Kiunkaku is a sightseeing spot with approximately 10,000 m2 of lush green grounds that includes a Japanese-style building that retains the beauty of a traditional Japanese house, a Western-style building with an exotic atmosphere, and a Japanese-style garden with a path around a central pond, where visitors can enjoy seasonal views. The base of the villa was built in 1919 by Nobuya Uchida, a Taisho and Showa-era (1912-1989) politician and businessman who was also known as a shipping magnate, for his mother to rest and recuperate. The famous villa, which was praised as one of the “Three Great Villas of Atami,” changed owners over time, and was reborn as the “Kiunkaku” ryokan (Japanese inn) in 1947. Kiunkaku has welcomed numerous guests and is said to have been loved by some of Japan’s greatest writers, including Yuzo Yamamoto, Naoya Shiga, Junichiro Tanizaki, and Osamu Dazai. It was acquired by Atami City in 2000 and opened to the public as a center for culture and tourism.
Highlights include a number of historic buildings reminiscent of the Taisho era (1912-1926). The Japanese-style building “Kirin,” with its traditional Japanese architectural feel, is also characterized by its simplicity but with pioneering technology throughout. The tatami hallway, which is aligned at the same height as the tatami room, is believed to be a thoughtful gesture for his own mother, who used a wheelchair. In addition, visitors can tour Western-style buildings with a unique atmosphere that blends Japanese, Chinese, and European styles, such as “Kongo,” a Western-style building with a Roman-style bathroom, and “Tamahime,” a Western-style building with a sun room based on art deco design. We also recommend relaxing with a cup of coffee and a view of the garden in the elegant “Yasuragi” tearoom, which utilizes a bar from its ryokan era.