Surrounding Area: Community and Culture


The area around Yatakiya is more than just its landscape, or its history. It is also, fundamentally, its people: the craftspeople, farmers, monks, and more who together make up a remarkable community. Nowhere is this more true than in Yatakiya itself, whose management and staff all come together to embody the varied elements of this rich and diverse area.

Guests to Yatakiya may notice the gorgeous tatami mat flooring throughout the building complex. This tatami is all sourced from the tatamiya workshop of Tamio Tanaka, the president of Yatakiya, who produces the mats through his family business around a 20-minute drive from the hotel. Issei Tomiha, a part-time member of staff, makes bamboo goods as his principal occupation: his delicate chopsticks and the like are on sale at the hotel. These are not the only local artisanal goods available; guests can also peruse locally sourced food and drinks, like a yuzu syrup made in Uda.

Beyond Yatakiya, just ten minutes down the hillside, Gosha Shrine is rebuilt every 20 years by the local community, using timber collected from the surrounding hills, and techniques carried down through generations. Further afield, a few minutes from Murou-Ji Temple stands Ittobori Ichiyado, the workshop of Masanobu Okumoto, who inherited the business from his father; he continues the family trade of impossibly detailed ittobori wood carving. From monks hand-writing goshuin stamps together, to farmers cultivating the famed Yamato tea, living histories can be felt all around.

Lastly, returning to Yatakiya, we find the last piece of this interlocking community: you, the guest. The staff of Yatakiya are united in their embodiment of omotenashi, a Japanese concept of profound hospitality. Combining the concept of ‘omote,’ one’s public face or persona, with ‘nashi’ (‘nothing’), it signifies generosity given whole-heartedly, without pretence or secret agenda. Characterised by close attention to detail, and accompanying thoughtful acts of service, it is an intangible form of cultural heritage; one that is also, by its nature, dependent on the presence of a guest. So, as you enjoy uniquely attentive hospitality at Yatakiya, you can also appreciate the opportunity to experience authentic, traditional Japanese culture.


>> BOOK NOW <<


Intro: Welcome to Yatakiya




Surrounding Area: Landscape

Surrounding Area: History

★Surrounding Area: Community and Culture


This text is written by Gabriela Mancey-Jones who is studying in Japan at the invitation of the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, through interviews conducted in February 2024. She is looking to specialize in cultural anthropology with a Japan focus.