Dorogawa Onsen Brewery / Hidenori Tsuboi Architects

Text description provided by the architects. Dorogawa Onsen is a hot spring village that leads to Mt. Omine, a sacred mountain believed to have been opened by Enno Ozunu about 1,300 years ago. Located at an elevation of approximately 820m, Omine has long flourished as a mountain climbing base for Gyoja (Yamabushi, mountain ascetics) of Shugendo, a sacred mountain worship tradition unique to Japan, and is lined with inns, guest houses, and stores selling Daranisukegan, a famous medicine from Yamato that is considered the origin of Japanese medicines.

Dorogawa Onsen Brewery / Hidenori Tsuboi Architects - Interior Photography, Windows, Facade, Balcony
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Each of them has a porch that can be opened wide to the street so that a large group of Gyoja called a “ko” can go inside at once; this structure, unique to Dorogawa Onsen, gives the town a lively and unique atmosphere. It also functions as a way for people in the town to communicate with each other and for the entire town to watch over the children walking along the street.

Dorogawa Onsen Brewery / Hidenori Tsuboi Architects - Interior Photography, Windows

As a natural solution, the brewery is also planned to open wide to the street, with the hope that it will become part of the town, both physically and conceptually. For the interior, custom-made tiles with a Daranisukegan motif and Japanese paper made from persimmon tannin, which is produced by fermentation like beer, were used. The exterior of the building, which was used as a coffee shop before its renovation, is not a historical building or an old private house in Japan, but the exterior is not modified more than necessary, and hoped that the familiar landscape would continue to be inherited in the future.

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When visiting after the opening, I heard that it has become a place not only for tourists but also for after-work communication among workers at nearby inns, and I felt that it is gradually becoming part of the town.

Dorogawa Onsen Brewery / Hidenori Tsuboi Architects - Exterior Photography, Windows, Facade

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