A place where you can get a glimpse of the world of the traditional fisher women "Ama"
Guest House AMARGE in Ijika, Toba City, Mie Prefecture, in Ise-Shima National Park, where abundant nature centered around Ise Jingu remains, is a guesthouse run by a couple who moved from Nagoya.
The guesthouse, run by a husband who is a fisherman and underwater photographer and a wife who is an Ama diver and is fluent in English, is a popular accommodation for visitors from abroad who are interested in the lives of Japanese fishing villages and meeting local people.
Tatsuya and Rikako, a couple with unique background
Mr. and Mrs. Sato, who run the Guest House AMARGE, have a little bit unusual background.
Tatsuya Sato, the husband has a variety of skills not only as a gillnet fisherman who catches spiny lobsters and sea breams, but also he does underwater photography professionally, and he is also a freelance curator, a marine biologist, and a licensed cook.
Tatsuya utilizes his knowledge and experience as a sea professional, he also provides marine activities and learning tours for children.
Rikako Sato, the wife who mainly runs the guesthouse and also a youngest Ama in the village, had once lived in Canada and worked in a company's overseas section for years and fluent in English.
The couple opened the guesthouses in 2017 to share people about Japanese traditional fishery and the lifestyle of people who work in the field.
An accommodation where you can have authentic fishing experience in Ise-Shima
Ise-Shima National Park is an area where you can feel the tradition and culture of Japanese countryside, and the harmony between rich nature and human activities.
In this Ise-Shima area, there are various traditional fishing methods, including "Ama", which is one of the oldest women's job and has been existing in Japanese history for more than 2000 years.
At Guest House AMARGE in Toba City, Mie Prefecture, you can experience the life of people who live with the sea while staying at an annex of a fisherman and an Ama couple as like you live there, and be a part of the local community.
You can see the real 'Amagoya' and learn the traditional fishery
The most distinctive feature of Guest House AMARGE is that it is run by a real "Ama".
You can tour the inside of the old hut which is actually used for Ama, and listen to stories about the life and customs of Ama. If you are lucky, you might be able to see that old women actually dive in the sea right in front of your eyes.
"Ama" is now attracting attention from all over the world as one of the ways of sustainable fishery.
Since the owner of Guest House AMARGE is fluent in English, you can talk with an Ama ask questions directly in English, and learn about its culture and life in a Japanese fisherman's village.
Ijika dialect "Amage" means "Older sister's house"
A word "AMAGE", which is the origin of the name of Guest House AMARGE, is a dialect of Ijika, Toba City. This word means "older sister's house".
When I moved from the city to the countryside, I had received so much help and kindness from many local people here. That experience made me think that I want to support young people one day, and want to make a place like your older sister's house. When they are in trouble, when they need some advice, or just want to share some thoughts and ideas with somebody. I hope my place will be a place for those young people.
I added the innitial letter of my name Rikako at the middle of "AMAGE" to create AMARGE.
The reason of that was because I wanted to be a "connector". Being in between, not at the beginning or at the end, is very important for me. To ensure that the things that should be connected can be connected properly in order to pass them onto the next generation.
We believe it is our mission.
At Guest House AMARGE, young people and the older people, countryside and urban areas, Japan and overseas, old things and new things are connected, and this land and people will be better and happier through interaction between guests and locals. This is our hope and dream.