Relax and enjoy an extraordinary time with a bright color samue that you would not usually wear.

A Therapeutic Hot Spring that Has Continued Since the Nara Period

Tochiomata Onsen is a hot spring resort located deep in the mountains of Uonuma City, Niigata Prefecture. The history of Tochiomata Onsen goes back centuries. It was discovered by the Buddhist monk Gyoki in the Nara period (710-794) and was used as a therapeutic bath in the Edo period (1603-1868). Even today, many visitors stay for long periods of time for physical and mental rejuvenation.

Its Radium spring (radioactive spring water), one of the few such springs in the world, has a lukewarm water temperature of 36 to 38 degrees Celsius. A long, slow soak in the lukewarm water for about two hours warms the body to the core, making it effective for treating coldness, poor blood circulation, and fatigue. It is also known as a "hot spring for fertility.”

A Place Where You Can Take Care of Yourself

There are currently three inns in Tochiomata Onsen, with Hogando located at the highest point among them. Passing through the entrance of the calm, three-story, Japanese-style wooden building, you will find a peaceful space where you can relax and unwind, with its warm Paulownia wood floors and retro-modern interior.

The seven guest rooms on the second and third floors have a nostalgic atmosphere, reminiscent of the Showa period (1926-1989) but are also filled with thoughtful touches for guests, such as the introduction of airweave mattresses made for quality sleep, and new air conditioners to open up more space in the rooms.

The inn's catchphrase is "Unwind your mind and enjoy the five senses.” Over the years, through repeated trials and errors, Hogando has sought to create a comfortable place where each guest can take care of themselves. In fact, because of their efforts, many of the guests are so satisfied with their time there, that they have become regulars.

The first characteristic of the inn is the home-cooked meals prepared by the proprietress and her husband, whom we interviewed this time. The daily dishes, which are prepared using carefully selected local vegetables, are highly acclaimed and have won the "Onsen Culture Award" at the Niigata Gastronomy Awards.

An Inn that Values Your Independence

While the renowned status of their signature dishes is astonishing, even more surprising is the fact that many matters are left to the visitors, not the staff. For example, guests are asked to put their own shoes in the shoe boxes, and when the ice in their room runs out, they are asked to come to the front desk to pick it up themselves. The inn provides amenities for guests’ personal use but decided against providing toothbrushes in order to reduce environmental damage. So, guests need to bring their own toothbrush.

It may seem like the inn is cutting corners, but the owners want guests to spend their personal time as they please deep in the mountains, where mobile phone reception is very poor.

Of course, if you need help, just ring the bell at the front desk and they will answer you right away. The balance of hospitality and independence that the guests experience at the inn is one of the charms of Hougandou.

The inn also has a sunny reading room called "Book Box," so you can also take time to enjoy a literary journey with one of your favorite books.

How Did the Introduction of Samue Begin?

The introduction of samue at Hogando started in the early 2000s when they underwent a major renovation.

The decision to introduce the samue was based on discussions that it would be better to have samue that are easy to move around in, since there are many stairs both inside and outside the inn. Samue were also seen to be more comfortable for their many elderly guests.

The rooms have samue in the closet along with towels and yukata, but in recent years, the number of guests who use samue has substantially increased. This time, while deciding to replace them, the owners decided to consult with us to assist them in providing better hospitality with high-quality samue.

As we exchanged emails with the proprietress, we received keywords such as "not too thick," "easy to care for," and "bright look." Based on these criteria, we decided to produce an original samue using " COOLMAX® seersucker fabric" from our various product lineups.

This time, we also received requests for customization, such as attaching buttons to the collar to prevent the chest part from opening, to adjusting the hem of the pants to a specific length to prevent it from dragging on the floor, regardless of how they are worn. We produced a sample of the product, which was then checked by the owners to ensure that it met their requirements.

Enjoy an Extraordinary Time in Samue

In addition to the customized outfit, choosing the bright color for Hogando’s samue is also worth mentioning. The previous samue used at the inn were also bright in color, and the elderly guests liked them, saying, "Just wearing it makes me feel cheerful.”

Based on this experience, the owners requested a bright color for the new samue. We received the message from the inn that even those who rarely wear bright colors in their daily lives should try them on for a change of pace when they are on a trip for extraordinary experiences.

In the past, the purpose of taking a hot spring bath was to heal the body and prevent illness. The proprietress told us that as times have changed, it has evolved into an opportunity to rejuvenate yourself as if to reset your body and mind.

It would be our pleasure if their guests could have the chance to wear our samue in the process of becoming healthy. When you stay at Hougandou, please try on a samue and enjoy the serenity of time with our special garment.

Facility Information

Tochiomata Onsen Hogando

60, Kamioritate, Uonuma City, Niigata Prefecture 946-0087, Japan


Type of Business : Inn
Number of rooms : 7 rooms
Room charge : from 16,950 yen~
Installation : Samue for guest rooms
Cleaning : In-house cleaning
A decisive factor for introduction : ✓Improvement of customer satisfaction ✓Harmony with the facility ✓Comfort ✓Made in Japan
Satisfaction : ✓Comfort ✓Appearance and design ✓Easy to care for