Takihama Western House is located near the sea, a 15-minute walk from Befu Station on the Sanyo Electric Railway in Kakogawa City, Hyogo Prefecture.The big black building stands out even from a distance.
As you walk along the Beppu River and get closer, the building becomes more and more powerful.
This building with an overwhelming presence was built by Yonejiro Taki, the founder of the local company “Taki Chemical Co., Ltd.” for the purpose of a guesthouse.It is a Western-style building with 3 floors (partly 4 floors) made of wood, which was built over 15 years from 1918.Copper plates were pasted on the outer walls, roof, eaves, and back of the eaves, and at the time of completion, the copper plates were shining red, so it was called “Akane Goten”.
However, with the passage of time and the sea breeze, copper has deteriorated, and now copper rust, patina, covers the entire building.Its appearance is like an old soldier wearing armor.Now that the roof is dubbed, you can surpass the old days.Brick is used up to the waist in the foundation of the first floor of the building.There is a company mark everywhere in the building. It is a design of a plow, a tool for cultivating fields, which is typical of a fertilizer company.
When you enter the building, the entrance is covered with marble, and the entrance hall, which has a stairwell up to the third floor, has a wooden staircase that imitates the Parliament building.The large hall on the first floor is 150 m2, and the Momoyama-style ceiling is colorfully fitted with floral motif sculptures.The pillars are made of mahogany or teak, and the walls are covered with a custom-made Nishijin-ori cloth.The guest rooms on the second floor are colored in Chinese vermilion, but the ceiling is inlaid with uncolored sculptures.From the 3rd floor, the view is still good and you can see the sea.
There was a statue of the founder in the park next to the building, but it was taken by the army during the Pacific War and only the pedestal remains.The word “Fertilizer King” is clearly visible there.
This building became a national registered tangible cultural property in 2002.It is usually closed to the public and there are occasional tours.It is introduced in a book called “Western-style building that you want to see before you die”.