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Masaki Yokogawa, Owner of Guest House Pongyi

Accommodation is an important element of any trip. Kanazawa has a variety of accommodations, including guest houses, which provide tourists with a wider range of lodging options. Today we interviewed Masaki Yokogawa, owner of Pongyi, the first guest house in the city.

– Can you tell us about Pongyi?

The building itself is a converted old town house, and most equipment here is second-hand. Me and my friend did some interior construction by ourselves. Despite the initial circumstances, we reached the No.12 spot in TripAdvisor’s “Most popular hotels among foreign tourists in Japan 2013”. I think our spirit of omotenashi, the heart of Japanese hospitality, has been well-received.

– What do you think are the advantages of a guest house?

First of all, the low cost. Another key feature of guest houses is that lodgers can mingle with other people including the staff. At Pongyi, we always enjoy cross-cultural exchanges through doing things together, like going to the public bath, shopping at Omi-cho Market, or making and having a meal. Each guest house in Kanazawa has its own character. Pick one that seems to suit you!

– How do you like Kanazawa?

Kanazawa is a place where traditional culture still thrives, providing an interesting contrast of old and new. It is also famous as a city of music and art. No other city in Japan offers these amazing attractions. Through running a guest house, I have the feeling that Kanazawa is no longer just a stopover between Kyoto and Takayama, but that it has become a key tourist destination. I think this city is now drawing more attention from abroad.

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