I want to give back to Tanegashima.
I think that Tanegashima preserves the old-fashioned country feel of Japan. I've traveled to many places to enjoy surfing, but I fell in love with Tanegashima from the very beginning. Just like we can feel compatibility with people, I think the same is true with places. My boss and my friends advised against it, but I left my job at a hotel in Yokohama and a year later, moved to Tanegashima. I didn't have any leads for work, but I was able to bring in some income for a while by growing rice and sweet potatoes, then selling them online.
The impetus for starting an inn was from providing visitors with food I had grown, which made me want to interact with people by serving meals to them. I also got married and had children, so I wanted to be able to spend time with my family. Because I didn't have any capital, everything has been made by hand. We were total beginners, but we had a lot of help from many people and were able to finish the inn. It might not be all that much to look at, but a lot of love has gone into the building.
Living on Tanegashima has given me a tangible experience of warmth and support. The local people helped me by offering the land at an affordable price, providing us with food, and lending their knowledge and energy when we needed it. So, I want to return those favors. Another goal was wanting to invite guests by using the inn as a bridge between city life and country life. I want people to enjoy the beauty of simplicity, without frills.
■ Favorite places on Tanegashima
The western shore on the south side of the island.
Seeing the sunset over the ocean and our neighbor island Yakushima makes me feel rejuvenated.
It's a splendid sight.