More About Obi, Miyazaki Prefecture in Kyushu
Miyazaki prefecture lies on the eastern coast of Japan’s southwesterly island of Kyushu.
Known for its temperate climate and natural beauty, Miyazaki is a popular draw for visitors looking to recharge their batteries. It’s easy to reach the Miyazaki, with regular flights from Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka. From Miyazaki airport hop on the JR line, transfer at Miyazaki station, and continue onward to Obi station.
From 1588 for a period of 280 years, the castle town of Obi flourished under the affluent Ito clan. Referred to as “the Kyoto of Kyushu”, Obi’s picturesque townscape of samurai and merchant villas has been designated an historical preservation area since the 1970s.
Today, you can stay in one of the actual residences where samurai warriors and their descendants once lived. Naturally, modern conveniences and amenities are provided for your comfort.
Two of the best accommodation options of this type are Katsume-tei and Ohya-tei.
At Katsume-tei, Enjoy Accommodations with Your Own Private Japanese Garden
The vintage dwelling on the grounds of Katsume-tei was repurposed as tourist accommodations about 60 years ago. The original Japanese rock garden on the grounds of this 18th century samurai residence are a famed sightseeing spot in Miyazaki to this day.
Amazingly, the fact that this beautiful property is available to anybody who wishes to stay here is an open secret. Make your reservation today!
In traditional Japanese homes, the wood flooring corridor which runs between the main room and the garden is known as an “engawa”. Large eaves above block out direct sunlight in the summer, making the engawa a cool place to relax.
At Katsume-tei, you can enjoy the open nature of a traditional Japanese home combined with stylish, modern furnishings.
Katsume-tei’s bathing area employs high quality, long-lasting, aromatic Japanese umbrella pine Tree. Combined with amenities such as cooking utensils and home appliances, you’ll feel like Katsume-tei is home.
The tables in the dining area and Japanese sitting room are made from Obi cedar, with seasonal flowers in beautiful pottery adding further touches of authentic decor. Katsume-tei’s blend of the traditional and modern is unlike anything standard hotels offer.
Ohya-tei – Stay Where Samurai Once Lived
Not far from the Obi Castle remains you will find Ohya-tei. Opened as accommodations over 100 years ago, this residence was once the dwelling of samurai. Like Katsume-tei, Ohya-tei offers one night-stays for groups of up to six people.
As you enter the spacious main room at Ohya-tei, you’ll immediately notice the high ceiling and “irori” – a traditional, sunken fireplace hearth which can be used to burn firewood or charcoal.
As with Katsume-tei, there is no food served at Ohya-tei. Guests can prepare their own meals in the fully equipped kitchen, creating a sense of living in the space.
In the kitchen, next to all the modern conveniences, you’ll find an “okudosan” – a traditional Japanese stove. (This fascinating artifact of the past is only for display). If you’d like to prepare an authentic Japanese meal, there’s an electric rice cooker on hand.
Preparing meals in an actual house where samurai once lived – there’s no accommodation experience like it in the world.
Another point of appeal at Ohya-tei is the Japanese umbrella pine bathtub. Local furniture makers and carpentry workshops have endeavored to create furnishings and fixtures with both a classic and contemporary feel.
Japan is also famous for its electrical appliances, and Ohya-tei is equipped with a rice cooker, microwave and other conveniences.
Ohya-tei offers guests the perfect fusion of a samurai house’s “old” and modern Japan’s “new”, for an unforgettable vacation.
At the below website, click the “Find a Home” button, choose your accommodations and fill out the online reservation form.
One night booking for two people at Katsume-tei or Ohya-tei: from ¥14,400 per person (tax not included)
Fly from Tokyo, Osaka, or Fukuoka to Miyazaki Airport.
From Miyazaki Airport take the JR line, transfer at Miyazaki station, and continue to Obi station. Takes approximately one hour and twenty minutes.
How to Enjoy More of Obi
The reception desk for both Katsume-tei and Ohya-tei is located at the nearby Komura Memorial Hall (Komura Kinenkan). But the staff do more than hand you your keys – they’re a friendly face that provides information and recommendations for your stay in Obi.
You can pick up a handy free map, or pay a small amount for a sightseeing map which includes discount coupons for local eateries and souvenir shops.
After you’ve checked in, stroll along the local street to your accommodations and take in the charming, historic scenery of Obi.
For dining, you can either pick up fresh food at the local supermarket and cook your own meals, or savor the flavors of Obi at neighborhood restaurants. This region is famous for its Chicken dishes! A friendly drink with local residents at an izakaya is also a good bet.
These kominka embody architectural, historical and cultural values that are important to preserve. Your experience in Obi will be like no other in Japan. Make your reservation today!