Yufuin, my favorite spot(No.3)Kamenoi-besso hotel:tea room "Gallery"

July 29, 1996

The curtain of my Yufuin Music Festival rises at The Gallery and falls at The Gallery.

It is now the opening day of the Y.M.F. We still have a lot of time for us staff to gather for meeting. Most preparations were already made by yesterday. Now I have a little time to think about what will come from now.

Just behind a straw-thatched cottage, Mt.Yufu comes so close that its summit is invisible. Green fresh breeze and bright morning sunshine are frolicking on the balcony under the deep blue sky of mid-summer.

In the dim space of The Gallery is my favorite big wooden table. I ask the visitors around the table to share it. Cool water of Yufuin is served in a wonderful glass. I of course order coffee as usual. Neatly dripped coffee soon comes on the table with a pot.

I look forward upon the possible encounter with people and music on the Y.M.F. starting today. How pleasant it is to work with staff and enjoy excellent music! My heart is completely occupied by the festival before I enjoy the second cup of coffee. Now, I will go out of The Gallery and do my best............

Now everything has finished! Splendid music, many new friends, and then farewell. I have spent wonderful six days with young people of Yufuin this year as usual. I had made up mind from the beginning to visit The Gallery in Kamenoi Besso Garden complex to take breakfast of the last day.

I shared the round table with those friends of mine such as from the US, Jim, to join the festival, a young staff nicknamed Happy, and my husband.

Mr.Taro Nakaya of Kamenoi had waited for us. He is a nice guy who certainly inherits looks and humor of his father, incumbent president Kentaro Nakaya, and talks full of wisdom. He is also my comrade who worked together at the Festival. He is of the same age as my son, which increases my intimate sense with him.

Not only American Jim, who look around in curiosity, but also everyone will be interested in this housing. It is said the structure was once an old brewery in late Edo era. Taro explains pleasantly: "Yes the structure was built when I was in the first grade of an elementary school. The construction site was our playground." It was just when I had moved to Oita and resorted to Yufuin.

Taro continues, "The structure was brought from Yoshii town of Fukuoka prefecture. Because carpenters rushed to demolish the original structure, it was difficult to restore it. Structure parts couldn't find their right place to be built-in. As some parts were missing, steel beams were used to support it, but they were camouflaged by bamboo cover as you see now." Luckily, the beams are now turned out to be tasetefully built.

Taro goes on: "When we restored this structure, we intended to modify it to a shopping store but we soon noticed that the ceiling is high enough to hold a huge space. Finally we turned it to a tea shop. You are now sitting where once was a lounge of brewery masters. But as there was no budget to prepare required equipment, we went to town office and railroad station to ask if they had remaining chairs to be scrapped."

Here are some of them as I see now, big comfortable single chair seen in a town office. Well starched white covers of the chair also match to the dim space surrounded by large columns and beams of timber shining in black. The big round table in the center was once the bottom plate of a huge wooden sake cask.

A small wooden box is lifted up by manual pulley to bring menu, wet towel to the attic seat. Ordered tea and cake are also lifted by this box which is very popular to visitors because of its labor-saving design.

My breakfast was fresh juice, bread steaming hot and just out of the oven, and jam of the season. Bread is gently wrapped in napkin to keep warmth to the end, apricot jam is the special brand of Kotokoto-ya. Wooden hand dish and wooden butter knife also ease my mind.

Taro expands his dream. I feel Yufuin will be a town where young people can tell their dream, where adults warmly watch the young, where new life is inspired to old casks, where abounds in green breeze, sunshine, and hot springs, where can offer the healing under the cooperation of the young and the elder. Each year, musicians and visitors come together to see people in Yufuin, fully healed in the nature, and leave the town to their home grounds.

The Yufuin Music Festival of the year was over. Comfortable fatigue, still remaining sound of music, rustling of green leaves, and flickering sunshine through the foliage make my heart ease and pleasant.

Kamennoi-Besso hotel : tea room hGalleryh-- Kawakami , Yufuin, Oita , Japan

Tel.0977-84-3166 , Fax0977-84-2356

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