Tristan Scholze

Meguruya: Classy Travelers' Café

Turn back time in a traditional Meiji-period home

Tristan Scholze
Tristan Scholze   - 2 min read

The little historic port town of Yunotsu, known for its hot springs and the nearby Iwami Silver Mines (both are World Heritage Sites), has several cafes, inns, and bathhouses in remodeled old buildings along its single winding lane. But memories of Meguruya in particular stand out in my mind long after my visit.

The exterior of the 120-year-old, but well-kept, wooden home shows the traditional clean simplicity Japan is famous for. When I first passed it while driving at night, just a glimpse was enough to tell me it was interesting, though I wasn't sure what it was. Not until the next day on my way out of town did I decide to take a peek inside.

Entering the first floor of the café from the street, you’ll see ground level space making an “L” around a raised platform of beautiful hardwood flooring. This enables the designer to have tables and chairs in the front of the café while also having comfy sofas and traditional seating on the floor at low tables. The large, slatted windows bring in soft, natural light.

A display of handmade goods for sale, brought back from overseas by the owner himself, also extends from the entrance to the back of the room. On display are earrings, bracelets and other accessories, as well as bags, clothing, and even colorful South American hammocks. On the raised section, along the walls, there’s antique furniture and a slick DJ booth. A narrow wooden staircase with built-in drawers and cabinets rises to the second floor, which acts as the guesthouse space.

An overnight stay upstairs is a very modest 3,800 yen for a single guest or 3,500 for two or more. Meguruya doesn't have a hot spring bath on the property, but there are three fine onsen located just down the road. The café serves an assortment of fair trade tea, original coffee, smoothies, and alcohol as well. They also offer several kinds of pizza, bagel sandwiches, and a variety of tasty cakes and sweets.

Soft, soothing jazz was playing the day I visited, enhancing the relaxing and comforting atmosphere.

廻屋— Meguruya — Meguruya

Tristan Scholze

Tristan Scholze @tristan.scholze

I'm also known as Faer Out. I love learning about people and nature. I've traveled around the world and throughout Japan, and I hope to continue seeing and experiencing the wonder of this planet as long as I live.Based in Japan for nearly two decades, I'm the Regional Partner here for Fukuoka and...