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10 stories hotel Oze


Message - Redefine Sustainability

It is one of Japan’s most unexplored regions and one of the country’s heaviest snowfall areas. In this area, which can be described as ‘Okuoze’, even more mountainous than Oze, it is natural to live with the mountains. As far as the eye can see, the mountains around Oze Jucho are the common property of the 58 people who lived here, commonly known as the ’58 Association’ mountains. Signs prohibiting the gathering of wild vegetables are posted in various places, but this is because the people who inherited the 58 people still live with the mountains and make the mountains their livelihood. Thanks to the efforts of the late Ken Kaiko and the local people over a period of more than 10 years, in 1981 the Kitano River was designated as a ‘protected water area’ under the Fisheries Resources Protection Act and became a ‘permanent no-take zone’. This is extremely rare in Japan, and here in Okutadami and Ginzanpei it is only natural not to pick too many wild plants. Sometimes bears and deer are shot to maintain the ecological balance. In a nutshell, the area could be described as ‘active in nature conservation’ and ‘a place where the matagi culture still remains’,
but we feel that it is a special land where ‘civilisation and primitive times merge’ in a deeper way. We believe that it is an oasis where urban civilisation and the great outdoors coexist in balance.
In Okutadami, where the 10 Stories Hotel OZE Oze Jujo is located, there is the Okutadami Dam, which boasts the largest amount of electricity generated in Japan. It was completed in 1959. In fact, it was completed one year earlier than the Kurobe No. 4 Dam of the Kansai Electric Power Company, and is Japan’s largest dam in terms of power generation. The large amount of power generated means that the scale of the surrounding natural environment is extraordinary, and upstream of the Okutadami Dam is Oze, a huge water reservoir.
If the ‘Sun of Kurobe’ had been the ‘Sun of Oku-Tadami’, the Uonuma-Oze route would now be a major tourist destination in Japan, attracting crowds of foreigners.
In reality, however, Okutadami and the Uonuma-Oze route are the quietest and least developed areas in Oze. There is pristine wilderness, but there is also Japan’s largest dam, which supported Japan’s rapid economic growth. Like the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route, there is a long, long tunnel that would not have been built without the dam, and, unlike the Kurobe Tateyama Alpine Route, this one is open to ordinary vehicles without any restrictions on private cars.
What I really think about here is what is ‘sustainable’? What is “sustainable”? To think about various themes, such as high economic growth, tourism development, nature conservation and over tourism, by comparing them with Kurobe Tateyama, and of course to learn about the people who have lived here, the history of development and its complex background, is nothing less than learning about concrete examples of the SDGs. There is no right answer anywhere. That is why human society is interesting and worth worrying about tomorrow. On the other hand, nature is always the same: water springs up, trees continue to stand there, rain falls and deafening thunder rumbles today. We see accommodation as real media, and it was in 2014 that we opened our first facility, 10 Stories Hotel UONUMA Satoyama Jujo.

The concept was “Redefine Luxury”, redefining luxury. Ten years later, the concept of 10 Stories Hotel OZE Oze Jujo is “Redefine Sustainability”, redefining sustainability. Walking through Oze to get in touch with nature, watching the red-hot sunset from the spa and sauna, eating food that makes you feel primitive…
You cannot understand this natural environment in one night. You can’t even begin to describe how amazing Ginzanping is. We hope you will stay at least two nights, three or four if you can, and feel something during your stay about what “sustainable” means and what we humans must do now.

Toru Iwasa

Creative director

Born 1967 in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. In 1989, while studying interior design at Musashino Art University, she founded a design company and later became an editor; in 2000, she launched the magazine Jiyujin and became its editor-in-chief; in 2002, she started Organic Express, which offers delicious and safe food from all over Japan; in 2011, she moved her base of operations from Nihonbashi, Tokyo, to Minamiuonuma City, Niigata Prefecture, to study rice, a staple food in Japan. In 2004, she moved her base of activities from Nihonbashi, Tokyo, to Minamiuonuma, Niigata, to learn more about rice, the staple food of Japan; in 2014, she opened Satoyama Jucho in the same city in the same prefecture. Since then, she has opened ‘Kou Otsu Hyakumachi’ (Shiga Prefecture), ‘Hakone Honbako’ (Kanagawa Prefecture) and ‘Matsumoto Jucho’ (Nagano Prefecture). The company has pioneered a new genre of lifestyle complexes and local gastronomy.