Kamesei Ryokan's oldest building is the 2-story structure across from the naka-niwa koi pond. The top story houses our big banquet room, and the bottom floor is a guest room and a smaller banquet room. Apparently this building was originally in neighboring Sakaki Town and 70 years was disassembled and relocated here to its present location. And supposedly, the building started out as an 'okiya' geisha house.
You know that as a building that's been around for near a century and has a history of being a geisha house, it must have its share of stories to tell.
Right now we are having the tatami mats in the big banquet room replaced. Part of the subfloor had some rot damage, so I put on my carpenters hat and fixed that section.
This was the first time I've ever seen the subfloor with the tatami mats off. The floor was a patchwork of wood planks, with a few quirks here and there.
In 2 places there were squared-off sections. My guess is that tea ceremonies were held here and this is where the pots were heated by coals.
In another place, there was a handle set in the face of a plank. After a closer look, I realized there were hinges nearby. Hmm, a hatch? Could it open? I lifted the handle and tried pulling the hatch up, and, it opened just as smoothly as could be. I was hoping there would be a hidden treasure underneath, but the space was empty.
In my mind, this whole building is a treasure. I hope I can maintain our inn so the building can tell its stories to the next generation.