Izumi City’s Guesthouse Fujitatami

gives visitors a traditional sleeping and crafts experience.

Be Welcomed by the Comforting Scent of Tatami at Guesthouse Fujitatami

Guesthouse Fujitatami is a great place for people to get hands-on with an enduring part of Japanese culture. The custom of sleeping on a futon rolled out on tatami mats is an age-old part of Japanese culture, and one that visitors should experience at least once! Guests can even make their own in the family-run tatami factory next door. A visit and an overnight stay is ideal for backpackers and those seeking a hands-on experience with a unique Japanese tradition.


What is Tatami?

An artisan hand-sewing tatami.

Tatami mats are traditional flooring typically used in Japanese rooms. Each mat consists of three layers: the base (tatami-doko) made from compressed rice straw, the outer layer (tatami- omote) made from igusa (rush), and the border (tatami-heri) typically now made using synthetic fibers.  


Most traditional tatami mats use 100% natural rice straw to create the base, with certain characteristics, such as quality of the rice straw and rate of compression, determining the quality of the mats. The highest quality mats are usually reserved for use in tea rooms and at religious sites, such as buildings located within Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, with some lasting several centuries. Some manufacturers currently prefer to use a sheet of Styrofoam which is more cost effective and provides better insulation and humidity control. Igusa quality is also determined by length and how it is weaved, with the highest quality again reserved for religious sites. Linen and cotton are typical materials used in the weaving process.

Guesthouse Fujitatami

Get a glimpse of the beautiful dorms at Guesthouse Fujitatami.

Guesthouse Fujitatami is located in a reformed building that is over 60 years old. It is considered to be the first guesthouse in Izumi city that caters to backpackers. All of the guestrooms are fitted with tatami made of high-quality, domestic materials, which gives each one a feeling of relaxed harmony. The owner, Issei Fujihara, can speak English, and is very happy to share information about the tradition of tatami with visitors, or give them travel advice.


The owners are also keen on promoting eco-friendly lifestyles, and regularly recycle tatami mats into canvases. Fantastic paintings and replicas of famous Japanese art, such as the Wind God and Thunder God Screens by the famous artist Tawaraya Sotatsu (birth and death unknown; active from 1600-1640), are displayed in the common room.


Guesthouse Fujitatami has both private and shared rooms. Shared rooms, separated by gender, are around ¥2,000 per night, and private rooms are around ¥3,000 per night, making each affordable options for backpackers. There are also communal showers and toilets (also separated by gender). There is a shared kitchen that visitors can use, and a convenience store nearby, as well as an unmanned vegetable stand (which works on the honor system) where visitors can purchase local produce.

Fujitatami Guesthouse and Factory exterior.

Upon request, a simple breakfast (toast, with coffee and tea) is available. There are also plenty of local restaurants nearby, and the owners are happy to take guests out to their favorite eateries if they are available. The common area is a place where guests can get together and trade stories. On weekends, there is a café, which also operates as a bar at night. A lot of effort is put into creating an at-home atmosphere where everyone can have a good time.


The nearest station to the guest house is Izumi-Chuo Station. The station is a stop for a limousine bus to and from Kansai International Airport, which makes access easy for both domestic and international visitors. The guesthouse is only a 15-minute walk from the station, but if you let the owners know ahead of time, they can arrange to pick up guests. For ambitious visitors, Guesthouse Fujitatami is even within walking distance of the Saori no Mori, a great place to try your hand weaving.

Build Your Own Tatami

Mr. Fujihara and his son want to share Japanese culture with the world.

A small tatami factory is located adjacent to the accommodation, which is run by the owners of Fujitatami Guesthouse. Father Hiromasa Fujiwara and son Issei Fujiwara continue to make tatami mats in the local area and have opened up their space to international visitors in the hope of showing a global audience the process that goes into making these traditional mats. This experience will teach visitors how to make a small version of tatami, which makes an incredible souvenir to commemorate your time in Japan.


Most tatami mats are machine woven, which can also be seen at this factory. However, very few craftsmen in the industry obtain the knowledge of making tatami mats by hand using thread and large needles; those who do so are considered true professionals. The owners will show you how to make the mats using both methods.

Small tatami mats can come in handy in a variety of ways!

Creating a mini-tatami feels a lot like creating a personalized souvenir. During the experience, the mat itself has already been woven to size, and visitors can choose a decorative border to attach. The border is folded several times to provide a thick layer and temporarily placed using thick needles. A staple gun is then used to permanently put the border in place. These mats can be used for a wide variety of things; as a frame for a photo, or a decorative piece you keep on a shelf or mantle, or a place to accentuate flowers or decorative pieces. Once completed, visitors may also opt to participate in a traditional tea and snack party using the mats made during the experience as serving dishes.


Guests can enjoy the crafting experience with tea for ¥3,000 per person. There are two workshops, one at 10 a.m., and another at 1 p.m. They typically take about 90 minutes. Longer experiences are available upon request for those who want an even more in-depth experience.  Advance reservations are required, and can be made via their website, or via email (English support is available).



For Senshu tourist information inquiries, please contact the Senshu Japan Concierge Team.

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