Tamba-Sasayama: Inn to the Heart of a Village
If you venture up north from Hyogo Prefecture's castle town Tamba-Sasayama, you will arrive in a picturesque village from another time. This is Maruyama, which until recently faced extinction, but was reborn as a village inn. On this journey, Canadian hotelier Vincent Ng explores the village, meeting its residents and discovering the story of its revival.

Maruyama

A village from the late 18th century that was once full of vacant homes. Fearing extinction, the villagers decided to convert some of these properties into lodgings and operate them on their own. Visitors can experience a traditional lifestyle, as well as the lush surrounding nature.

Sasayama Castle Ruins

The ruins of a castle built in 1609. Visitors are welcome to explore inside the reconstructed grand hall, as well as visit the Aoyama Shrine on the grounds to enjoy the view.

Kawaramachi Merchant District

The merchant district within the castle town area of Tamba-Sasayama. Visitors can stroll along the roughly 600 meter-stretch of road, which is filled with well-preserved old townhouses, some of which have been renovated as cafes, guesthouses or variety stores.

Access

From Tokyo to Tamba-Sasayama it takes 4 hours by express and local trains. From Kyoto Prefecture, it is a 1.5 hours drive.