Go back to school at Ready to Flight! Narita.

In Japan, more and more rural schools are being forced to either merge with others or completely close down, as municipalities struggle to deal with the effects of the nation’s aging population, declining birthrate, and depopulation.

However, there is a silver lining to all this, as old schools are now being converted into new accommodation buildings, which not only keeps the facilities in working order — in case they need to be used as evacuation centres during emergencies — but also helps to secure revenue for the municipality as well.

The latest city to take up the challenge of converting an old schoolhouse into new lodgings is Narita City, which has transformed the former Kuzumi Dai Ni Elementary School into a beautiful new hostel called “Ready to Flight! Narita”.

Located just a 15-minute drive away from Narita Airport’s Terminal 2, Ready to Flight! Narita is perfectly placed to accommodate travellers looking for somewhere to stay near the airport. And according to Lion Real Estate, the Tokyo-based property management company behind the renovation, travellers who stay here will be able to immerse themselves in the nostalgia of a Japanese school environment while also experiencing both the history and the future of Narita City. 

Inside, a number of old classrooms have been preserved for visitors to enjoy as public spaces to walk through or relax in. Old fixtures like shoeboxes have also been repurposed into new furnishings and design pieces, to highlight the fact that everything old can be new again.

The school is well equipped with a variety of different rooms to accommodate not only individual guests, but large groups as well. In addition to having a large gymnasium and a music room (which can be privately used at a cost of 3,000 yen [US$27.99] per hour), the complex also has a tatami room, a rooftop area with views of the night sky, and a cafe and bar area, where prices for drinks and snacks start at 300 yen.

▼ There’s also a kitchen and library space that’s free for guests to use.

Guests can choose to sleep on futons in a dormitory style room for 3,000 yen or a private room for 4,000 yen per person per night. Shower and toilet facilities are shared, and guests can check from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., with later check-ins available with prior notice.

The new lodging aims to be “an inn where you can prepare for a journey”, with an airport shuttle service and plenty of room for your luggage, and a place where you can “discover a new you”, with a variety of activities on offer, including camping events on the grounds.

Despite opening to the public on 1 October, Ready to Flight! Narita will have its “grand opening ceremony” from 11:00 a.m. on 14 October, with the Mayor of Narita and Narita City Council members in attendance. It’s clear that the local council is keen to support the rejuvenation of the school buildings and the neighbourhood around it, and we can too, by making a booking online to go back to school.

It’s a great way to support the local community and experience the charm of everyday Japanese life, even on a budget. And if you’d like to stay at a school on the Izu Peninsula, there’s a new hostel there to accommodate you too!

Hotel information
Ready to Flight!NARITA 

Address: Chiba-ken, Narita-shi,Oomuro 680

Source: PR Times
Featured image: PR Times
Insert images: PR Times, Ready to Flight!Narita

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