A traditional Japanese garden at Mikami's house. (Photo: Bonson Lam)

Mikami's Merchant House at Miyazu

Sake and tea parties at a historic seaside villa

Bonson Lam   - 1 min read

Miyazu is a beautiful port city, and as Kyoto's gateway to the Japan Sea, played an important part of its trade with the outside world. As you walk around the city, you will realise that many of the streets rotate outwards from the waterfront wharves. Mr Mikami was a prosperous merchant in this castle town, trying his hand in sake making, shipping as well as trading textiles. You can see the legacy of his lifetime's work at his house, with its stone garden as its focal point. The south facing garden allowed sunlight to bathe the surrounding rooms, giving it a spacious and warm feel even in winter. Take a seat on the wooden patio and imagine the days a few centuries ago when visiting merchants would relax over tea or sake as the sun and moon made its way across the skies over the garden. Mikami's house is short walk or cycle ride from Seikiro Ryokan, where you can relive the grandeur of Kyoto's past in a spacious ryokan, or Japanese bed and breakfast.

Bonson Lam

Bonson Lam @bonson.lam

I knew my future was destined to be with Japan the moment I flew from Sydney to experience the atmospheric laneways of Kyoto last century.  I am humbled to have met many distinguished people during this time, especially the national living treasures of Japan, such as the doll maker to the Imperia...