A home hosted by the community.
“What comes after a service to rent empty rooms to travelers? A bed & breakfast?” The seed of this new much talked-about development from Airbnb was planted at the “HOUSE VISION 2016” fair held in Tokyo in the summer of 2016.
HOUSE VISION is a fair which envisions the future of Japan through homes. At the fair, Airbnb, which seeks to deepen the bond between hosts and guests, and the architect Mr. Go Hasegawa presented the new concept of “a house hosted by the community.” The Yoshino Cedar House served as the first model case for that vision.
Instead of simply serving as a temporary exhibition site for the concept, the Yoshino Cedar House was transferred to the community, and serves as an ongoing experimental location to see what relationship can be created with the regional community by offering it as a place to stay on Airbnb.
Experience an exceptional space created by natural wood.
Starting from a concept in Tokyo, the Yoshino Cedar House was rebuilt on the banks of the Yoshinogawa River, and operations were taken over by the “Re: Live with Yoshino Council” composed of local residents involved in forestry, and the house was opened for reservations starting February 22, 2017.
The walking path on the long garden side of the house is a popular walking course for local residents. The first floor of the house serves as a community space and the second-floor loft serves as a private space for guests, in a design that seeks to create easy communication between locals and travellers.
These are three leading figures in the project, Mr. Omotani (right) and Mr. Okude (left) of the Yoshino Town Office, and Mr. Ishibashi (center), who serves as the central figure of the “Re: Live with Yoshino Council.”
Yoshino is one of Japan’s few forestry & lumber industry towns, and Yoshino cedar is known as a premium wood throughout Japan. In recent years, however, fierce price and supply competition has continued in the lumber industry.
Mr. Omotani tells us, “Yoshino prides itself on its 500-year history of reforestation, and we have unique know-how on producing premium timber. The Yoshino Cedar House was a great opportunity to once again share the appeal of ‘Yoshino, the town of forests.’”
The town has provided its full support to the Yoshino Cedar House project as a place to share the appeal of the wonderful feel and delicate fragrance of Yoshino cedar and cypress. The Yoshino Cedar House is expected to become a focal point for regional invigoration.
Enjoy the difference of a first floor of cedar and a second floor of cypress.
The three project leaders shared their pride in the Yoshino Cedar House stating, “as you never see a local house made entirely with wood from the floor to the ceiling, we’ve been able to create a truly new space. Of course, the excellent design plays a role, but we also feel the superb feeling of the space is created by the quality of the wood itself.”
When you step foot into the home, you are immediately enveloped by the delicate fragrance of the natural wood, and you can feel the gentle warmth of the materials every time you touch the floor or walls, creating an indescribable feeling of comfort. It is no wonder that visitors who experience the magic of the house just once can immediately fall in love with it.
A home that serves as a base to stroll the town of Yoshino.
If you stay in the Yoshino Cedar House, in addition to visiting the sightseeing locations, also be sure to visit the “Yoshino Choboku (timber stock)” area, where many lumber factories are located. There you can feel the true hum of everyday life in the forestry town, Yoshino.
Mr. Ishibashi, who also a managing director at the Yoshino Chuou Mokuzai Company , tells us, “the lumber industry is a time-honored profession in Yoshino. A way of life that was left behind by the flow of time is now creating a new value. I would like to pursue new initiatives while protecting our valued traditions.”
For example, it is said that a craftsman’s work begins with creating the blade of the saw in the workshop.
Town walks, events and workshops are now held to connect the forestry industry to daily life, which has typically remained in the background until now.
A new relationship between the region and tourism. An air of joyous expectation surrounds the Yoshino Cedar House for the movement it will create from now.
- Yoshino Cedar House
- Iigai 624, Yoshino-Cho, Yoshino-gun, Nara Pref.
- Yoshino Cedar House