The “uzuhouse” in Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, is an attractive complex with a cafe, shared office space, and event space, not to mention accommodations.
With the Kanmon Straits in front of you and the Karato Market for fresh fish, it’s a great location for sightseeing in Shimonoseki.
However, as of April 2020, the hotel is not accepting overnight stays, and many events that were scheduled to take place at the event space have been cancelled.
You can now accepting applications.
I hope you will come to Shimonoseki when the situation is under control and we can go sightseeing.
So, in this article, we will tell you all about the charm that uzuhouse.
As soon As You Cross Kanmon Straits, You’ll Arrive uzuhouse
Get off the highway at the Shimonoseki IC near the Kanmon Straits and drive for 6 minutes. The guesthouse “uzuhouse” is located 5 minutes on foot from Karato Market and is marked by a cute blowfish symbol.
The “uzuhouse” is a guest house born in August 2016.
It was reborn after a total renovation of a 43 year old Japanese restaurant inn by the first class architect, Mr. Mitsuwa Okino, the representative of uzuhouse.
Let’s take a look at the inside of uzuhouse.
Spectacular View From the Rooftop
When I walked out onto the roof of the uzuhouse, I saw the ocean in front of me.
It’s like being on a boat.
The Kanmon Bridge across the Kanmon Straits.
On the other side of the sea is Mojiko Port.
And the sound of ships and whistles coming and going.
The Kanmon Strait is a navigable waterway, so you can enjoy the dynamic scene of large ships passing by at a great speed at close range.
Where did this ship come from?
What’s this ship carrying?
I could spend hours gazing out at the ocean with that in mind.
The view is delightful with such movement.
By the rooftop terrace, there is a kitchen and dining area for guests.
Guests can cook and eat here.
The rooftop was originally a space for guests only.
But now (April 2020), due to the spread of the new coronavirus, guests can take their purchases from the cafe to the roof to enjoy.
Deluxe Rooms Are Like a Resort!
Uzuhouse is the best place to stay in Shimonoseki if you want to stay as cheaply as possible.
Here is an introduction to the accommodations.
A Deluxe Room Like a Resort Hotel Suite
I was surprised when Okino-san showed me to the deluxe room.
It was so far from what I had imagined a guest house to be.
The spacious living and dining room.
A bedroom with bedding made by Kyoto-based company Iwata.
A luxurious bathroom.
iconHow much does it cost to stay here?
iconMs. Okino: For 1 to 4 people, it starts at 25,000 yen.
iconEhh! Does that mean 4 people start at $6,000 per person? That’s bad …….
Who would have thought a guesthouse would have such a luxurious room? Of course, you can see the sea outside the window.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see such a big ship.
It would be great to spend some time here, watching the ships go by the sea. ……
1 to 4 people: from 25,000 yen
5 people: from 30,100 yen
6 people: from 35,100 yen
Superior Room, Which Can Accommodate up to 4 People
The Superior Room has two bunk beds side by side and can accommodate up to four people.
It’s nice to have a sofa and a small table as well as a bed.
It’s also good for a group of women traveling together.
You can’t see the ocean from the windows, but you can see the Akama Shrine. At night, you can see it beautifully lit up.
1 or 2 people: from 6,700 yen
3 people: 9,090 yen and up
4 people: from 10,900 yen
Spacious 14 Tatami-mat Room “Japanese Style”
The Japanese-style room is spacious with 14 tatami mats.
It can accommodate from 2 to 5 people and you can enjoy the view of the Akama Shrine from the window.
2 people: from 6,700 yen
3 people: 9,090 yen and up
4 people: from 10,900 yen
5 people: from 12,600 yen
Private Bunk Bed “Western-style” Room
The Western-style room is a small private room with bunk beds that can accommodate one to two people.
It’s nice to have a small sofa and table.
Since it’s a private room, I think it’s easy for those who have never been to a guest house before to come and go.
You can see the Kanmon Straits from the window here.
From 3,400 yen per person
2 people: from 5,650 yen
Convenient “Dormitories” for Traveling Alone
This is the kind of dormitory you’d expect to find in a guesthouse.
The beds are separated from each other by curtains, and once inside the room is surprisingly spacious and comfortable.
In addition to the men’s and women’s rooms, there are women-only rooms for your peace of mind.
Reading lights, personal power outlets, and lockers for valuables are available from 2,250 yen per person.
Uzuhouse’s Cafe and Bar
The first floor of “uzuhouse” is also open for business as a cafe.
Not only tourists, but also locals seem to use it.
The restaurant has been remodeled into a modern and stylish atmosphere, so much so that you can’t feel that it used to be a traditional Japanese restaurant.
There is a beautiful wall art inside the restaurant. It is the work of Saori Kanda (@SAORI_An), an artist who works as a “dancer”.
In addition to drinks, the café prepares snacks such as cheesecakes, terrine chocolates and salsa and chips.
There is also a cafe space on the second floor, and the atmosphere is completely different between the Kanmon Straits side where you can see the ocean and the Akama Jingu Shrine side along the road.
Akama Jingu side
The Akama Jingu side is based on white and has a bright atmosphere.
You can sit on the sofa and relax while enjoying cafe time.
The bookshelves are lined with a variety of novels, comics, and practical books for you to read at your leisure.
Kanmon Straits side
This is a chic space, which is the complete opposite of the Akama Shrine side.
There are more seats than the Akama Jingu side and the tables are spacious.
If you are in a group of several people, I recommend this side of the Kanmon Straits side.
It’s this spectacular view from the window.
There’s another big boat going by.
Let’s go out to the balcony.
The breeze feels great!
This is already a resort.
This is a cafe space, so you can drink anything here, no matter what you like.
Even if it’s cold, it’s exceptionally good.
You can buy alcohol at the cafe on the first floor, so you can drink beer here.
Uzuhouse is a cafe that many customers use just for its café.
Be sure to stop by this café during your visit to Shimonoseki.
Uzuhouse’s Shared Office and Event Space
The uzuhouse also has a shared office and event space.
Shared Office with Ocean View
The uzuhouse also has a shared office space where you can work while taking in the spectacular view.
There are 12 fixed desks and 8 free desks.
There’s also a multifunctional printer and meeting space, making this the perfect place to work.
The free desk plan is available for a whopping 800 yen per day.
It’s a great place to work when you’re in Shimonoseki.
Monthly fee: 19,800 yen (tax included)
Enrollment fee: 11,000 yen (tax included)
Daily rate: 800 yen (tax included)
Enrollment fee: None.
For more information, please visit the official “uzehouse” website.
Open-plan Event Space
The event space is large enough to accommodate about 40 people.
Of course, out the window, as we’ve shown you so far, is the Kanmon Straits!
A wide range of events have been held here so far, including yoga classes, overnight seminars, and JAZZ concerts.
Weekdays: 1,500 yen/1 hour (12,000 yen all day)
Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 2,000 yen/1 hour (16,000 yen all day)
How will Corona Affect? The Future of “Sharing” that Uzuhouse Consider
After touring the guest house, I asked the head of uzuhouse, Mr. Okino, for a few words.
iconIt’s a very nice place, isn’t it! Did you originally want to open a guesthouse in Shimonoseki?
iconMs. Okino: I’ve worked on share houses and guesthouses before. It was a coincidence that I wanted to do something local.
iconDid you always have the idea to do something local?
iconMs. Okino: I am a university graduate from Tokyo. Every year when I return to Shimonoseki during the New Year’s holidays, I feel that there are fewer and fewer people in the city. I began to wonder if there was anything I could do to revitalize the city.
iconI see. So that thought led to the birth of uzuhouse. What was the deciding factor for you to choose this house?
iconMs. Okino: It’s near the ocean, and you can see the ocean from every floor. That’s the deciding factor.
iconYou’re right. It’s just that the ocean is really beautiful, and it’s great!
iconMs. Okino: The other deciding factor is that the view of the ocean is not just an ocean view, but a typical Shimonoseki view.
iconThat’s true. The Kanmon Straits, Moji Port, and Karato Market and a big ship. There are so many hints of Shimonoseki, aren’t there? Tourists are surprised.
iconMs. Okino: But we don’t have many tourists anymore.
iconI guess the spread of the new coronavirus has had a big impact.
iconMs. Okino: That’s true. We’re looking for things to do every day. It’s a waste of space, so we’re thinking about how we can use the space. We’re also proposing to rent out the private rooms to the café space.
iconI see. ……. This is a place where the space is meant to be shared, so it’s not so easy.
iconMs. Okino: Yes, ……. Even if the spread of the disease has been contained, I think we need to change our mindset before and after the corona.
iconEven after the spread of the disease is over, I have a feeling that there will still be some lingering fears about infectious diseases. Values will change a lot, won’t they?
iconMs. Okino: I think people’s perceptions are changing. The idea of sharing is changing. I’m thinking that even if we do exactly the same thing as before, it may not work.
iconI’m thinking that it might not apply in exactly the same way as before. Do we still do it with the idea that sharing is a good thing? …….
iconMs. Okino: I still think it’s fun for people to come together and talk. I don’t think that’s going to change.
iconYes. And I think it’s unavoidable that “people don’t get involved with other people” as long as they’re alive. I don’t think a virus can take away the fun of interacting with people.
iconMs. Okino: Yes. That’s why I think “uzuhouse” should not be a place where people gather as it has been. In order to do that, it can’t continue as it is now, so I’ll continue to think about what to do from now on.
iconI see. When the spread of the new coronavirus is under control and I am able to travel again, I will definitely visit the “Deluxe Room”. Thank you!
Address: 7-8 Amidaji-cho, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Must-see Spots in Shimonoseki Around Uzuhouse
Let’s take a look at some of the spots in Shimonoseki near “uzuhouse”.
Karato Market, Enjoy Fresh Seafood
Karato Market is a large market where you can find a variety of fish caught in the seas around the city, including the famous puffer fish.
Just looking around the market is a lot of fun with fresh fish sold at market prices.
In addition to seafood, the market also has a direct sales area for agricultural products, and you’ll find a variety of delicious foods.
Incidentally, the best place to eat fresh fish from the market is at the restaurant in Karato Market.
“Ichiba Shokudo Yoshi” is a very popular place to eat with the market workers.
You can enjoy excellent meals with fresh fish at local prices.
Yoshi set meal is a value-priced set meal that includes deep fried pufferfish and fried shrimp, as well as sashimi.
The fried pufferfish is made with fresh pufferfish and is very tender and delicious!
The sashimi was also very fresh and delicious.
There are other menu items that you can only find at the market, such as raw sea urchin set menus and seafood rice bowls, so if you’re ever in Karato Market, be sure to stop by.
Address: 2F Karato Market, 5-50 Karato-cho, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Opening hours: 6:00-13:30LO (Saturday 6:00-14:30LO, Sunday & Holidays 8:00-14:30LO)
Market Restaurant Yoshi is currently (April 2020) closed.
Karato Market is currently (April 2020) closed for food and beverage events on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and for Sunday and holidays. Please note that it will only be open for regular business Monday through Saturday.
Akama Shrine in front of Uzuhouse
The Akama Shrine is a shrine that can be seen from the window of “uzuhouse”.
It enshrines Emperor Antoku, who entered the water at the Battle of Dannoura.
In the precincts of the shrine, there is the Emperor Antoku’s Amidaji Mausoleum, the grave of the Heike Clan, Hoichido Hall where a wooden statue of “Hoichi the Earless” is enshrined, and the Treasure Hall with valuable documents such as “Genpei Battle Picture”.
When the weather is nice, you can see the sea from the temple grounds and it is a good spot for a walk from uzuhouse.
Please visit the shrine.
Address: 4-1 Amidaji-cho, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
“Kaikyokan” , an Aquarium
Kaikyokan is an aquarium located about a 10-minute walk from “uzuhouse”.
The aquarium has a large, powerful tank and the world’s largest display of pufferfish species on display is a sight to behold.
A variety of puffer fish, including the tiger puffer, Harisenbon, and the headfish (the headfish is also in the pufferfish family), are on display, and you’ll feel Shimonoseki’s commitment to them.
The penguin exhibit is one of the largest in Japan and is a must-see.
The dolphin and sea lion show, which is rare in Japan, is also very popular.
Address: 6-1 Arucaport, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Opening hours: 9:30 – 17:30 (last admission at 17:00)
Closed: Open all year round