In early October a Japanese association called NOTE opened up a series of historic hotels in the Sasayama Castle Town in Hyogo Prefecture. The boutique hotels are located in traditional and historic Japanese homes that have been carefully restored. NOTE currently has 11 hotel suites in four buildings in the town, and operates them under their NIPPONIA Sasayama Castle Town Hotel brand. They have also converted a former bank (c1934) in Toyooka into a hotel, restaurant and cafe.
NOTE is a Sasayama-based association that was established in 2009 with the purpose of reinvigorating rural areas through restoring old and vacant houses, promoting tourism and supporting local businesses. The food served in the hotel restaurants, for example, is sourced locally to support the town’s farmers, while staff are hired locally where possible.
NOTE is aiming to have 10 hotels in operation by the 2020 Olympics.