Old Nakasendo Walk: Mochizuki. How Much to Buy Old Japanese Inn? This One Was 120,000USD


Mochizuki on old nakasendo, idenoya inn on sale

nice and old inn we came across on old nakasendo walk from tokyo to kyoto 22 days

Stayed there. Used as the film set for "Inugami family". It is on Nakasendo route.   All rights reserved by onegai kaeru
Idenoya Ryokan in 2016 when we stayed there. Used as the film set for a very famous Japanese film called "Inugami family". It is on Nakasendo route. Unfortunately the ryokan was closed in May, 2023 All rights reserved by onegai kaeru

Have not seen "Inugami family" from 1976 version? You must see it if you like a suspense movie. The inn is seen from the very beginning of the movie. 

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Exploring Mochizuki area on Old Nakasendo: A Nostalgic Journey Through Time


In 2016, we embarked on a memorable journey along the old Nakasendo route, one of Japan's historic walk way between Tokyo and Kyoto.

Our adventure brought us to a charming stop called Mochizuki (望月), the 25th post town from Edo on the Nakasendo, steeped in history and local culture.


Mochizuki-juku, as it was known during its heyday, was a bustling hub in the mid-19th century. According to the 1843 "Nakasendo Shukuson Taigaicho," Mochizuki-juku housed 82 establishments, including one honjin (principal inn), one waki-honjin (secondary inn), and nine hatago (lodging houses), with a population of 360. Today, Mochizuki has become part of Saku City following a merger in 2005, yet it retains much of its historical charm.


An Old Inn with Rich History: Idenoya


Our stay in Mochizuki was highlighted by our experience at Idenoya, a historic inn nestled in the heart of the old post town. This inn, built in 1924, originally served as a ryotei (traditional Japanese restaurant) in the early Showa period. Located at 254 Mochizuki, Saku City, Nagano Prefecture, Idenoya offered us a unique glimpse into Japan's past.


The inn has only six guest rooms, ensuring a cozy and intimate atmosphere. We checked in at 16:00 and checked out at 10:00 AM the next morning. There was no toilet and bath in your room. All shared. You need to reserve your bath time. 


Idenoya is also famous for its connection to Japanese cinema. It was used as a filming location for the 1995 movie "Kimi wo Wasurenai," featuring actors Maki Mizuno and Takashi Sorimachi. At the time of our visit, there was no indication of the inn being sold, but the current owners have since decided to sell the property due to old age and financial difficulties exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The price was told to be around 18mil JPY which is around 120,000USD. Cheap or expensive?


The inn's historical value is significant, having also been a filming location for the 1976 mystery film "The Inugami Family," directed by Kon Ichikawa. This movie, based on a novel by Seishi Yokomizo, featured the legendary detective Kindaichi Kosuke, played by Koji Ishizaka. The inn, depicted as the "Nasu Hotel" in the film, boasts a rustic charm with its wooden structure and traditional design. In that movie, you could see a lake from the guest room but in fact we could not see any lake..


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A Taste of Traditional Japanese Sweets


On a particularly warm day in Mochizuki, we craved ice cream. With no convenience stores in the area, we found on a google map a Japanese sweet shop called Kigetsudo. The shop owner welcomed us warmly and shared stories about the town. He explained how Mochizuki, once a vibrant community which lost people over time, now has faced challenges following its merger with Saku City. The closure of nearby schools and hospitals forced residents to travel further for essential services, making daily life more difficult.  The owner used to study in Tokyo area when he was young and was so impressed by the fact that so many people living in Tokyo and if he opened a sweet shop in Tokyo, he would have had a different life..

The sweet shop's offerings were delicious, a testament to the enduring quality of traditional Japanese confectionery. And they had ice cream! We totally recommend you to go there. You can tell the owner that you hear from us.


Dining Next to the Inn


For dinner, we dined at a restaurant adjacent to Idenoya that served both Chinese and Japanese cuisine called Iseya. The restaurant's staff regaled us with tales of the inn's past, including its brief stint as a dance hall/disco. We also learned that during the filming of "The Inugami Family," the restaurant had generously provided free electricity to the film crew, a favor they half-jokingly regretted.


Our meal was a delightful blend of flavors, reflecting the fusion of cultures and culinary traditions. The warmth and hospitality of the restaurant staff made our dining experience even more enjoyable.


Reflections on Mochizuki


Our trip to Mochizuki was a journey through time, allowing us to connect with Japan's rich history and the resilient spirit of its people. The stories we heard and the places we visited left a lasting impression on us. Despite the changes and challenges the town has faced, Mochizuki remains a gem along the Nakasendo, offering visitors a unique glimpse into the past and a taste of traditional Japanese culture.


As we reflect on our experience, we hope that more municipalities and companies will continue to organize tours to places like Mochizuki. These tours not only preserve the cultural heritage of such towns but also provide a meaningful connection for visitors to Japan's storied past.

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Source: Irasutoya
Enjoy bars in Japan. Dont drink too much!! Source: Irasutoya

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