Visiting rural Japan to feel the essence :

As anime, automobiles and other electronic gizmos has popularized Japan to the rest of the world (sometimes notoriously), favorite tourists spots like Tokyo metropolis is filled with “modern Japanese culture”. Most things are so organized, sanitized, and lots of automation in place… It’s very efficient, convenient, sometime even futuristic, but someow you may even feel as though some essences of the culture may be lost.

In rural Japan, there are many places where traditions and values are “untouched”. When the word “tradition” is mentioned,it doesn’t always have to be about crazy rituals and festivities that is diffilcut to understand. It’s the ”和(wa)”  feeling, just the natural way that people carry on with their everyday life. You can find beautiful towns and cities like these all across Japan… There’s probably one that will suit you. I(Rob) just happened to find my place in the Izu Peninsula. This is a part of Japan where you can find the hip & the trad all just within 2-3 hours reach from the metropolitan Tokyo.

So here’s the PROJECT:

Introducing different “narratives” from around the world about the Peninsula!

“和(wa)” , (authentic or “old-school” Japanese) doesn’t necessarily have to be all samurai-ninja-kimono-tea-ceremony-sushi-tempura-yakisoba kinds of things. This itself is one side of “Cool Japan”. It’s definitely fun and very important for the preservation of the culture but there’s also subtle coolness to the ordinary, everyday lives of the people. THIS is where I would like to put more focus on, and the way I’d like to do this is to share individual people’s narratives from avid travelers across the world!  

For Japan, the country is moving into a transition to becoming a more tourist-friendly country, while flagship tourist attractions may be something to be paying attention to, there’s also significant meaning to “re-introducing” the normal side of a country’s culture.

For travelers, the idea of “traveling” has changed, rather than just seeing places, many of us want to feel, experience, and understand the culture and usually the the best way to this is to immerse yourself by “being” in the culture.

​In this project, we’re going to accumulate real stories from travelers who spent time at “the other house”, retrieve anything from blogs, vlogs, SNS posts, videos, photos, art… Things that might even seem minuscule or “too ordinary” for the locals can seem to be the “extra-ordinary” to many of the travelers, and SHARE it with the rest of the world.

These stories will  leave hints and will expand into larger ideas and real outputs in the coming future. When you are actually the one living inside the culture, it sometimes becomes hard to appreciate what you take for granted, but I believe these kinds of stories will bring light to things that are normal, and will help “re-discover” the attractiveness of the many places in Izu. We can’t really promise what will be the outcome of all of this, but I believe that in few months time, but somehow I believe we’ll be able to make something worth while, more than we can expect or imagine…

Another general rule in the house, although the project itself’s objective is to find the core unique “essense” of the culture in Izu, the group of people who come together for the project come from a diverse range of backgrounds. In an attempt to avoid conflict and to create better fusion, at the house, the belief is that science is merely a guideline and observation, religion and other values are just stories and examples passed down from our ancestors; they are not something to linger on to as being the answer, so it will be natural for ones that have stayed in the house to take back questions that arose, which can be tested and experimented again in the experiences that may follow.

How you can contribute :

So this is how the system works…. You stay at our house, and  in return, you will write an blog article, vlog, or post stories for SNS. We’ll post links and excerpts from your publication on our website (maybe your photo/profile too) we’ll help you finding places to go (the peninsula is big as the Tokyo prefecture), as well as providing you itinerary with Japanese assistance if you needed. There are going to be occasionally planned events and outings where you can experience interactions with the locals.

If you really support our philosophy, you can give us a donation for the project, but of course this is not mandatory.

About the area

The Izu Peninsula is filled with nature. Beautiful oceans, rivers, mountains, anything you can imagine while getting the best out of Japanese tradition. There are many things to do in the vicinity. Check out some of the links on our resources page and get a feeling of the whole peninsula.

The concept behind the name

Me and my dear friend Avril (the french-swiss-army-girl) decided to name our house “the other house” because we wanted to build a place that’s almost like your “other house” outside of your home country. We try to keep everything clean and simple, so that it an cater to a diverse range of people visiting the facility.  It’s everybody’s “other house”!!

About the area

The Izu Peninsula is filled with nature. Beautiful oceans, rivers, mountains, anything you can imagine while getting the best out of Japanese tradition. There are many things to do in the vicinity. Check out some of the links on our resources page and get a feeling of the whole peninsula.

Partnerships

Looking for organizations and venues to connect/collaborate with us! If you support our idea, please drop us a line 🙂

For companies and other organizations

If you’d like to come to Izu Peninsula with your team (i.e. company, group of friends, study group) that’ll be great! As long as you can provide us with your stories. We’ll try to arrange something that will work for both of us.

Donations and contributions :

At the time being, I am funding this project out of my own pocket. At “the other house”, sharing, communication, co-creation are core values that we embrace, and this is an “experiment” to see if it is possible to run an organization out of a completely sharing-economy ethics, therefore any kind of donations (and advises/feedbacks) will be greatly appreciated.

As this will be a communal project (both local and global), I would also like to share what I have learned from this experience to others so that it may give hints to those who want to start a similar project.

 

Copyrights 2018. The Other House

TheOtherHouse