Manager of Ryokan (Inn): Mr. Kiyotsugu Amano

Nishiyama Hot Spring Houraikan

Protecting the “genuine” hot spring

天野 清次

Nishiyama Hot Spring Houraikan
Kiyotsugu Amano
Kiyotsugu Amano
Born on February 3, 1935

Residence :Yujima, Hayakawa
Birthplace :Yujima, Hayakawa
Personalities  : “clumsy” and “goofy”
Favorite words :Being attentive and kind to people.
Learn the wisdom to live
Be meticulous and bold depending on the situation.

Be meticulous and bold depending on the situation.
Interests :sports
The best things in Hayakawa :The change of seasons here is just so gorgeous!
 Spring:
You can feel the presence of spring in the air and see beautiful dotted floral pattern of Azalea on the mountains.  

Summer:
You can feel cool fresh air in mountains, taste good quality of water, see clear sky and the starry night

Fall:
The mountain trees in autumn season is beautiful. Stepping on the fallen leaves and walking around are so much fun.

Winter: You can see such beautiful mountains covered with snow. Those mountains look like being in shape!
Occupation :Manager of Ryokan (Inn)

A man of being “clumsy” and “goofy” at Houraikan

Mr. Amano is 82 years old but seems like working very energetically. And now he is running Houraikan by himself. When entering Houraikan, Mr. Amano will welcome you with such an innocent smile just like a little boy. Houraikan is always full of guests because of his approachable personality (but he calls himself “clumsy” and “goofy”), and the characteristics of hot spring. Now, let’s see what kind of ryokan(inn) Houraikan is.

Houraikan got start to be managed by Mr. Amano’s father in the first place. Mr. Amano was not supposed to take over his father’s job since he was the second child. He had actually started working at a trade company in Tokyo after graduating a university. However, Yamanashi prefecture was hit by a big typhoon which was a historical disaster when he was 24, and the Hayakawa River overflowed. Then, his elder brother who was supposed to take over his father’s job got scared and left Hayakawa town. So, his farther handed over the baton of his business to Mr. Amano.

Mr. Amano has been focusing on “his attitude to keep on learning” since his job got started busy at work. In order to obtain the travel knowledges to learn how to manage the ryokan (inn), he has traveled a lot. When overseas travel became a boom in the world, he took his all employees to overseas research trip every year. Through this opportunities, he expected that his employees would be able to get some ideas and senses for having a good conversation with customers. Mr. Amano’s wife actually paid everything for the employees for this trip with all their gratitude. Because of this, they could gain the trust and make their work go more smoothly. In addition, what he learned at his previous work place that was a trade company, was also useful to make use of his skills for Houraikan’s work. He leaned that it is important to try “to take an initiative in doing whatever others will not, in order to get through difficult times in business.”

Therefore, Houraikan had decided to give priority to guests who visit its therapeutic bath. What the world wishes for hot springs has been changing from a “therapeutic bath” to a sightseeing place”. However, he still has been managing Houraikan as a ryokan (inn) giving priority to visitors using as their therapeutic purpose. He wanted those guests who truly love to use Houraikan’s natural hot spring for their therapeutic purpose. He was massively confident about hot spring of Houraikan, so he could make a decision to run for giving priority to therapeutic bath.

“Genuine” hot spring

Hot-spring cure was a great help for people at that time when it was difficult to see a doctor. The visitors for hot-spring cure wanted to stay longer as long as possible even though they were forced to cook by themselves there. The people knew that the hot spring had therapeutic potential, which is blessings of nature. For Mr. Amano, those guests were ones who really knew the “genuine” natural benefit. So, he wanted any visitors who look for “genuine” hot spring to use this place, therefore he has been running Houraikan even after he became an self-employed and he started to work alone.

Another attractive aspect is that you can enjoy the sinter in the hot spring when the seasons are changing. You can see big sinters in the spring hot water when the season changes from autumn to winter, and from winter to spring. Mr. Amano is also looking forward to seeing the big sinters at this timing. The color of sinters which you can see at Houraikan is orange (gold) and you can see this color of sinters at only this hot spring, Houraikan, in Japan. Houraikan is such a precious hot spring for that.

It seems that Mr. Amano really enjoys talking to customers at Houraikan. He talks to them very friendly and has a lively conversation while putting himself in their shoes. This is he who “loves” and “is proud of ” Houraikan and this is his hospitality for the visitors. He really cares for those people who really love the “genuine” hot spring at Houraikan from his bottom of heart.

Interviewers

Nishiyama Hot Spring HouraikanMr. Hiroyuki Ishibashi (an adjust researcher, Advanced Research Center for Human Sciences)

Mr. Kazuki Tsunoda (a student, Waseda University School of Human Sciences)



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