Photo/IllutrationAn artist’s rendition of the interior of 4S Stay Kyoto Kujo (Provided by JR Shikoku)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

TAKAMATSU--To help meet the surging demand from tourists, Shikoku Railway Co. (JR Shikoku) will open a simple lodging facility in Kyoto in mid-April, utilizing Kyoto-style wooden townhouses.

The company plans to launch a similar project by making use of traditional houses in the Shikoku region by the end of March 2019.

“Eventually, we’d like to attract visitors to the Shikoku region,” said JR Shikoku President Shinji Hani.

The company hopes to accumulate the know-how for operating such a facility with the new enterprise in Kyoto while promoting the charms of the Shikoku region to foreign tourists visiting the ancient capital.

It will mark the first time for JR Shikoku to launch a lodging business outside its home turf. The facility will be called 4S Stay Kyoto Kujo, with the 4S named after the four prefectures in the region and its initial.

The railway company has built three two-story wooden townhouses on a 170-square-meter plot, located about one kilometer southeast of JR Kyoto Station, close to Tofukuji temple and other tourist hotspots. The first floor will be equipped with two double beds, while three small double beds will be placed on the second floor.

A Tobe ware teapot, Imabari-made towels and other specialties from the Shikoku region will also be featured. There will be no permanently stationed staff members, and no meals will be served. But the facility will come equipped with a kitchen.

The accommodation rate will be about 20,000 yen ($189) for two people, with a charge of 5,000 yen for each additional guest.

Reservations will be accepted for each townhouse through leading U.S.-based online lodging service Airbnb.