Onuma Tsuruga Auberge EPUY
Overall Planning/Concept Work/Logo Design/Architecture-Design Planning/Sign Design
Restaurant Ware Design/Interior-wear and Uniform Design/Promotional Tools Design/Furniture - Fixture Coordination
One Delicious Day of Flowers, Greenery and Food
We built Auberge Epuy on the concept of "One delicious day of flowers, greenery and food," placing it in Hokkaido's Donan region, near to Onuma Station on the Hakodate Honsen and within sight of Mt. Komagatake. The building had originally been an old American style JR Hokkaido Hotel named after Joseph Yuri Crawford, a railway engineer who helped in developing Hokkaido's natural resources. Using the current facilities as a base, we planned to enhance the interior with onsen baths and spa living rooms equipped with outdoor baths. In the lounge, we created a diorama of model trains running on the Hakodate Honsen line in memory of the previous owners, and named it the Crawford Lounge. Also, we established a new restaurant in the garden based on the theme of "50 Mile Food." The hearth at the center, with its chimney piercing the roof of the restaurant like a great tree, became the symbol of Epuy.
In the Ainu language, Epuy means "Forest of many blossoming trees." (Source: "Considering Place Names in the Ainu Language," by Susumu Sugawara). When we think of flowers of the north, the kitakobushi, or Thurber's Magnolia, come to mind. In the Matsumae area of Hokkaido, they call this tree Shikizakura. I feel that the kitakobushi, the Epuy, is similar to the Sakura in that it signals the coming of spring and its green shoots after the long winter, a symbol of hope reborn. I designed the Epuy symbol based on the shape of the kitakobushi blossom just as it begins to open.
D51 Hakodate Honsen Nanae-Onuma
Long ago, this was a famous place featured on post cards. You could see the track-side ditches climbing the rolling hills. In the foreground is Onuma Station, where early in the morning the C62 from Onuma to Hakodate, rotated into service from the depot at Goryokaku, engine sits at the head of the local train with smoke billowing from its stack.
(Photo/Caption: Jun Endo)
-From the Epuy Bar/Lounge Crawford-Steam Locomotive Model
After December of 1975, steam trains disappeared from Hokkaido's landscape. However, Komagatake remains as tall as ever when seen from this same spot, and a new vision is growing at its foot.
Restaurant Epuy is built to blend in with the green trees and blue sky. Following a “delicious garden" theme, we have planted herbs, and guests can enjoy their meals outdoors as well.
This hearth is the symbol of Restaurant Epuy.
It represents an Epuy tree reaching its limbs for the sky, and the pendant lights hanging from its wrought iron limbs suggest the tree's seeds.
Hakodate and Onuma are both agricultural centers as well as sources of seafood from the Tsugaru strait and Uchiura Bay.
And of course, Mori-cho, facing Uchiura Bay, is famed for its squid rice.
For lunch, we serve Epuy-style squid rice.
The name Epuy is an Ainu word.
We're told that during the Jomon Period, the northeastern and northern territories also enjoyed mild weather.
Even back then, people enjoyed a rich food culture, with soups full of nuts and seafood.
I'm certain even in those days people gathered around the fire and enjoyed delicious food, just as we do today.
Let us pass through the connecting walkway to the accommodations area.
We kept the best of the Early American Style hotel that was, and renovated it to be even more classic.
I used the red of the center of the Kitakobushi flower as the main Epuy theme color, and focused my design on the three pillars of Flowers, Food and Railways. The welcome lounge was made using recycled future, dressers and doors. There is a model train display showing Komagatake towering over the Hakodate Honsen in the lounge, and you can even run the former D51 and Niseko Express.