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Former Takamiya Residence of the Kaijima Family: A Traditional Building Brought back to Life

This April, Takamiya Minami Garden opened in a quiet residential area near Nishitetsu Takamiya Station. Within the lush green grounds sits the former Takamiya Residence of the Kaijima Family, a registered cultural property of Fukuoka City. The more than 100-year-old building, built in the Taisho era, can be used as a restaurant and teahouse. A new music hall and guest house were also built to serve as a venue for weddings, parties and events.

Former Takamiya Residence of the Kaijima Family: A Traditional Building Brought back to Life, 現代に蘇った旧高宮貝島家住宅

The former Takamiya Residence of the Kaijima Family was built by Kazo Kaijima, the younger brother of the coal mining magnate Taisuke Kaijima, and the Kaijima family was referred to as one of the three major families of the Chikuho region along with Aso and Yasukawa families. It was originally built in Nogata City in 1915 and moved to its current location in 1927. The Kaijima family continued to maintain ownership after that but donated the land and building to Fukuoka City in 2005. It is one of the largest modern Japanese-style buildings in the city and conveys the history of the coal industry in its heyday.

The impressive main building, built using traditional techniques, includes a 25-tatami main hall, which used to serve as a guest room, a sukiya (traditional tea house) style eight-tatami room with a garden view from two sides and a well-lit Western-style room equipped with a counter. The interior features many highlights, including latticework transoms, beautifully crafted ceilings, elegant paintings of egrets on the wooden doors and a telephone room that still has an old rotary phone from the olden days. Books and old photographs donated by the Kaijima family are also on display.

There are walking paths throughout the grounds where seasonal trees grow throughout the year in all four seasons, and visitors can stroll through the garden at their leisure. In addition, an authentic tea ceremony room has been preserved in one corner of the site, which can be rented out by guests who wish to enjoy its old-fashioned charm. The former Takamiya Residence of the Kaijima Family is one of the most valuable traditional buildings in the city, but it was closed to the public for many years after it was donated to Fukuoka City. It has been brought back to life with renovations that incorporate modern elements while respecting tradition.

Published: Jul 1, 2022 / Last Updated: Jul 1, 2022

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