Ryugon features the mansions and Shoya houses of old wealthy farmers in Echigo that have since been moved here. Going through the Nagayamon, the symbol of Ryugon, takes one to a bygone world.
See the attractions of Ryugon in this video.
Many of Ryugon’s buildings are the mansions and Shoya houses of nearby wealthy farmers that have been moved here. Our guests are greeted by the “Yucho no Ma” building which was the home of a wealthy farmer from the Bunkabunsei Era approximately 200 years ago.
Most guests at Ryugon stay in the homes and Shoya houses of wealthy farmers who used to live nearby. Their construction is such that they give a sense of seclusion with their living spaces and library spaces. In addition, their detailed wood construction protected the master of the house from outside intruders, and calls to mind very rustic sensibilities. None of these buildings are new, though a stay in them allows one to relax in nature, as they carry a curious power within.
Ryugon’s history begins even before the start of the inn.
A person who had worked overseas found upon returning to his rural home that the house he grew up in has been rebuilt and completely transformed.
This man regretted that the town he grew up in had since disappeared.
On hearing this story, the founder of Ryugon felt that this notion was critical to running an inn. If guests could only feel they were in the hometown of their memories…with this in mind, the founder decided to bring the old mansions and Shoya houses of wealthy farmers here for guests to enjoy, thus providing a sense of history, taste, and nostalgia.
On June 15, 1495, this temple was built by Nagao Masakage, Lord of Sakado Castle, on the land of Teragahana below the castle. The name of the temple was Fukujusan Ryogonji of the Soto School of Buddhism.
It so happened that when the temple burned down a large dragon appeared at the gate with a light to extinguish the fire, and since then the name of the temple was changed to “Ryugonji.”
Within the temple, the Nagao family founder, Nagao Fusanaga and the builder of the temple, and Lord of Sakado Castle, Nagao Masakage are revered.
Masakage’s second son, Akikage (later Lord Kagekatsu) studied here when he was little, along with vassal Naoe Kanetsugu and others.
In 1601, Lord Kagekatsu was ordered to move to Yonezawa.
The inn “Ryugon” is built on those former premises.
The scenery of the Ryugon gardens changes with the seasons.
The natural beauty of the four seasons seems to greet our guests with the vibrant colors.
The four seasons of the large garden can be seen below.
The walking path within the garden continues from the back of the mountain, where Ryugon is situated, and the verdant mountain path features small wild animals in different seasons of the year. The observation point at the top of the mountain affords views of Sakadoyama and the mountains of Minami-Uonuma.