Japanese Inn Umi-sanpo in Ōfunato, Iwate
Hello, this is ariTV’s handa!
This time, we visited southern Iwate’s coastal Ōfunato.
There, people has rebuilt their Japanese inn that was destroyed completely by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The inn’s name is Umi-sanpo (“Sea-walk”). Located in the national park Goishi Coast, the inn is surrounded by rich nature.
As its name implies, around Umi-sanpo you find many spots where you can take a pleasant walk.
Its accommodation includes 13 rooms and each room is named after Goishi Coast’s scenic areas. We had a chance to stay seaside room 206 “Goishi Tsubaki Garden”.
The room was clean and comfortable. Also the room’s keyholder looked nice.
Umi-sanpo’s Mr. Ōwada told us about Umi-sanpo.
His grandfather started the inn. Though its building originally stood on lower land, since his childhood he had heard that tsunami were not going to reach there.
But the 2011 tsunami was beyond such an expectation and washed away their building. Mr. Ōwada once thought of giving up their business and working as salaryman.
What made him decided to restart their inn was his desire to return the favors to those who stayed at their place before the disaster.
They named their new inn Umi-sanpo with hope that people were going to come back here to enjoy a walk.
The new accommodation was set up on the higher ground where tsunami is unlikely to engulf. In addition, they have found an evacuation route. At normal times, this route provides enjoyment to visitors who are fond of walks.
There’s regular guests who visit them every year and Mr. Ōwada told that their relationships are more like family.
He pointed out that as recovery continues on, the tourism industry takes on an more important role. He wanted Umi-sanpo to be a satisfying inn which provided guests with a therapeutic experience and a retreat from daily life.