This is a series of interviews with HAA dealers. This time we would like to introduce "Fujiya Ichiya Momo Hall & Gallery" located in Kannawa, Beppu.
(Left: Staff member Mr. Fukuda, Center: Owner Ms. Yasunami, Right: Mr. Matsuzaki, a staff member)
We spoke with the owner, Haruko Yasunami, about the history of the restaurant, its connection to HAA, and the charms of Kannawa Onsen. The interview was conducted by HAA representative Ikeda, who is a close friend of Haruko's.
The story of a Japanese inn that closed its doors and was reborn as a gallery
The story of how the inn closed and was reborn as a gallery
"Fujiya Ichiya Momo" Hall&Gallery" (hereinafter referred to as "Fujiya") was operated as a ryokan "Fujiya" from 1899 to 1996. After undergoing renovation work, it was reopened in 2004 and is now operated as a café, gallery, and select store. The building, which has been carefully repaired and protected, is now the only existing Meiji Ryokan building in Beppu. We will unravel the story of how such a historic building was passed on to the next generation and opened to the community.
What was the path taken from the decision to close the ryokan to its rebirth in its present form?
When we decided to close the ryokan and the main building of Fujiya was demolished, I was saddened. We had planned to tear down the new building as well due to its age, but we decided against it right before the event."
"We had been planning to tear down the new building as well, but we decided not to do so.
"Later, my mother wrote a letter to an architect who was working on the restoration of an old private house. As we listened to him and other experts, we realized that the building itself had value. Then I thought that by preserving the building and opening it up to the community, I could give something back to this town.
What has changed and what has stayed the same since the inn's days
A number of retro antique furniture is placed in the calm atmosphere of the cafe space. These pieces of furniture have been reupholstered from actual use in the inn's days, and have been carefully kept in use. While retaining these glimpses of history, the gallery space also features a variety of exhibitions and performances, and a modern atmosphere coexists beautifully.
--What has changed and what has stayed the same since the ryokan days?
"What has not changed is our role as a "meeting place. When we were an inn, we had once-in-a-lifetime encounters with guests who came from all over the world. Now, we have customers who come to the café and store, and artists who hold concerts and private exhibitions, all of whom share the same time here and then return to their own lives. I feel that this role as a "crossroads where people come and go" is the same now as it has always been.Product creation and item selection with local characteristics
The "Enjoyable Shokutaku Hanayamomo Shop," a select store located in a corner of Fujiya, features original products such as confiture and handcrafted items made by artists in Kyushu.
--I understand that your confiture and syrups are made using the traditional jigoku steaming process in Kannawa, Beppu.
"To begin with, jigoku-team is a traditional cooking method using hot spring steam, and has been used in Beppu Kannawa since the Edo period. I myself wanted to create products that made use of Kannawa's local resources, so I began processing fruits using low-temperature steam to make confiture and syrups.
"We steam fruits using a hell kiln on the premises. For example, plum syrup is made by steaming plums at 70 degrees for 30 minutes, removing only the seeds and stirring the fruit. That is why it has a richer flavor than ordinary plum syrup. We believe that by making our products accessible to customers, we can convey not only the delicious taste, but also the culture of jigoku steaming.The Connection with HAA - Iron Ring Time
Behind the placement of HAA for bath in this beautiful space was Jiko and Ikeda's shared desire to make Kannawa more exciting. "I had been supporting Ikeda-san since the development stage of HAA for bath, and I myself had been hoping to have a stylish Beppu bath salt. Tourists also want to take the atmosphere of Kannawa Onsen home with them, so they buy some for themselves or as souvenirs. We even have repeat customers.
In fact, during our interview, some regular customers came to the store and were seen making purchases.
In fact, during our interview, we saw regular customers coming into the store and purchasing items.
Finally, what is HAA time for you?
"When an event I am organizing is successfully completed, or the moment I put the front tag on CLOSED, it is HAA time.
Beppu and Kannawa Onsen, the town where HAA was born. There is a slow flow of time that envelops the entire town, which Jiko and Ikeda describe and experience as "Kannawa time. They can feel the Kannawa time from the steam smoke that can be seen throughout the town and the sensation after taking a bath.
When you visit Kannawa Onsen, please feel the Kannawa time that flows in Fujiya.
Fujiya Kazuya Momo Hall&Gallery
Location: Kannawa-kami 1-gumi, Beppu City, Oita Prefecture, 874-0046, Japan
Location: Kannawa-ku, Beppu City, Oita Prefecture, 874-0046, Japan span>Tel: 0977-66-3251
Opening hours: 10:00-17:00
Closed: Monday and Tuesday
Access: JR Beppu Station→20 minutes by taxi
& nbsp;(West Exit) Supatto→5 min. walk from Kannawa stop
(East Exit) Oita Kotsu Bus→2 min. walk from Kannawa end point