[MIYOSHI JIN] Guesthouse Wataridori – A place to rest your wings Owner Tsukasa Kasamatsu
Just like migrating birds – or wataridori – find a quiet pond full of clean water where they can rest their wings for a spell on their journeys to distant lands, so can Guesthouse Wataridori serve as a base of operations and a place to relax for people visiting the rich, green mountains of Shikoku. They look forward to welcoming you to their guesthouse, and to giving you a place to rest your wings before leaving for your next destination.
Nowadays many people post information to social media giving others an idea of who they are. Looking at the posts of Tsukasa Kasamatsu, the owner of Guesthouse Wataridori, we see cheerful, liberating images of nature, family, art, music, farm fields, and travel. My first impression of Kasamatsu was when I visited Wataridori in the Hakuchi neighborhood of Ikeda-cho in Miyoshi to interview him. I walked in the door to find him applying linseed oil to a wooden countertop; he was exactly as I expected him to be.
Before opening Wataridori in September 2019, Kasamatsu lived in Mie, Kochi, and other prefectures.
Kasamatsu heard about an empty house from an acquaintance, and when they suggested he open a guesthouse, he got started almost right away. His social media profiles show how he made a sign, a new kitchen table, painted walls, and more with the help of friends and his children. The work progressed slowly but steadily. Just inside the front door, you will find a sign he shaped with a grinder and decorated with a soldering iron. In an era where essentially anything is available whenever you want it, Kasamatsu takes the time to create good things, things that make him feel good, and in that we get a glimpse of his character. Even when he makes mistakes – like the tables having uneven heights or a door not closing properly – he finds fun in the experience.
We asked Kasamatsu what he pays most attention to when he is making things.
“I don’t have a particular technique I use when making something. I don’t even know if I’ll like something I’ve made until it’s done and I’ve put it where it’s going. With the kitchen, I originally was only going to make one countertop, but then I realized I needed another one for the kitchen side for preparing food or when I’m brewing coffee, and I installed another one right away. I wanted the kitchen to be a place that was enjoyable to be in both for cooks and for the people sitting in the kitchen with them as they work. I want everything to be strong enough to last a long time, but when something finally breaks, it’ll be fun to make a new one.”
Kasamatsu has worked as a river guide before, so he is an expert at finding things to do at the riverside. He also recently climbed a nearby mountain with his family, with his son in a backpack carrier. He went backpacking years ago, but is happy to now be carrying his son up mountains on his back.
We asked him about living in Miyoshi and interacting with nature.
Kasamatsu says that living in the bountiful nature of Miyoshi is always fun and exciting.
“I want to live in a place where I can hear the birds and the sounds of water and wind. I want to build an environment that allows the various elements to pass through and flow and move comfortably. I think we are already very fortunate just to be living here, and while the word nature is a bit broad and difficult to nail down, I always get excited whenever I look out at the natural world that surrounds me and extends off as far as the eye can see.”
Coffee is something that Kasamatsu simply cannot live without. He roasts his own beans, and carefully brews a cup for us by hand.
And it is absolutely delicious. I can’t wait until I get the chance to enjoy a cup of coffee with him in that serene space again. I really feel like I’ve had the chance to rest my wings here at Wataridori.
(Interview and article: Keita Nakahashi)