Stay At Chigasaki-Kan, An Inn That Inspired Japan's Greatest Filmmakers

Stay At Chigasaki-Kan, An Inn That Inspired Japan's Greatest Filmmakers
| 4 min read

Chigasaki-kan, located by Chigasaki beach in Kanagawa prefecture is a Japanese style historical ryokan (Japanese style traditional inn), built back in 1899, and is loved by famous Japanese film directors such as Yasujiro Ozu. It is only an hour from Tokyo and is a quiet ryokan by the beach. It is registered as Japan’s National Tangible Cultural Property and the historical building provides a warm and welcoming melancholy feeling. If you are looking for a more traditional-style Japanese ryokan, sleeping on tatami mats, this is the place where you want to stay.

Welcome to Chigasaki-kan

stay at chigasaki-kan, an inn that inspired japan's greatest filmmakers | welcome to chigasaki-kan

About an hour ride by train from busy Tokyo life, the city of Chigasaki welcomes you with a smell of the sea breeze. In this famous beach town, which recently became a sister city to Honolulu, is Chigasaki-kan. In order to get to Chigasaki-kan, you need to walk 20 minutes away from the train station towards the beach or take a taxi for 3 minutes.

Chigasaki-kan is a historical Japanese style ryokan, which was built back in 1899, thus it has a rich history that spans through four Japanese eras, Meiji, Taisho, Showa, and Heisei. Because of 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, the original Chigasaki-kan was heavily damaged, so the Chigasaki-kan that exists today was rebuilt back in the Taisho era.

Join the crowds flocking to experience a traditional Japanese-style stay

stay at chigasaki-kan, an inn that inspired japan's greatest filmmakers | join the crowds flocking to experience a traditional japanese-style stay

Chigasaki-kan is one of those ryokan which is only for people in the know. It is not advertised, but especially those international travelers who are looking for a more traditional Japanese style stay over a typical hotel visit seek their way here. Of course, for Japanese people it is also a place which provides a melancholy and warm feeling that many of modern houses today cannot. On the day of my visit, a couple from Hong Kong just traveling to Kyoto came to Chigasaki-kan. They indicated that they came particularly to Chigasaki because of Chigasaki-kan.

Experience the magic created at Chigasaki-kan

stay at chigasaki-kan, an inn that inspired japan's greatest filmmakers | experience the magic created at chigasaki-kan

What is so special about Chigasaki-kan is the magic created at this ryokan by famous Japanese screenwriters and film directors. One of the most well-known historical Japanese screen writers who loved staying at Chigasaki-kan is Yasujiro Ozu. His creations are not only appreciated in Japan, but have received international recognition. Yasujiro Ozu enjoyed staying at Chigasaki-kan and wrote his films while his actors and actresses also accompanied him in staying here. The symbolic actress of Yasujiro Ozu’s films, actress Setsuko Hara, also used to stay at Chigasaki-kan.

Today, film directors, such as Hirokazu Koreeda, also stay at Chigasaki-kan so that they can be inspired like Yasujiro Ozu to write their films. Hirokazu Koreeda’s most well-known work is “Soshite chichi ni naru/Like Father Like Son,” which received the Jury Prize at the 66th Festival de Cannes.

If you are an aspiring writer or a film director, maybe by staying at Chigasaki-kan you can get inspired and write a great film like these Japanese screenwriters and film directors.

Take in the beautiful Taisho work that still exists today

stay at chigasaki-kan, an inn that inspired japan's greatest filmmakers | take in the beautiful  taisho work that still exists today

As I said earlier, today’s Chigasaki-kan is the work of the Taisho era because of the Great Kanto Earthquake back in 1923. There are some areas of the ryokan, which have been renovated since then, but it is a traditional Japanese ryokan, so the owner has expressed that it is not a fancy hotel, and it has history. You may feel the history through the sound of the wooden hallways when you walk around the building.

Some of the renovations, which have taken place at Chigasaki-kan have allowed for a wider range of visitors to this ryokan. Not all, but some areas of Chigasaki-kan have been made accessible for those with disabilities. In addition, rather than having a big bath for everyone to bathe, they have created a few smaller baths so that some people who like to bathe alone can enjoy bathing by themselves as well. The stained glass in this picture is in the ceiling of the larger bathroom.

From Chigasaki to Honolulu, Hawaii!

from chigasaki to honolulu, hawaii!

Right at the entrance of Chigasaki-kan, you see a lot of things related to Hawaii. If you do not know, you may wonder why there is so much of Hawaii here. Well, it is because Chigasaki recently became a sister city to Honolulu. As a popular beach and surf town in Japan, this is a welcome opportunity for Chigasaki. Thanks to this, and along with international travelers wanting to have a more traditional Japanese experience, Chigasaki-kan is slowly attracting more international travelers. The day I visited, the owner mentioned that the mayor of Honolulu stayed at Chigasaki-kan before and that the vice mayor will be staying here in the near future.

The owner of Chigasaki-kan is a very friendly and welcoming lady in her 70s. She said that with the recent growth of international travelers, she is learning English and trying to communicate with travelers with broken English. She indicated that is it hard to pick up English in her 70s, but she seems very delighted to have many international visitors choosing Chigasaki-kan over other establishments. If you are traveling to Chigasaki-kan, make sure to speak slowly and choose simple terms so that she can work with you. She is a very friendly and smiley lady who is like your grandma back home.

A one of a kind stay at Chigasaki-kan

If you are looking for a true Japanese experience, Chigasaki-kan is a great place to stay. It is just minutes from the beach, and a feeling of privacy provides a both relaxing and refreshing atmosphere away from a busy city. It has so much history that if you are staying I highly recommend you to talk to the owner, as she can tell you the incredible history of Chigasaki-kan including the earthquake, movie directors writing scripts, and international visitors around the world visiting. The rooms start from 5,800 JPY (49 USD) and there are three types of accommodation to choose from. You can also pay an additional amount for breakfast and dinner. It is not surprising there are many guests who keep coming back each time they visit Japan.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

Sayaha Aida has been traveling internationally since the early age of 15. She has lived internationally in Japan, England, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the United States (Miami and San Francisco)...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Chigasaki
Good things are meant to be shared!
Back to top