About Waon

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Let’s be free.
Just like when you were a child,not worrying about anyone watching you,
just follow your heart.

Try feeling what moves you,
what you feel comfortable with and what you dislike.

Then let’s remember, your true self, what your goals are,
what only you can achieve, and the things you can achieve because it’s you.

Our guest house is an atelier where you can stay.
A place where you can do whatever you want,
like a child innocently painting on a blank canvas.
A place where you as an adult can rest and become yourself.

Atelier where you can stay, STAYBLE ATELIER

Concept Tagline

The meaning of “Atelier” according to Waon contains more than just an “Artist’s Workshop”.
For example, you can uncover a hidden talent through a creative process. Which gives you a combined value of recovering your identity and enhancing your senses.

Atelier doesn’t refer to Waon only, we like to think of the Kawashima region where Waon is located as an atelier created by the rich surrounding nature.
By placing yourself in the atelier of nature, you unlock your senses and encounter the essence that is yourself. That way, Waon is not the focus anymore, but a medium to relax your senses, think of it as a place that provides a “rejuvenation for your senses” that can transform you back into your true self.
We would like to propose to you “Atelier where you can stay/STAYBLE ATELIER”.

What is Waon’s Uniqueness?

Copywriter Kota Kitano

This is a question that I’ve always asked when interviewing Waon’s owner Mikako, manager Tomomi and other people affiliated with Waon. One hypothesis in response to that question became the basis for this concept.

“You can draw anything” There are no constraints within Waon. Only freedom, peace and scope. A community art renovation event was held before the opening of Waon, where participants had the freedom to paint and colour the walls and ceilings as they pleased. The interior may never have a stylish finish, but, Waon brings a dynamic and lively sense of movement and conveys the warmth of human touch which inspires a sense of security for its visitors.

Even now, after the opening of the guest house, that freedom is still alive.
We welcomed people who travelled to Japan from Hong Kong as if they were family members. While initially a guest house, Waon also started functioning as a shared house and the identity of the place gradually adapted to that new role. We feel that this is a distinctive feature of Waon.
This characteristic of Waon is reflected for example in Mikako’s big-hearted nature and unrestrained generosity, and Daigo’s pure and unbound spirit. And Tomomi’s flexibility and open mindedness. All these qualities are nurtured by the residents of Waon.

Another interesting charachteristic was that the talents of Waon’s residents continued to blossom.

After moving to this area, Daigo and Mikako’s talent for painting blossomed further and their work became popular. They received various awards both in Japan and abroad. Mikako won the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award for her Washi (Japanese Paper) Art that she drew after moving to Tatsuno!

Tomomi further improved her skill for growing vegetables and preparing miso paste. She has also taken on the challenge of managing the guest house which was something she always wanted to do.

Resident artist Kousuke started hosting “Sake and Fish Society” based on his previous love for Japanese Sake and fish. He seems to have found a new vocation as a pen character artist making good use of his pen skills.

“I don’t know what I like”, “I would like to make use of my strengths and talents”. There are many people in the world who wish to do so. There are countless books in the bookstore with titles such as “How to find your dream job”. But there aren’t many people who can achieve that. So how did the residents of Waon manage to find what they liked and what they’re passionate about?
The conclusion I’ve reached after experiencing life in Waon and listening to various stories from the residents here can be stated simply “Do what you love, and you will find your passion”.
We live in a world where we’re constantly feeling the pressure to pursue certain goals like getting a good education, having a good job, earning money and getting married, that we forget our inner values.

There must be a precious and gentle atmosphere in Waon that frees you from what “must be done” and encourages you to “Do what you love”.
With that in mind, I tried to set this concept. I hope that Waon will be a place where people can realize their full potential and where their talent can blossom.

Atelier Waon opened in Tatsuno Shinshu in April 2018.

A couple who are originally from Nagano decided to base their life between Tokyo and Nagano to raise their artistic son in the rich natural environment of Nagano to encourage his creativity.

Together with their friends, they renovated a Showa retro house with the cooperation of Tatsuno Town Plannning and the local Resettlement Promotion Council.

The Atelier promotes art, connection with the local community and farm life.


The building itself is an art space.
From the moment you step in, you’ll encounter a world full of handmade art that features the resident mother and child artists.


The Kawashima area in Tatsuno town with it’s Beautiful and rich nature all year around, and energetic older people and younger child-raising generation.


We are challenging ourselves with organic farming together with our experienced farmer who gained her knowledge in the field from around the world.
Organic products are delicious because they’re grown from seeds.
Growing them and eating them makes life more enjoyable.
Don’t forget the importance of good sleep as well.

Activities made here

When you come here, you might recall your childhood memories. Like playing in a river and being startled by the flow of water and its coolness. Or sledging in the snow while trying to keep your ears warm. That feeling you had as a child of being afraid but excited at the same time can also be felt here. Even as an adult you can still enjoy homemade pizza baked in a wood stove and have a go at making Soba, then enjoy it together with sake. Inhale deeply through these luxurious moments, spread your wings and without a doubt your innocence will make an appearance.

Landscape with Fields

Surrounding Nature