Traditional hospitality mixes with modern otaku culture at mountainside ryokan.

Japanese Twitter user @gu_max_, who also goes by the nickname Miya, has a problem. His family runs a ryokan, or Japanese inn, in Okayama Prefecture. Called Koma no O, it’s a beautiful, traditional place of lodging, located high in the mountains, and boasts open-air baths and views of the surrounding forests.

But while Koma no O Sanso looks like a relaxing, elegant place to spend the night, Miya’s family has been having a tough time attracting visitors to their inn, which is located in the rural town of Mimasaka. While it sees flurries of activity at New Year’s and the spring holiday season known as Golden Week, the inn struggles to fill its vacancies during the rest of the year, and Miya’s grandmother, the owner of the ryokan, has been thinking of closing it down.

However, Miya has a plan to try to save the family business. A self-professed anime otaku, Miya attended college in Osaka, where he met like-minded fans of Japanese animation. After seeing pictures of Koma no O, one of Miya’s friends came to the inn for the specific purpose of taking cosplay pictures there, and Miya has now decided to promote Koma no O not just as a hotel, but also as a cosplay venue.

Miya decided to reach out to the otaku community on Twitter, sending out a tweet explaining the situation at Koma no O and asking “How about cosplaying at our inn?” The accompanying photos make it look like a perfect backdrop for any anime series with a historical theme or traditional motif, and Miya himself strongly recommends it for cosplayers dressing as characters from My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Touken Rambu, or Naruto, with the last franchise being especially apt since Okayama Prefecture is also the birthplace of Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto.

As further proof of how accommodating Koma no O is to cosplayers, the inn will also loan out props and kimono, even assisting guests who’re unsure of how to put on the garments.

While cosplayers are of course welcome to spend the night, it’s also possible to book a room at a reduced rate for afternoon-use as well. So far, roughly 50 parties have contacted Miya about cosplaying at the inn, and the overwhelming response has prompted him to set up a dedicated Twitter account to handle cosplay inquiries, so if you’re looking to indulge your costuming fantasies and help keep a family business going, the account can be found here.

Hotel information
Koma no O Sanso / 駒ノ旺山荘
Address: Okayama-ken, Mimasaka-shi, Ushiroyama 1743-1

Source: IT Media
Featured image: Twitter/@komanoousansou

Follow Casey on Twitter, where once he hears “anime” and “Okayama” his brain automatically says “Tenchi Muyo.”