Staying In a Part of Ojika Island’s History
After that incredible meal, I returned to my accommodations at Ichie-an, another kominka, which like Fujimatsu, was lovingly restored by American author and Japanophile Alex Kerr. Kerr was responsible for renovating half a dozen kominka on the island, making him a key figure in developing tourism on Ojika. Like his other work, Ichie-an was chosen as a renovation candidate for its “good bones,” a solid structure, great location, and interior details worth restoring. There was a comfortable futon laid out in the tatami floor sleeping area. The room included details like Japanese antiques and a piece of calligraphy created by Kerr himself, hanging in the tokonoma, a recessed area used during a Japanese tea ceremony. Two of the room walls are shoji screens of translucent rice paper, through which soft light filtered in from the surrounding engawa (outer hallway) during the day. A living space with a compact kitchen unit, dining table, and television is a place to relax, and the bath area is fully modernized for comfort. One could imagine spending the whole day relaxing in this peaceful space if it weren’t for the island’s natural beauty beckoning you to explore outside.