After carefully removing your shoes, climb the steep, winding steps up to the main rooms of your private Japanese “home” – a one-room inn located above a coffee shop in the small Shikoku town of Uchiko.
If you’ve ever wanted to pretend, even for a day, that you lived a traditional Japanese lifestyle, then traveling to the north coast of Shikoku island for a stay in the small town of Uchiko will give you a unique opportunity to do just that. Cocoro Inn is a one party inn located above a coffee shop. When you arrive, the owners give you a key to the side door and show you around. Upstairs is a large 12-tatami central room, an adjoining bedroom with low beds, a 6-tatami dressing area and a small bathroom. After the shop closes, you have access to the rest of the place – including a downstairs sitting room, a private garden and the private bath with large round wooden tub located behind the garden. A selection of yukata, some tea, a guest book to occupy your evening and pretty soon you’re right at home, padding around on the tatami and enjoying the amazing privacy of your own small-town retreat. The town of Uchiko has developed a small tourist area of interesting shops and places to visit. There’s a wonderful candle maker there who still hand-dips no-drip candles made from a special plant wax. Scoring some of these souvenirs will provide you as unique a travel gift as your experience in the town itself. Here are some pictures from the inn: