National

500-year-old Japanese inn hit by fire, one injured

Kyodo

A fire broke out Tuesday night on the grounds of a 500-year-old traditional Japanese inn in Shibukawa, Gunma Prefecture, with one nonlife-threatening injury being reported, a local fire department said.

The blaze that hit the Chigira Jinsentei inn and hot spring in the Ikaho resort area at around 9 p.m. was put out over two hours later.

The injured person was the 71-year-old wife of Sanuemon Chigira, 79, who owns the inn. The fire caused severe damage to the third floor of Chigira’s three-story wooden residence adjacent to the inn.

The approximately 20 guests who were staying at the establishment were reported to be safe.

The inn plans to resume operation on Friday.

According to the Chigira Jinsentei’s website, the facility was established in 1502 and was patronized by novelist Roka Tokutomi (1868-1927). The inn appears in Tokutomi’s novel “Hototogisu” (“The Cuckoo”).