We previously talked about the magnificence of the mountainous way from Tokyo that led us to Backpackers Furyu, a family house in quiet and idyllic outskirts of Shizuoka City. On our moto journey, this is the first guesthouse where we have decided to come back immediately. We just set the date for April trip to Shizuoka & can't wait for it!
We loved this place!
The reason for returning to the same place is not solely the wonderful destination, but also the lovely guesthouse where we enjoyed our stay, as it provided just what we needed:
Warm huge shower
Mentioning this first, as we valued it the most upon arriving from the mountain with our freezing fingers. Bathroom and shower is shared, as in most guest houses, but nice and neat. The house owners also allowed us to use their washing machine, which was essential for our minimalist baggage.
Comfortable futon in a private well-heated room on the upper level of the house.
The house is large - it has 7 rooms, which is humongous for Japanese housing standards. The family is staying in 'one wing' of the house, while they offer ground floor mixed dormitory, as well as upper level private rooms to guests. Our Japanese style tatami room was comfortable and in the morning, we opened the windows to the nice view of the mountains.
Surfboard and motorcycle parking
Since we only packed the essentials into our tank bags, we didn't have space for a bike cover. That's why Backpackers Furyu's parking spot was ideal. Next to the entrance, there's a small hut for keeping any means of transportation, rental bicycles, surfboards (owners are dedicated surfers and in the summer, this place is a good surfing area), and at this time, our two motorcycles. It's a safe rural street, where the bikes can be kept safe and dry in any weather.
Common area's fireplace with 2 giant sofas and an extremely comfy terrace with a nice view of the mountains that are ideal for a post-trip rejuvenation.
Assuming that our bodies are a bit stiff from all-day ride, the owner, Mr Takashi, handed us his foam roller. We couldn't ask for anything more really!
And the most important detail: The human factor
Do you agree there is something magnificently unusual about this hostel drinking ice arrangement?
We were puzzled until the Mr. Takashi explained about his former job as a sushi chef in Hamamatsu. When his sushi restaurant closed down, he became a bamboo lumberjack, and ever since he spends the majority of his day in a bamboo forest.
Juts as harmonious as his sushi/tree-cutting skills application is also his family/business. The house is a happy home, and his wife and 2 kids know how to balance joy and hangouts with business professionalism. Guesthouse owners often face a challenge of being too friendly (which often turns into uncontrollable trouble) or too cold (which makes guests feel unwelcome). At guesthouse Furyu we felt like at our own vacation house.
As I arrived to the common area after shower, I entered a surprisingly casual atmosphere. While the woman of the house prepared dinner for the family, the daughter did her homework at the table while the son Skyped a friend on the sofa, sitting opposite of Kazuto who was engaged in a relaxing conversation with the woman of the household. As I laughed at situation, Kazuto just introduced me to "his new family". It definitely looked like that!
Extra bamboo for action-ready guests
We immediately met a German backpacker Konstantin, who quit his job to travel, and is exploring Japan before taking a boat to Korea (from Fukuoka). Together we took bicycles from the front entrance to the nearest convenience store and purchased some snacks and drinks. As we got comfortable on the sofa, Mr. Takashi returned from a hangout with friends, and together with his colleague (who is also staying at the guesthouse) we enjoyed drinks and laughs long into the night.
As the lumberjacks described their work, it made us all want to experience a day in their shoes. Then they proposed an unexpected offer: They would let Konstantin stay for free for additional 2 nights, if he'd help them in the bamboo forest the next day, carrying and stacking cut trees. He went for it, and the next day we heard great stories about their day in the woods together. During the evening hangout with another guest (a friendly Okinawan girl who used to study in Shizuoka), the lumberjacks instructed Konstantin how tomake his own sushi plate and chopsticksout of bamboo.
We also received 2 gift plates from the Mr. Takashi, and we regularly use them fish dinners now.
What we liked about the stay was the feeling that everyone is sincerely acting according to their sentiments, and we immediately adored the host family, their strong character, harmony and relaxed, but professional attitude.
Extra note: I jammed the toilet in the morning. No one stressed about it and they immediately called someone to fix it. Words cannot explain how stressed I was about it, and how little it took to feel relieved and happy upon the quick solution.