This is a series of consecutive extension and renovation projects for a time-honored onsen ryokan (hot spring inn) established in 1843. Located in Tsuetate-onsen(杖立温泉) Hot Springs in Aso-gun, Kumamoto Prefecture, our goal was to revitalize and enhance this historic establishment.

Three Detached Suites ″ Dougyouninin″ [2004]

As an extension to the main building of the ryokan, three detached suites were built, each featuring a private open-air bath. These suites have been named ″ Dougyouninin* (同行二人) ″ * to pay tribute to the episode in which Kobo Daishi, a revered Japanese Buddhist monk, founded the Tsuetate-onsen.

Individually, the buildings are named ″ Asa-ake (朝明け, dawn),″ ″ Hidamari (日溜り, a sunny corner),″ and ″ Tsukiyo (月夜, moonlit night),″ symbolizing different moments in a day. To enhance their unique ambiance, the interiors of these buildings exhibit distinct moods. Wooden pillars and beams are stained in theme colors of red, white, and black, aligning with the imagery evoked by their respective names.

Strategic consideration was given to the location of these buildings, taking advantage of the curves and changing currents of the Tsuetate River. The layout and openings were meticulously planned to ensure that each building offers a distinct and captivating view, leaving a lasting impression on guests.

″ Dogyoninin″ translates to ″ Two Traveling Companions″ in English. It conveys the concept of two individuals journeying together.
Japanese Buddhist pilgrims often write the phrase on their hats to remind themselves that they are traveling with Kobo Daishi, a revered monk in the late 8th and early 9th century.

Dining Space Renovation [2007]

This exclusive dining space is reserved solely for guests, offering original Japanese cuisine crafted by the owner, a chef trained in Kyoto. The space is accessed through a dark moody corridor, reminiscent of the alleys in Kyoto.

″ Emine″ Guestroom Renovation [2009]

This guestroom in the main building was renovated from its original folk art style to a sukiya-style when the new head of the family took over the inn.
A counter and low chairs were installed near the window, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the view of the greenery, enhancing their experience to relax and savor the scenery.

Library Renovation [2012]

Two previously unused guestrooms were repurposed into a library lounge.
It also incorporates a bar space, where various events such as wine and sake tasting could be hosted.

Interior view of ″ Asa-ake (朝明け, dawn)″ Suite
Interior view of ″ Hidamari (日溜り, a sunny corner)″ Suite


Location Tsuetate, Oguni Town, Aso District, Kumamoto
Major Use Ryokan (Inn)
Structure Wood
Floors 2
Site Area 2,618.1m2
Building Area 137.68m2 (Floor Area of Expansion)
Total Floor Area 213.43m2 (Floor Area of Expansion)
Architect Kei Iwata
Construction Matsuoka Koumuten, Nuruyu Koumuten
Photographs Kei Iwata
Completion 2003-2012
Remarks Expansion and Refurbishment
Interior view of ″ Asa-ake (朝明け, dawn)″ Suite
Interior view of ″ Hidamari (日溜り, a sunny corner)″ Suite

d/dt Arch.のサービス、設計・監理業務のご相談、