About us

Helping You Enjoy Japan and Its Culture

Traditional Welcome for Modern Travelers

Ichiro Nam Kimono

A Hospitality Family

Toyotsuna no Cocoro provides family-owned, Japanese-style hospitality with deep traditional roots. We are Ichiro and Nam. We love traditional and modern Japan. We also enjoy the fun and diversity of international travelers.

Ichiro grew up on Shikoku island, where nature filled him with rows of mountains divided by emerald rivers. He knows Japanese tradition. He also lived internationally in America and Vietnam.

Nam worked in the airline industry for many years. She loves Japanese cooking, calligraphy, tea ceremonies, onsens and kimonos. She knows local destinations, shopping, entertainment and restaurants.

When you stay with us, we listen to you to learn your interests. We want to share Japan with you—both Old and New. We hope you love it as much as we do.

Meet Our Team

The Toyotsuna no Cocoro team blends local and international people to give you a great experience during your time in Kansai. We have permanent members (see below), plus an expansive network of partners in Shijonawate, Osaka, Kyoto and Nara.
Together we offer you information, destinations, tours, kimono days, tea ceremonies, cooking classes, Japanese lessons, karaoke sessions, onsen visits, sporting events and almost anything else you may wish to do, plus a refreshingly peaceful place to stay.

Team Member Harada San

Ms Harada

Ms Harada has a modest nature and the heart of a helper. She has been working with our family all her life. She makes sure everything in our apartments is always perfect for our guests. As one guest said, “How does she do this? She is everywhere.” If you stay with us, you will surely meet Harada-san.

Team Member Bob

Bob Kestetter

Bob is a writer and traveller from Texas. He visits Japan often and knows every nook and corner around Shijonawate. Among other interests, he writes about Japanese places and culture here on our blog and on the website of his publishing company Village Hiker.

Team Member Magalie

Magalie Castaing

Magalie is our web designer and translator. A freelancer, she lives half-time in France, and half-time around the world. Nothing makes her happier than learning new languages and cultures. You can find her on her Kasutan website or on twitter.

Sebastien Profile Photo Our Team


Sébastien, originally born in France, has since then lived in the UK, US, Singapore and Japan. Always interested in new ideas and concepts, he enjoys traveling, meeting new people, reading books and introducing some of the countries he has lived in to first time visitors. So far, he has worked for governments, investment funds, non profit organizations and banks.