A Japanese garden stretched outside the curtained window of Kiunkaku's Western-style building

Window of Kiunkaku
Window of Kiunkaku
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I think Atami City has made a good purchase. What did they buy? That would have to be the Kiunkaku. It was originally built as a villa for Nobuya Uchida, who made a fortune in the shipping industry, and was praised as one of the three great villas in Atami, along with the Iwasaki Villa of the Mitsubishi conglomerate and the now defunct Sumitomo Villa. In 1947, the villa was purchased by Hyogoro Sakurai, who was running a hotel business in Kanazawa, and since then it was a ryokan called Kiunkaku.

After becoming a ryokan, Kiunkaku became one of the most famous hotels in Atami, and many of Japan's greatest writers, including Yuzo Yamamoto, Naoya Shiga, Junichiro Tanizaki, Osamu Dazai, Seiichi Funabashi, and Taijun Takeda, often stayed there. It is said that Dazai Osamu wrote his novel "Ningen Shikkaku" in the Taihou no Ma at Kiunkaku. At the end of the 1990s, Kiunkaku's management came to a standstill, and in 2000, the city of Atami purchased the property. As a result, the cultural asset was preserved and became a tourist resource, so it was probably a good purchase.

The name "Kiiunkaku" and the history of the building as a Japanese inn may give you the impression that the buildings on the site are only Japanese architecture. In fact, there is a Western-style building built by Kaichiro Nezu, the second owner of the property (the Nezu Museum was built to preserve and exhibit his collection). The photo shows the view through the window of the western-style building. Because it is a Western-style building, the curtains were hung, but outside was a Japanese garden with well-branched pine trees.

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Shooting Date

Oct 2021

Posted On

December 16, 2021

Modified On

August 16, 2023


Atami, Shizuoka


Architectural Photography



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