Fujiya Hotel, Miyanoshita
“Arrived at the village, we girded our loins, and refusing the aid of jinrikishas beyond hiring one for our handbags, we commenced our climb of 1,200 feet to the famous village of Miyanoshita.
“Some may say that it must have been a toil to climb these 1,200 feet on a hot July day. Not at all. We were free from the trammels of society and could take off our coats without any fear of suddenly meeting with other Europeans. Then the refreshing tea houses. perched upon projecting rocks commanding some of the most beautiful scenery. afforded havens of rest. As we approached these places we were greeted by the proprietors and invited to recline and drink tea. an invitation we invariably accepted. Thus, after two hours climbing, resting, and tea drinking, we entered the village of Miyanoshita.
“This place has gained a wonderful reputation as a health resort. Cool in summer, it is comparatively warm in winter, thus attracting visitors all the year round. To meet the needs of foreign visitors, a large hotel [Fujiya Hotel] has been built affording all the comforts which an American or European traveller can reasonably hope to have anywhere. This palatial hotel had no attraction for us when there was the counter attraction of two or three large Japanese inns where we could stay.”
– “A Holiday in Japan”, Rev. J.W. Heywood, The Journal of the Manchester Geographical Society, Vol. 17, 1901
“Rumours had reached us of the charms of what was talked-of amongst Japanese as a delightful resort in the mountains, so Mr. Barrow determined to investigate it … His object was to find Miyanoshita on foot, and although it was considered a very venturesome thing for one man alone to take the trip he reached his destination without incident, meeting, as the saying is, no one worse than himself, and receiving the greatest politeness from the numberless Japanese he met on the Tokaido, and every attention of the villages where he stayed the two nights he spent on the way.
“… From Miyanoshita [Barrow] wrote that he found the perfect Paradise in the hills, and the accounts he gave us afterwards of delightful experiences so excited our interest that a party of four – Jack Fraser, Henry Barlow, Adolf Milsom, and myself – made the trip the following year, and found Barrow’s description had in no way exaggerated things.
‘To inhale that air, and to bathe in the soft waters heated for you in the subterranean furnances, is the main business of life in this hill village. The only industry of the place, apart from guides, tea-houses, and waiting musume, is the manufacture of all kinds of small articles from the wood of the various timber trees growing on the hills around … Many of the woods employed, such as the camphor, the ivy, kaki, kari, and sedan, are of great beauty, and there seems to be almost nothing that a Japanese turner cannot produce from them.'”
– “Old Days and Old Scenes”, J.P. Mollison, Japan Daily Mail, May 2, 1903