Sukumo City in western Kochi is home to one of the most fascinating (yet little known) historical buildings you might find in Japan
Over 130 years ago, this traditional house was built by Yuzo Hayashi, a member of the new Meiji government, which was established after the fall of the Tokugawa feudal regime in 1868. Although supporting the new government at first, Yuzo soon found himself disagreeing with many of its policies. Consequently, he resigned and began supporting rebel forces in secrecy. After seven years of imprisonment for planning an attack on a government arsenal in Osaka, Yuzo continued his activism and used his home as a place for fellow supporters to come together. That’s the story of Hayashitei–this architectural gem which still stands in all its original and beautifully-renovated glory
While the residence was renovated in 2018, many of the building’s unique features have been preserved. These include hidden stairways and escape routes, which Yuzo originally installed for protection against political enemies (just goes to show the tension at the time)
From a shower and communal kitchen, to a cozy cafe and beautiful Japanese-style rooms perfect for remote work, business meetings, workshops or friendly get-togethers, Hayashitei is a home for all. Even after all this time, thanks to the community’s preservation efforts, Hayashitei continues its legacy as a safe space where people can exchange innovative ideas
Surrounded by mountains and ocean, Sukumo City is also a great place to explore by bicycle! How about renting one at Hayashitei and ride to Enko-ji Temple to experience a small portion of the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage?
Thank you to @宿毛まちのえき林邸 (Hayashitei) for letting us share their beautiful photos!
Learn more about the history of Hayashitei: https://www.city.sukumo.kochi.jp/fs/5/6/9/2/8/_/______English_introduction_.pdf
Hayashitei official website: hayashitei.com
Learn more about the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage: https://visitkochijapan.com/en/highlights/henro