you stay, it's never enough.


Where is the most beautiful village in Japan?

With the modernization that began in the early 1900s, people have gained convenience and affluence, but they have also lost many important things.

Japan is no exception.

In fact, it may be one of the most rapidly changing countries.

In this context, the population is concentrated in urban areas, rural villages are in decline, and are currently in a state of crisis.

In the countryside, where the population is aging and shrinking, industries and buildings are disappearing rapidly.

In Japan, many landscapes and lifestyles have been lost.

Once something old is lost, it is very difficult to restore it to its original state.

The"Union of the Most Beautiful Villages in Japan"was established to stop this as much as possible.

It is an organization modeled after the "Most Beautiful Villages in France" movement that took place in France.

There are strict criteria for selection, and a municipality can join the "Union of the Most Beautiful Villages in Japan" only if it meets these criteria.

The criteria are as follows

1.The population at the most recent census is generally less than 10,000.

2.The village must have two or more of the following local resources
  Landscape (refers to the landscape created by the activities of daily life)
  Environment (refers to the environment of the town or village that makes the most of rich nature and natural features)
  Culture (refers to traditional festivals, local culture, architecture, etc.)

3.There must be activities that make use of local resources as evaluated by the 3RENGO.
  The community must be developed in consideration of beautiful scenery.
  The community must be engaged in ingenious community activities by residents.
  The community must be stubbornly preserving local handicrafts and lifestyles.

The criteria forthe "Most Beautiful Villages" in France, which served as a model, are as follows

1.The population must not exceed 2,000.

2.At least two heritage sites (in terms of landscape, art, science, or history) and a land use plan with policies for their protection.

3.The commune council must have given its consent.

Under the "Beautiful Villages" alliance, the need to protect the landscape restricts development and makes economic development more difficult.

But even with that, only those municipalities that have made the decision to protect what must be protected are members here.

Travelers are encouraged to check out these "Beautiful Villages of Japan" and then visit them.

You can find a map here on the official website.

Along with beautiful scenery, the "Beautiful Villages" have landscapes that are etched in the souls of all Japanese people.

Yoshino Town, where I live, is also a member of the "Union of the Most Beautiful Villages in Japan.

Your time in one of these "beautiful villages" will be one of the best experiences you will ever have while visiting Japan.


Measures to take when eating food at home in Japan

When you travel to Japan, you will probably eat most of your meals in restaurants, but perhaps you will eat meals prepared by your friends or homestay hosts.

Most Japanese people try to understand other cultures, so behaving in the same way as you normally would is rarely a problem.

However, if they can see that you are friendly and trying to understand them, they will be very pleased. hey will respect you even more. This communication will make your trip even more emotional.

What is the most important thing for Japanese people when they eat?

using chopsticks correctly?
Pouring sake over each other?

No, not that there are not people who care about that, but they are not the majority.

What Japanese people value most is appreciation for food.

Especially for rice, it is believed that God resides in rice, and people used to hate leftovers so much that they used to say, "If you leave it, your eyes will be crushed.

Therefore, Japanese people do not like to leave food uneaten.

In particular, when a housewife is left with food she has prepared herself, she is hurt in no small way.

For example, in China, leaving food behind is a sign of "I am satisfied," and it is considered good manners to leave food behind, but in Japan, the opposite is true: not leaving food behind is a sign of "I am satisfied.

This is a local rule, but it is a universal value for the Japanese.

Therefore, if a Japanese person feels that he or she is about to leave food behind, he or she will ask for "less" when being served. Although it is against proper etiquette, in casual seating, they ask the person who can eat to eat with them. 2. And it is considered beautiful to leave no leftovers on the plate.

Nevertheless, as a foreigner, Japanese food is an unknown food and an adventure for you.

It is likely that many things will not suit your palate.

If you force yourself to eat it, your trip to Japan will become a painful memory.

For such a case, my friend had a card with this information written in Japanese.

(I would like to taste your food to the fullest, but I have a stomach ailment and am undergoing treatment. Please forgive me if I leave any leftovers.)

Then he talked about how delicious the food he ate was and expressed his many thanks to the person who cooked it.

And before eating, say "Itadakimasu" (Thank you for the food) and when you finish eating, say "Gochisosama" (Thank you for the food) with your hands together.

This is another way of saying thank you for the meal.

These words express gratitude not only to the person who prepared the food, but also to the person who grew the food, to the life of the food, and to God who gives us the blessings.


Let's compose haiku like taking a picture!

In 1688, a poet visited Mt.Ryumon-dake in Yoshino village.

His name was Matsuo Basho. He is one of Japan's most famous poets.

His poems are haiku, a uniquely Japanese form of poetry.

Haiku is a traditional Japanese form of poetry consisting of three lines. Rhythm is important, and it usually has 17 syllables, with the first and third lines each having 5 syllables, and the middle line having 7 syllables.

Try reading a Japanese haiku out loud. Feel the rhythm of the haiku. The author of this haiku is Matsuo Basho. Don't think about the meaning, just recite it.

Fu Ru I Ke Ya
Ka Wa Zu To Bi Ko Mu
Mi Zu No O To

Here is the translation of this haiku.

  • 1.Old pond-Frogs jumped in-Sound of water.(Translated by Lafcadio Hearn)
  • 2.The ancient pond-A frog leaps in-The sound of the water.(Translated byDonald Keane)

It may be difficult at first, but after repeating it five or six times, you will be able to feel the rhythm of the Japanese language. It may be interesting to read it while keeping the beat.

This repetition of five and seven syllables is also the basis of Japanese rhythm, and until about 50 years ago, this rhythm of five and seven syllables was often used in music.

And there is a rule that haiku must always include words that describe the seasons.

Haiku focuses on the description of nature. It captures a moment in time and depicts, in that moment, the various thoughts and feelings of human life.

The frog haiku I mentioned earlier just describes a frog jumping into a pond, but the fact that it says "old pond" suggests that it is a quiet, lonely pond. When the frog jumps into that quiet place and the sound of the frog disappears, we are again left with a quiet, lonely scene, as if nothing had happened.

Many scholars have offered various interpretations of this short poem, which gives a sense of the expanse of the universe as well as its ephemeral nature.

To create a haiku, you must

  • 1. start with a seasonal word or phrase to establish the time of year
  • 2. choose a natural scene or subject related to the season.
  • 3. use sensory language to capture the moment or feeling of the scene
  • 4. follow a 5-7-5 syllable pattern with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second line, and 5 syllables in the third line
  • 5. Keep it simple and clear, use cutting and unexpected words and phrases in the third line, and create contrasts and juxtapositions.

You do not need to be fluent in Japanese! There is an established genre of English haiku, and a growing number of Japanese people are becoming enthusiasts.

You don't have to be limited by the number of syllables, just write in three lines.

Focus on rhythm, use your own words, and write haiku as you would take a picture!

It will surely be a good memory of your trip.

The point is to write with as few I's as possible.

Matsuo Basho, who came to Yoshino's Mt.Ryumon-dake, composed two haiku while looking at the Ryumon Falls.

Meaning: I want to tell my drinking friend about the view of flowers blooming at this waterfall.

Meaning: Let the flowers blooming at Ryumon be a souvenir for my sake-drinking friends.

Matsuo Basho then stayed at a private house that used to exist where the parking lot of Fukubatake is located, and wrote that he was very impressed by the kindness of the family.


Seven Reasons Why You Will Want to Visit Yoshino,Nara,Japan

1.An important place for Japanese history


The history of Yoshino dates back to ancient Japan.
The oldest record of Yoshino is found in the Nihon Shoki (Chronicles of Japan). In it, it is written that Emperor Ojin visited Yoshino in 457.
Since then, it has remained an important stage in Japanese history.
Yoshinoyama is home to Kinpusenji Temple, built in the 1500s, and Yoshimizu Shrine, the oldest residential building in Japan, many of which have been designated national treasures.
The prestigious architecture, Buddhist statues, and treasures of Yoshino, which is also closely associated with the emperor family, will transport you back in time to the world of historical drama.

2.You can enjoy forest bathing while hiking.


Yoshino, which has been associated with the imperial family since ancient times, has rich and beautiful nature that they loved.
Hiking trails, which are not as strenuous as mountain climbing, have been developed and are certified as a base for forest therapy, which can be expected to have health benefits.
There, waterfalls and water sources can be seen along with the forests. Sometimes you may even see deer.
There are two types of trails, one a little harder and the other flatter with fewer elevation changes.
If you make a reservation, a guide can be called for you.
Breathe in lots of fresh air and refresh your body!


3.The old townscape still remains


Yoshino Town was a very prosperous town in the mountains, with a forestry industry that has continued for 500 years and a lumber production area.
However, the town is now depopulated, and many 100-year-old houses remain, with few chain stores, preserving the atmosphere of Japan as it was about 50 years ago.
The railroad bridge over the Yoshino River was built in 1928. Although it is a modern train running over it, it looks as beautiful as if it were a train from the past. It is one of the most popular photo spots in Yoshino.

4, You can take a luxurious and reasonable express train.


It takes about 90 minutes from Osaka Tennoji to Nara Yoshino by limited express train without changing trains.
Although you can take a regular, semi-express, or express train, we highly recommend that you take the special express "Blue Symphony.
With a chic interior reminiscent of an oriental express train, you can enjoy light meals, coffee, and Yoshino sake in the dining car.

The fare is 1,170 yen for the fare + 520 yen for the express fare + 210 yen for the special car fare = 1,900 yen in total.

5.You can swim on the riverbank


"Riverside Yoshino," a riverside space along the Yoshino River, is filled with visitors playing in the water in summer.
Swimming and barbecue are available there.
Parking is charged during the season, but there is a caretaker and temporary toilets are set up.
There is a supermarket and convenience store up the road from the riverbed, so don't worry if you forget something!
The convenience store also sells firewood for barbecues.

6, Fishing and canoeing on the lake


Lake Tsuburo, located about a 10-minute walk from Fukubatake, is a spectacular lake with beautiful cherry blossoms in the spring and autumn leaves in the fall, where you can enjoy a sightseeing boat.
It is also a popular spot for black bass fishing, attracting anglers from all over Japan.
Boats are available for rent to anglers!

7.have one's fortune changes to the better


There are many spiritual spots in Yoshino, including Kinpusenji Temple on Yoshinoyama, which is said to have been founded by Ennogyoja, a legendary 7th century sorcerer, and Ryumon-dake, where a hermit is said to have lived.
Kinpusenji Temple is the head temple of Shugendo (mountain asceticism), and the monks who practice this asceticism are called yamabushi, or mountain priests, and are magical beings.
Yoshino is also home to several monks who have the power of the Dharma. People who are troubled visit them, relying on their Dharma power.
In Yoshino, mountain deities are worshipped and power is always felt from the mountains.
Fukubatake uses well water from the mountains both in the bath and in the kitchen.
The water, filled with the power of nature, will bring you energy.


Let's enjoy jazz in Japan!

Ko-may Shibata, the owner, is a jazz pianist.

Jazz pianists doesn't read sheet music as accurately as a classical pianist does, but instead relies on codenames to improvise.

Even when he accompanies a singer, he breathes with the singer and creates sounds inspired by them.

There are many types of jazz music besides modern jazz.

New Orleans jazz, swing jazz, modern jazz, free jazz, fusion jazz, smooth jazz, and more recently, acid jazz, and hip hop is said to be a kind of jazz.

Ko-may is a modern jazz player

In Japan, jazz is mostly modern jazz.

In particular, a live house plays modern jazz if it says jazz, unless indicated otherwise.

In many cases, the players do not belong to a specific band, or have multiple bands, and play improvised music with simple scores.

I think Japan is probably one of the countries where jazz is popular.

Not only in the cities of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, but also in the countryside, there are jazz performers and jazz live houses.

And there are always live performances and sessions somewhere.

In addition, jazz festivals are held in regional cities and rural areas to revitalize the town.

Live shows are performed by professional or semi-professional players, but sessions and jazz festivals are attended by many amateur players.

When you come to Japan, be sure to check out the sessions and jazz festivals.

At my house, we have a jam session on the third Saturday of every month.

There are amateurs and sometimes professionals playing together, and it's a rural area, but the day is very lively.

Visiting and participating are free for B&B guests.

There are also drinks and sweets, so it's like a party.

Please come and visit us!


The pen that Michel Legrand loved

This pen is "Puraman JM20" sold by Pentel in Japan.

Released in 1979.

Although it is a disposable water-based pen, you can draw thick or thin lines by changing the angle of the pen tip, so you can write like a fountain pen.

This pen was the favorite pen of the great c omposer and jazz pianist Michel Legrand.

He bought this pen every time he came to Japan. And it seems that this pen was always inserted in his chest.

I imagine that he would write down his inspiration anytime, anywhere, while holding this pen that could draw beautiful notes like a music pen, more easily than a music pen.

When you come to Japan, please pick up this "Puraman JM20". I think you will like it too.

Maybe there is a store in your town that sells "Praman JM20".

I sell them in my store too. I use it myself.

The price is 220 JPY.


Started operating a B&B

Thank you for visiting our page.

I am Yuki, the wife of Komay Shibata, the owner of Fukubatake.

My job is to create websites, create advertisements, create signboards, drive, cook, and purchase.

Komay's job is guiding, interpreting, crafting, and playing the piano. He is a jazz pianist.

We lived in Osaka for 25 years. However, life in the city is very busy, so three years ago, I moved to Yoshino-cho in the plateau.

Are we able to relax after coming to Yoshino?

No, I've been much busier since I came to Yoshino.

I started making fields. Since the house is large, I also started to do maintenance of the house. Shopping has become a long-distance drive instead of walking. I made a friend.

In the city, I couldn't make friends unless I belonged to a company or some kind of organization, but in the countryside, everyone is my friend.

But in the countryside, even if I'm busy, I don't get tired.

The air is clean here and there is a lot of freedom.

We eat vegetables grown in our neighborhood and drink well water from the mountains.

Wake up to the sound of birds while being enveloped in the scent of forest trees.

Komay is 70 years old, but he has more energy than when he was younger. He also found playing the piano exciting.

I am 52 years old and in good health.

We would be very happy if you could visit our beloved Yoshino and make everyone happy.