You can practically taste the nostalgia permeating this Taisho-era ryokan in Kagoshima Prefecture.

We’ll never get tired of visiting ryokan, or traditional Japanese inns. An overnight stay at a ryokan can be not only one of the most rewarding experiences of your trip to Japan, but of your entire life. The inns typically come with attached hot springs, traditional futon-style bedding, some of the most amazing hospitality imaginable, and luxurious multi-course meals utilizing only the freshest and most seasonal of ingredients.

Ryokan come in all shapes and sizes, and many pride themselves on a signature quality or service. For one particular ryokan in southern Kagoshima Prefecture called Ichihino Onsen Midoriya, that special trait happens to be its remarkable architecture and furnishings from the short-lived Taisho period (1912-1926), a period characterized by a unique mix of traditional Japanese and newly introduced western aesthetics following the opening of Japan to foreign countries after the Meiji Restoration of 1868. In fact, the Taisho influence is so strong at Midoriya that travelers may feel they have been spirited away to a different age and place immediately upon entering the building, as shown in these photos by recent guest @goshuinchou.

▼ “The inn I’m staying at tonight is the best. It’s a building from the Taisho period.”

In a fun connection to the ongoing societal changes of the Taisho period, Midoriya has another unique claim to fame–Akiko Yosano, one of the most prominent (and controversial) authors, poets, and feminists of the time, once rested within its walls.

▼ “Apparently Akiko Yosano stayed in my room. Just as I was thinking that it would be nice to have a mysterious space called a ‘hiroen’ [veranda] by the window, I was ecstatic to find that there was one already independently built-in.”

The Twitter user also expressed gratitude for the inn’s timeless Taisho aesthetic coupled with its modern conveniences:

▼ “The place is called Ichihino Onsen Midoriya in Kagoshima’s Satsumasendai City. The three-story inn from the Taisho period has been preserved through continued maintenance. It’s a hot-spring inn which boasts a history of Akiko Yosano staying there in Year 4 of the Showa period [1929]. The food was also delicious. Even with Taisho era-architecture, it’s great that you can also use wi-fi.”

Here are a couple more snapshots taken by other Midoriya guests:

According to this former guest, the inn’s staff will even present you with some hot spring water on your departure!

If history is your hobby and you’d enjoy the feeling of being transported to another age, then you should definitely soak in the atmosphere at Midoriya on your next travels around Japan. Might we also suggest that you pack one of these “Taisho Roman” ensembles to enhance your experience?

Inn information
Ichihino Onsen Midori-ya / 市比野温泉 みどり屋
Address: 895-1202 Kagoshima Prefecture, Satsumasendai, Hiwakicho Ichihino 2582
895-1202 鹿児島県薩摩川内市樋脇町市比野2582
Telephone: 0996-38-0002

Source, featured image: Twitter/@goshuinchou