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PEOPLE OF NARITA - Narita Ecohouse Co., Ltd CEO Shuji Inamura and Megumi Ito -

When you say Narita, many people probably think of Naritasan Shinshoji Temple, but it is not the only thing to see. In Narita, there are many people who provide hospitality to visitors, and I would like you to know about them. Here, we will introduce them to you as “People of Narita”!


Our guests this time are Mr. Shuji Inamura, CEO of Narita Eco-House Co., Ltd., and Ms. Megumi Ito. The company develops and operates "Roman Village Narita," located one street back from Naritasan Omotesando. We spoke with them in detail about their past efforts and future activities.

ーWhat is the "Roman Village Narita" all about?ー

Inamura-san: It is located behind Naritasan Omotesando, but I would like to do something to promote the fact that Narita has more interesting places to visit.

Recently, we have been working with many elderly people in this area. Since this area is also on a slope, it is quite difficult for many of them to go anywhere, so we have been wondering what we can do in this area. We open this place to the public twice a month, and about 20 elderly people get together to do origami and have tea and drinks.

I suggested that, although everyone stays indoors, depending on the season, it might be a good idea to go outside in the fall or spring. I call it a "communication garden," and since tinkering in the garden is actually a difficult task for older people, I think it would be interesting if everyone could do it together in a lively atmosphere.
I suggested that if people brought their favorite flowers, planted them in that location, and then expanded the circle, we could create a somewhat interesting environment.
Just last week I made a proposal that this could be a place where not only the elderly, but also children and adults, young and old, men and women, could all gather and interact with each other.

ーWhat is the concept behind the "Roman Village Narita"?ー

Ito-san: Since the concept of "Taisho-roman" started from the beginning, we would like to keep the nostalgic atmosphere of the olden days. We are in the process of creating a landscape that we hope will be a place where people can enjoy just strolling around, rather than coming to the store. We are in the process of creating the landscape. Or, on the other hand, it would be nice if people who come here for the stores come to know that there is a place where they can walk around like this.

There are chairs and stuff lined up outside, so it would be nice if they could use it like a rest spot, where people could buy something from somewhere and bring it in and eat it outside.

ーPlease tell us about your backgroundー

Inamura-san: I was born on Tokunoshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, and went to high school there. After graduating from high school, I went to a culinary school in Tokyo for two years, but my uncle was opening a restaurant in Nagoya and wanted me to work there, so I have a history of running a restaurant there with my brother for three years.

However, my hands have been rough since I was about 18. It's a kind of detergent rash. I had been trying to improve my physical condition and so on, but the doctor told me that I should change my business while I was still young. At that time, my sister's husband's father happened to be the first president of a construction company. I came here at the age of 23 and worked for that company for 10 years until I was 33, when I started my own business. Since then, I have been working in the construction industry, and that is how I have come to be here today.

ーWhat twists and turns did you go through from there until you started working on Roman Village?ー

Inamura-san: I used to work only on new buildings, but maintenance still comes with the job, and if I am going to do the same maintenance, I would like to do it while preserving the old building. The wisdom of our ancestors in the past was wonderful, and it would be a waste to tear down a building that was made with good quality materials. When we decided to demolish a house somewhere, we would drive a truck to bring beams, and we still have about 100 beams in our warehouse, but I felt it would be a waste to throw them away.
I have been taking those things for a long time, and I was attracted to this place because I want to do something in the future that will allow me to take advantage of them.

ーDo you have a favorite spot in the area surrounding the airport?ー

Inamura-san: I like the Boso no Mura in Sakae-machi. I wish it were a little closer to Narita (laugh), but when you go out to the approach, it looks a little like Boso no Mura (laugh), which means that I have always liked this kind of area.
However, since Omotesando is so commercialized, I always look at the back streets as being more interesting. I lived in Shinmachi for a while, and since there was a Narita approach that I could walk to, I decided to drink at every single one of them. It's a town with many interesting shops. It's like an old, old Japanese town. I like that kind of place.

ーHow do you want to act in the future?ー

Inamura-san: I am now nearing 70 years of age, and my daughter is present today, but I have already turned to support and do various maintenance work, and I hope that the children will be able to take the lead in various activities.
But you wanted to make this a city of flowers. I think you know that the banks are covered with weeds. Even now, when I have a little time, I plant a fig marigold or a banksia rose, but I think it will take several years. I plant and die, plant and die, and it's quite a struggle. The foothold is so bad that we have to use lifelines from above. Even so, I am determined to make the flowers bloom here. I think that in the end, there will be flowers all over the place.
It is said that this place used to be called "Hanasaki-cho," meaning "blooming flowers," so we are rather trying to go back to that era and make it a village where many flowers are blooming.

ーFinally, please give us a message on how you would like our readers to enjoy this area. ー

Inamura-san: I would like to make it a town of exchange. A town where people can meet each other. A town where people can meet each other, say, "It's been a long time," or "Welcome back”. In the past, there were neighborhoods where children were looked after by the elderly and the young looked after the elderly, but I don't think that is the case anymore. I hope that this place will be able to contribute to that kind of thing.


Ito-san: I think that a sense of homeiness is the most important aspect of our company philosophy, so I think it would be great if the Roman Village became a place where visitors could feel that sense of homeiness.


Romantic Village Narita will hold a "Romantic Night Market" on Saturday, August 10. Please come and visit.
For more information, please check the official Instagram of Roman Village Narita.

Roman Village Narita