After having finished all the infrastructure behind the walls and underneath the floor it was finally time to put our own signature to the downstairs floor.
We decided to plaster the walls with a Japanese product called Shikkui plaster. For days and nights in a row, Dutchie managed to do this job all by himself. Shikkui Plaster is a traditional and innovative Japanese lime plaster made of slaked lime of high calcium purity. It contains materials like seaweed extracts, natural plant fibre and other natural aggregates such as eggshell powder. It has been widely used throughout Japan for both internal and external walls of houses, temples and castles, as well as for ceilings and decorative purposes for over one thousand years.
It truly started to look like an oiled machine. Once Dutchie would finish plastering a part of the downstairs floor, team ‘Floor’ followed him to put the wooden finished floor down. Since it is hard to find a proper wooden floor in Japan we decided upon buying a blank floor which we oiled ourselves. At the start of November Bart, Merijns brother in law came over as crowd renovator. By offering his skills for 2 weeks he has definitely added an important share to the lodge, for which we are very grateful! And of course also to Merijns sister, who stayed at home with their two little girls.
The area in the house that was completed at first is the kitchen. Knowing Dutchie, this is not surprising, although the main reason for this was so that Merel could start her preparations for the season right after she arrived half October. One of the most important pieces of equipment in the kitchen is the commercial steam oven. Especially considering it is 200 kilo and it took 5 people and two wooden beams to lift it inside.
Once the floors and walls were finished the fire department came in to check our lodge. This check is part of the pension license process. Every accommodation in Japan needs to be in possession of this license in order to be officially recognized. During their visit, they check whether or not you used fireproof material, e.g. paint, carpets, curtains, plaster, etc. Of course, a properly working fire alarm, fire extinguishers and emergency exit signs also needed to be checked off the list. And, since our system was very much outdated, much had to be replaced. Luckily after inspection, only a few minor things needed to be changed and after this, we managed to pass the fire inspection! Next up: health and safety inspection.
The coming blog we will spend on the finishing touches of the downstairs floor, the upgrades of the ensuites and the guest rooms. Below a few pics of our other crowd renovators working hard and enjoying the fireplace in the lounge after. Thank you guys!
During the renovations we still had plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings we took a hike up towards Naena waterfall. Where most people just do the easy 10-minute walk to get to the stunning waterfall, of course, we had to explore further up. This led us to a spot where we skied during winter, after a skin up Kurohime Kogen. The 55m waterfall is a great piece of nature and it is worth going there several times a year since it looks surprisingly different during every season.
Madarao Kogen Hotel is the biggest hotel in Madarao and situated right at the slopes. It has a great onsen with an indoor and an outdoor bath which is also open for the public. On top of that, it was one of the few restaurants that would sometimes be open during weekends in Madarao during the summer (off)season. You can choose to either eat from a buffet or order a traditional Japanese menu. Of course, we went for the traditional Japanse menu. This was also the farewell dinner of Annie’s parents, our crowd renovators that came over in September.
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