The Beauty of Gunma & Sekizenkan

Jul 20, 2019

The Beauty of Gunma Prefecture

When was the last time you stayed in a 328 year old hotel?


Me either, until the other day!

Regardless of how exotic it may seem to those living outside of Japan, in fact life is full of mundane and daily routines, and mine is really no exception.

However, thanks to my wife and life tour guide, we booked a room in the historical Japanese Style Inn in Shima called Seizenkan Ryokan.

Sekizenkan Japanese Ryokan

This historic Japanese Style Inn has three building with the original building of the Sekizenkan Ryokan was built in 1691, and this building is known as the oldest hot spring hotel in Japan.
The second building, the Sanso Building was created in 1936 using techniques of the master builders of the time, with the fixtures in each room containing delicate workmanship, helping to make this a building beloved by politicians and prominent authors, and I can attest to the beauty of these rooms.

The third building, known as the Kashotei is located deep in the pine forest. Nothing quite like the fresh smell of the pristine pine forest wafting into your room as you sip Japanese rice wine while ponder the meaning of life.

Due the history and architectural design, the Main Building, the Sanso Building, and the Genroku no Yu hot spring baths have been designated as cultural assets of Japan.

Furthermore, to add to the deep sense of history and the importance of this national treasure, this Japanese Style Inn has been the model for movies and animated films.

For example the Seikizen Ryokan served as a model for Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film “Spirited Away”,

If you are not familiar with this excellent anime, then please check at the following link:

Spirited Away

The Seikizen Ryokan was also used as a filming location for the movie “Heaven Station”, staring Sayuri Yoshinaga

Station to Heaven

Starring Sayuri Yoshinaga.

As we were driving along the pristine mountain windy road, all of the sudden, a song started playing as we are driving across the road!
Now, what could this be?

Lo and behold it was a musical road!

I had never heard of this marvellous invention until I drove on this stretch of incredible road while on our merry way to the Seikizenkan Ryokan.

It really never ceases to amaze me what the Japanese create and this is certainly no exception. What a wonderful thing to unexpectedly experience while driving along the country road.

What exactly is a Musical road?

Check out this Musical Road In Japan.

If you ever have the chance to go to this historical Japanese Style Inn in Shima Gunma prefecture called Seizenkan Ryoka, I think you will think what I thought, and that is:

Extremely awesome!

As I walked these hallowed halls of this historic Japanese Style Inn, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of Japanese history and culture in a deep and profound way.

I thought of the Samurai warriors in chonmage (top knots), drinking sake by the oil lamps and planning attacks on other clans while strategizing their next move.

Intriguing to say the least.

So, when are you going to go to the Seizenkan Ryokan in Shima, Gunma prefecture ?