The building sits on grounds around 5000m2 and was built at the foot of Mount Sakado which is a nationally designated cultural property where Sakadao Castle once stood when around 200 years ago during the Bunka Bunsei Period it was built from buildings that were relocated having served as the mansions of village heads and rich farmers. There are several instances of interesting folk architecture that can be found around Tohoku and Niigata on display at ryugon such as the chumonzukuri that protrudes out from the main building, and the kagotoshi that was built to allow being carried by basket from the living room to the study .
It is an historically important building but it has spent many years standing up to the tough winter conditions of a region notorious for heavy snows, and definitely needed some attention to bring it up to modern standards. It was not just the building itself but also the accommodation that could benefit from a refresh, so HATAGO Isen, an onsen ryokan in Echigo Yuzawa with a proven track record in running an inn with a focus on Snow Country Culture, took over the management of the establishment.
From 龍言 to ryugon
It is here that the fresh nature and the people who live there who have been raised in that pure white world, can come in to contact with travellers from all over the world. A place where you can feel the blessings of the snow through the landscaping, architecture, cuisine, art, activities, and events. Inside the facility you can experience the peace of the countryside throughout the four seasons, and the welcoming hospitality enables one to enjoy truly relaxing times. The memories that remain from the original Ryugon, and the smiles that it brought to people are an integral part of the future of Snow Country and ryugon.
Each winter over 2 meters of snow piles up all around. Then in spring the snow melts and the new shoots of plants start to emerge in the mountains. In summer you can see the blue skies reflected in the rice fields, and in fall the golden sheaves of rice stalks are stirred by the breeze. The life and culture of this land continue through this cycle of the four seasons.
It is hoped that all those who come into contact with this area will have an unforgettable experience and create some special memories. ryugon aims to be an accommodation that is thankful for the blessing of the snow and wishes to foster an understanding in travellers for this land and its culture.
ryugon Project member
Connection to the Snow Country Tourism Zone
Isen K.K. Director Tomohiro Iguchi
This area has developed a specific Snow Country Culture typified by coexistence with the snow that has continued since the Jomon Period around 8000 years ago. Ryugon, which has created a cultural asset in the form of a landowner's mansion by reusing old buildings that have fallen into disrepair over the years, will from now on become ryugon and carry this tradition of Snow Country into a sustainable future.
Life in a region of heavy snow has to start with gratitude for the blessings that the snow brings. With the aim of being "an inn that fosters the sensitivity of the traveler and the culture of the region", we would like to communicate the value of the Snow Country Culture to the world.
We will continue the the traditions of Snow Country Culture that have been passed down around the region for food, activities, and architecture.
We will try to reduce our environmental impact, for example by installing a cooling system that runs off well water.
We will undertake initiatives to restore the natural environment of Mount Sakado which is a nationally designated cultural property.
In order to cater to the various needs of our customers we will endeavor to pursue versatility and functionality, not just limited to the scope of the ryokan.