"A second home for everyone—that's the concept," says Ren, a Vietnamese guesthouse owner in rural Nagano Prefecture. Her warm personality attracts people from around the world. She also runs a beloved Vietnamese noodle shop on the weekends. It provides a welcoming spot that contributes to a more comfortable community. The positive relationship between Ren and the locals continues to grow.
The guesthouse, which was created under the motto "A second home for everyone," has won accolades from international visitors who find it not only relaxing but also an excellent venue for socializing.
Ren offers Vietnamese cuisine in a communal area in the town. Among the offerings is "Pho Ga," a noodle dish garnished with chicken. The slightly sweet Vietnamese coffee is also a hit.
Her restaurant attracts many families enjoying meals with their children. Patrons naturally strike up conversations, fostering a sense of community.
The dynamic Ren has won the support of the local residents. In a town facing depopulation, the energy and contributions of newcomers are indispensable for its revitalization.