We realize it’s been a while…You must be thinking we got stuck at the demolition part. Luckily this is not the case. As we are writing this, we are already a few steps further than this blog indicates (no, really!) Yet we would like to you take you back to the preparation phase.
On a side note and in case you are wondering: the lodge did survive the typhoon that hit Japan last week. Since Madarao is situated on 900 m elevation we didn’t get affected substantially, apart from hard wind gusts and rain. However, the valley did suffer from floodings and landslides. We would like to express our deep respect to all the rescue workers and volunteers who are still cleaning up the mess Hagibis left behind.
Now, back to the Lodge….
We faced the major surprises and made a masterplan. This is what it looks like:
The ground floor, that has a beautiful view, is our breakfast and dining room. Merijn is currently working on a design for a long table made of timber, as we would love to seat our guests along our chef’s table together!
On one side you’ ll find the kitchen, and on the other end, a wood stove and a cosy ensuite lounge to relax after riding and dining. Here you can have beers, chats and watch movies, too.
Being a chef himself, Dutchie could not run a lodge without serving food. Because he will be out on the slopes he will not be able to run the kitchen himself. Therefore, Merel, our friend from the Netherlands will help us out in the lodge as well as in the kitchen. Merel has learned cooking on the job in various well-known restaurants in Amsterdam. Next to that, she runs her own catering company. One of her specialities is baking bread. With her experience baking organic, slow-rise sourdough bread. We will serve homemade bread with breakfast on a daily base.
Dinners will not be served daily but on a regular base and per request The restaurant will also be open for guests from outside the lodge (e-mail: [email protected] for reservations!). Similar to breakfast, dining will be done altogether around a long table that fits 20 guests. No need to worry about what to choose from the menu, because a chef’s menu will be served. Imagine a 6-course meal, with cross-cultural food, local wines and sake and good company. What else can you wish for after a long day on the slopes…..
Sorry….I got carried away daydreaming about the finish line. I can just totally see myself sitting there, zipping my wine next to the fireplace….
Time to wake up! Although it’s good to keep an eye on the dot on the horizon, we are not there yet!
Dutchie has been renovating houses before and of course, there is me (read: clumsy and slightly uncoordinated) to help out wherever I can. However, this wasn’t a project he could take on by himself. Therefore, a big task during this period was to find people that could help us and collect quotes from them.
Readers who have experience in renovating most probably know that the first stage of building up is to prepare everything. A very important, but one of the least satisfying jobs since everything you do will not be visible when it’s all finished. After taking out the entire floor we discovered the old piping in the concrete hovering in big holes and many random holes that we didn’t know the purpose of. Nice and breezy and moist under your feet in winter. After a few hours of grinding and many disks later to remove all the old steel piping, it was time to get the concrete mill turning for a few days to fill all holes and level the floor.
We removed all the cladding on the walls and removed a few walls entirely. Armed with a specula and many bags of filler, we smoothed everything out… ready for the next layer! Working on the walls we discovered a few concrete walls were wet due to being underground with lots of water pressing from the outside. After a few failed attempts, we eventually got the right product to waterproof the concrete. Oh yeah, did I mentioned the 4 days on a ladder to remove the foam that was sprayed on the ceiling on the entire ground floor?
When you looked up in the kitchen you travel back in time. Six layers of paint peeling off in different degrees. Two days of choking on dust brought it back to bare concrete again.
A bit cloudy in Madarao
Whoever finds him or herself in Japan at the end of July should definitely consider going to the 3 days international Fuji Rock Festival. Fuji Rock was held for the first time in 1997. Naeba Ski resort is hosting it since ‘99. On the lineup, this year you find names like The Chemical Brothers, the Lumineers and many other international as well as Japanese artists. Every year, they organize a free night on the night before the actual festival starts. This is how we got to taste a bit of the great atmosphere.
A typical festival snack you see a lot on Japanese festivals is Fish on a Stick (see picture above). As a matter of fact: we happen to know the guy who you see working behind this stand. Our friend and former boss Patrick (Snowcountry Instructors) helps out his brother in law and owner of the Takahan Ryokan every year, selling thousands of fishes a day! Takahan is the oldest Ryokan in town and beautifully located. Definitely worth staying at if you are visiting lively Yuzawa.
In our coming episode, we will write about: floors and walls! Stay tuned and, as always, leave a comment if you like.
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