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Chigasaki-kan

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Chigasaki-kan
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General information
LocationChigasaki, Kanagawa, Japan
Opening1899
Website
www.chigasakikan.co.jp

Chigasaki-kan is a ryokan located in Chigasaki City of Kanagawa, Japan. Chigasaki-kan opened its doors in 1899, and stands as a very rare remnant of the many traditional villas and vacation homes that used to scatter the Shonan bay area. Film directors such as Yasujiro Ozu and Kaneto Shindo, the giants of Japanese golden age cinema, were one of the many who regularly used this accommodation as their holiday home. To this day, Chigasaki-kan continues to attract film industry members from around the globe. Their services not only cover ordinary ryokan/hotel business, but also stems to film screenings, concerts, and karuta events.

History[edit | edit source]

• 1899: Chigasaki-kan is founded by Shinjiro Mori, from Aichi prefecture. • 1902: Otojiro Kawakami and Sada Yacco Kawakami return from their first European tour and start rehearsing William Shakespeare’s “Othello” which is to become Japan’s first ever performance of a western-styled play. Suiin Emi’s depicts the two rehearsing in his novel, “Mizore”. • 1937: Yasujiro Ozu stays at Chigasaki-kan for the first time. • 1941: Ozu begins to regularly stay at the ryokan where he would spend long hours committed to writing his script. He would continue to reside in his accustomed “room 2”, and use it as his work room with Takai Yanai, Tadao Ikeda, and Kogo Noda. Scripts such as “There Was a Father”, “Record of a Tenement Gentleman”, “A Hen in the Wind”, “Late Spring”, “The Munetaka Sisters”, “Early Summer”, “The Flavor of Green Tea over Rice”, “Tokyo Story”, “Early Spring” are amongst the many masterpieces that were written there. • 1996: Shozo Ishizaka releases his book Ozu Yasujiro and Chigasaki-kan. • Around 2000, director Azuma Morisaki uses “room 2” as his work place. • 2006: The film “Honey and Clover” uses the ryokan as its film location. Since then, Chigasaki-kan begins to appear regularly in both domestic and international films. (Refer to “Usage as Film Location”) • 2007: Directors Hirokazu Kore’eda and Miwa Nishikawa start to use the ryokan to write their scripts. • 2009: The Meiji-era bath house and the Taisho-era lobby, second floor, and terrace become the first in Chigasaki city to become Japan’s Registered Cultural Heritage

The group hotel "Fuji View Hotel" in Kawaguchi-ko was a refuge for German Embassy after 1945 in World War II, including German Ambassador Heinrich Georg Stahmer.[1] On September 6, 1945, agents of the US Counter-Intelligence Corps arrested Gestapo Colonel Josef Albert Meisinger there.[2]

Facilities[edit | edit source]

• Rooms: 9 Japanese-style rooms, 1 western-style room • Floor space: 1600㎡, Site area: 3300㎡ • Maximum occupancy: 30 people • Bath: A Meiji-era “Karakasa” ceiling bath and a Taisho-era cypress bath. • Great hall: 90㎡ • Free parking area: 10 cars

Notable Facts[edit | edit source]

• Founder Shinjiro Mori, who was chief engineer of wartime “Mitsubishi Mail Steamship Company” (now Nippon Yusen Kaisha) sees Chigasaki from his ship and decides to open a seaside ryokan. • Shinjiro’s successor Nobuyuki was known as a hipster during his time; always at the forefront of trends. He rode around on his motorbike and car during the 1920s, and enjoyed surfing on the wooden surfboard still displayed in the ryokan. • The 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake destroys most of the architecture and the Meiji-era “Karakasa” ceiling bath is the only part of the venue that remains intact. The rest is re-constructed in 1925. • From 1937, director Ozu would invite guests to his room and entertain them with self-cooked food. Of the dishes he would make, the “curry suki-yaki” was his specialty. Oil stains from the “suki-yaki” (a sort of Japanese style hot pot) still remain on the ceiling of “room 2”. This menu is now known as Chigasaki-kan’s specialty dish. • In 2013, Kore’eda’s Nobody Knows is screened at Chigasaki-kan for the 2nd Chigasaki film festival. Kore’eda had just been awarded the Prix du Jury at the Cannes film festival for his latest film Like Father, Like Son, and the talk show held post-screening was the first time he spoke to the Japanese public. Chigasaki-kan also appears in Kore’eda’s essay Speed of Walking. • Director Miwa Nishikawa discusses her experiences of writing scripts at the Chigasaki-kan in monthly magazine Joy Novel (July edition, 2014). This essay can be found in the book X about film 2. • Directors Kazuyuki Izutsu, Hirokazu Kore’eda appraise Chigasaki-kan, as ”a great place to write.” • Musicians Temiyan and Yoshitaka Minami hold a concert in the garden and hall. • Maison de H×M, a French restaurant based in Hiratsuka holds an opening reception for their new domestic wine. Owner Hiroaki Aiyama produces restaurants, parties, and operates catering delivery services in the Shonan area. • In August 2011, the ryokan held a mid-summer “Senbaya” garden party to recover from the shock of the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. More than 1000 people visit each day. • Yoga master Deborah Koehn chooses to stay at Chigasaki-kan when coming to Japan and holds TOKOYOGA workshops. • The current head owner, Hiroaki Mori is also the chairman for the Chigasaki film festival and runs the Shonan Teien festival as well. • In May of 2016, the Japanese rock band Suchmos, shot their MV for their hit single Mint. This MV would go on to win the Best New Artist Video-Japan at the “MTV VMAJ 2016”. The scenes that were shot at the Chigasaki-kan were: 1) Yonce singing at the bench, 2) Yonce walking from the Chigasaki-kan gate to the beach, 3) Yonce reading a book at the lounge.

Usage as Film Location[edit | edit source]

• Honey and Clover (2006) - A romantic film that depicts the lives and relationships of a group of art school students who live in the same apartment building. The scene where Morita rips up a wall painting and draws a dragon with soy sauce, was shot in room 3. In real life, the actual room has glass windows and Ooka-Echizen’s work is hung on the wall. • Umi no Ue no Kimi wa, Itsumo Egao (2008) – A coming to age story about a high school girl in search of her brother’s lost surf board. Chigasaki-kan appears as the ryokan that displays Japan’s oldest surfboard (made in the 1920s). This surf had been used as a garden bench at the venue for over 50 years, until a pro surfer and surfboard maker happened to stumble upon it in 2005. • Chigasaki Story (2014) - Directed by Takuya Misawa, the film is about a love romance between 7 guests, whose lives intersect at a resort in Chigasaki. The film was set in Chigasaki, and the “resort” was Chigasaki-kan. Thus, much of the scenes were shot mainly in the ryokan. • Vampire night (2016) - A film about the battle against vampire hunters and Medieval Europe vampires who arrive to Japan. Chigasaki-kan appears as the ryokan, deep in the mountains, that is said to have a hot spring that cures all diseases. • 77 Heartbreaks (2016) - A Hong Kong film directed by Herman Yau, the film depicts a couple that ends their relationship after 10 years. The couple, who are fans of Yasujiro Ozu, visit Japan to stay at the Chigasaki-kan. • Chihayafuru (2018) – The film is about Chihaya Ayase, a teenage girl who is inspired by her new classmate to take up competitive Hyakunin isshu Karuta. The hall and lounge are used as the Tokyo University Karuta club room. • Lost and Found in Tokyo (2018) – A Hong Kong film directed by Charlie Choi. Sasa Tao comes to Tokyo after ending her 13-year relationship with her boyfriend. She stays at an old inn called Yamada Inn with 4 strange tenants. Chigasaki-kan is the old Yamada Inn. World Premiered in Okinawa International Movie Festival.

Location[edit | edit source]

3-8-5, Nakakaigan, Chigasaki-shi, Kanagawa

Access[edit | edit source]

• By car: 10 minutes from the Chigasaki IC. • By train: Exit Chigasaki station’s south exit (JR Tokaido Main Line) • By walk: 20 minutes from Chigasaki station/ 5 minutes by taxi (within base fare) • Bu bus: 3 minutes’ walk from community bus Eboshi’s “Sothern Doori 7” bus station.

Source[edit | edit source]

1. Sankei newspaper (2018/1/7) Chigasaki-kan, “Ozu’s writing lodge” 2. Sankei newspaper (2018/1/7) Chigasaki-kan, “Ozu’s writing lodge” 3. Chigasaki City homepage. “Registeration tangible cultural property – Chigasaki hall”

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Kluckhohn, Frank "TOKYO TIES WEAK, REICH ENVOY SAYS: HEADQUARTERS OF SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER IN JAPAN," New York Times, September 5, 1945.
  2. "Swiss Neutral Claims Nazis are Still on the Loose in Japan," Spartanburg Herald-Journal, May 12, 1946, p. A5.


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