Revitalize the town and make it more interesting.
We are looking for friends to plan and operate together.
A guest house that aims to be a place that people in the city can be proud of
Wakayama City, the prefectural capital of Wakayama Prefecture. GuesthouseRICO is located in the central area, the Daishin area between Nankai Wakayamashi Station and JR Wakayama Station.The Daishin area prospered as a wholesale district before and after the war, and after the high economic growth period, there was a time when gangsters set up offices, but in recent years the area has been attracting attention as the number of wonderful shops has increased. In fact, it is GuesthouseRICO (hereafter RICO) that is setting it up. While operating the guest house for 7 years, there was a town development starting from the inn.
We interviewed Mr. Takashi Miyahara of Wakayama Yamori House Co., Ltd. (hereafter referred to as Wakayama Yamori House), which operates RICO, and his partner, Mari Miyahara, about community development starting from inns.
Mr. Takashi Miyahara, a first-class architect and owner of RICO, and Mr. Mari, who has built up a career as a commercial facility planner.
RICO opened in December 2015. The impetus was that Mr. Takashi participated in the “Renovation School @ Wakayama”, which aims to utilize existing idle real estate, create businesses, and improve the value of the area.
“I was born in Wakayama City and worked at design offices in Osaka and Kobe for seven years. I participated in this school because I thought there would be an increase in demand for renovations that make use of old buildings.”
At the Renovation School, we considered how to utilize the apartment that RICO would be moving into. It seems that he decided to open a guest house for various reasons, such as the fact that there is a tourism department and there were students studying tourism and town planning.
“Renovation is about creating new value while preserving the history of a building. We make RICO while doing DIY where we can.”
The interior of the store is made using old materials, each of which has its own flavor over time.
DIY with the help of friends and guests from overseas.
“I think many people in Wakayama have a habit of saying, 'Wakayama is nothing. We aimed to 'create a place that the locals can be proud of,'" says Mari.
Not just a guest house. Accidental encounters born from complex facilities
There are people who use the cafe, people who work, students who are studying, and people who are staying in the store.
RICO's signboard menu is Basque cheesecake. Excellent!
On the first floor of the building, there is a guesthouse front desk, a co-working space and cafe & bar, and a shared kitchen that travelers and residents of the share house can use 24 hours a day. The second floor is a shared house where local university students and Mr. Miyahara live. The third floor is the original apartment. The 4th and 5th floors are guest rooms.
The guest rooms of the guest house retain the fittings, walls, and other parts that create a retro atmosphere over time, while renovating the parts that require cleanliness, such as the bathroom and floors. There is a good balance between old and new, and every room is a comfortable space. Some rooms are equipped with home appliances and a kitchen for medium- to long-term stays.
A view of the guest room on the 5th floor. The texture of the aged concrete matches the contrast of the warm wood.
Some people stay for a week to several months in rooms with furniture and home appliances.
“The concept of RICO is ‘Find your Seeds.’ We want it to be a place where everyone can notice the ‘seeds’ they carry within themselves. while encountering new things, I want you to notice the seeds of abundance you have. And plant the seeds of your abundance somewhere else. I have such a wish. ”
Two people standing in the kitchen.
Community development starting from the guest house
The Daishin area, where RICO is located, has been the center of commerce since the Edo period. Even after the war, the area was bustling as a wholesale district. However, when the wholesale business declined, gangsters began to set up offices and security deteriorated. People in their 30s and 40s today used to be told by adults that they shouldn't go there because it's dangerous. However, the townspeople kicked out the gangsters, and then RICO opened.
“The Daishin area is one of the areas in Wakayama City where the aging of the population has progressed.However, the old men and women who live there are business people who are cheerful and very friendly. They tell us stories about the old days of the area, and they sometimes bring lost foreign guests to RICO even though they don't understand the language."
Seven years have passed since the guesthouse opened, and we are steadily carrying out town development starting from the guesthouse, just as Mr. Miyahara and others had envisioned from the beginning.
In 2018, we opened a share house "Kiboso" in a place just a minute's walk away. Since then, we have been engaged in area management, such as matching vacant properties with businesses, mainly within a radius of about 200 meters. In 2018, the restaurant “Madowa” was renovated from a former sugar wholesaler. In 2021, coffee and flower “balder coffee/bois de gui” was renovated from a former business office and residence. ”, and “Mikicho Hakko Building”, which was renovated from a former office and residence.
A newly opened shop. The number of people walking in the town is increasing, and the bustle is being born.
“I always check for vacant properties in the area. If I don’t know the owner of a property, I ask my neighbors and try to get as much information as possible. When real estate is likely to move in the area, they are starting to contact us.
When an old building is demolished, people quickly forget what happened there. But it is precisely because the buildings remain that we know that it was a wholesale district. In the future, I hope that people who feel the value of passing on history and stories will use vacant properties in Daishin to open shops, etc.,” says Takashi.
Enrich your life and create everyday scenery
In 2018, in parallel with the attraction of these shops, the market event “Daishin Picnic” was held at the nearby Daishin Park, and the event “Daishin Stroll – Behavioral Tea Tour 2 Days” where visitors can enjoy walking around the area. is held.
“Daishin Picnic is an event that started with the idea that it would be nice if more locals could have picnics on a daily basis at Daishin Park, where the rows of cherry blossom trees are very beautiful. As a resident, we invite shops that say, 'I wish we could have a place in this town in the future.'
“In addition, 'Daishin Sanpo' is an event where you can experience 'walking and enjoying the town' in Wakayama, a car society. In addition to recently opened shops, wholesalers who have been in business for a long time also participated in the event.Visitors were able to have a chat while being served tea by the participating shops. I was able to enjoy the Daishin area by visiting places where wholesalers usually don't go, and experiencing things. doing."
The Daishin Picnic is visited by people of all ages, from children to the elderly.
In the city center, there are many cases where major general contractors build large commercial buildings in front of train stations to create bustle. However, here in Wakayama, there is a steady process of town development by people with aspirations, while communicating heart-to-heart with the local people.
Mr. Miyahara's steady efforts have been highly evaluated by the government, and last year he held an event to revitalize the area in Wakaura, a coastal area. In the future, in addition to the Daishin area, we plan to make full-scale efforts to revitalize Wakanoura.
We are looking for friends to liven up Wakayama together!
“Right now, the cleaning and check-in work of the guest house is shared between the two of us and the staff of Furiaco. The two of us are the main members of planning and producing related to town development and real estate, and we also include outside people for each project. We work together as we go along.”
The two of them stand in the kitchen during normal cleaning and office work, serving guests, and cafe & bar time. I work on planning and producing work in between various tasks of the day.Mari, who is in charge of software such as planning and is good at making 0 to 1, and Takashi, who is in charge of hardware such as design and is good at expanding and organizing from 1 to 10, are an exquisite combination. Together with these two people, we are looking for friends who can start Wakayama Yamori House and liven up Wakayama.
If you are interested in urban development that starts with renovation, or you sympathize with the work of Wakayama Gecko House, why not give shape to your ideas while working at Wakayama Gecko House, and use your passion to gradually change the scenery of the city? ?
We look forward to receiving your application.
(Interviewer/Writer / Aya Hemendinger)
[Occupations to recruit]
Wakayama Gecko Building Co., Ltd.
1. Urban development project planning and operation staff (full-time employees)
2. Guest house management staff (free accommodation)
3. Cafe & bar kitchen assistant staff (part-time job)
4. Cleaning staff (part-time)
1. Urban development project planning and operation staff
We are looking for people who will work together with us to plan, operate, launch, produce, and design projects related to community development.Since we are seamlessly performing everything from guest house management to community development, we have a wide range of work. We believe that skills related to project management are also important, but we are looking for someone with a flexible mind.
/ Those who are interested in community development, area renovation, local, real estate utilization, etc.
/ Preference will be given to illustrators, those who can use Photoshop, those who have photography skills, those who are good at managing SNS, and those who are qualified as real estate brokers.
/ Annual salary from 3 million yen (There is a training period, and will be decided after consultation according to ability and skill)
/ Multiple jobs allowed. Please consult us about how to proceed with your business.
2. Guest house management staff
You will be responsible for guesthouse operation operations such as guesthouse check-in, reservation management, cleaning, and futon replacement, depending on your wishes and abilities. We also ask for DIY equipment maintenance if necessary.
＜What is free accommodation?＞
While staying in a guest house dormitory room for free, you will perform the above work.In exchange for not incurring accommodation costsPlease note that you will not receive wages before applying..We are looking for someone who will stay and work for 2 months.
/ Those who like traveling and guest houses, those who want to make friends with guests from all over the world, those who can work remotely, etc.
/ Not recommended for those whose main purpose is to be able to stay for free, or those who are not good at self-management.
/ Generally 2 days off per week, 20 hours per week (shift system)
3. Cafe & Bar Kitchen Assistant Staff
I work at a cafe and bar attached to a guest house. We welcome those who like interacting with people, those who want to think of new menus, and those who are motivated.
/Working hours 18:00~24:00
/ salaryHourly wage 890 yen ~