In 1926 Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata wrote the short story The Izu Dancer (伊豆の踊子). The novella is about a student traveling the Izu Peninsula in Japan. During his trip he befriends six dancers, he soon finds himself falling in love with the youngest member of the group, only to return to Tokyo alone and heart-broken. This was Kawabata’s first work to bring him wide spread recognition around the world, he went on to become a Nobel Prize winner and one of Japan’s most celebrated writers.
Kawabata wrote The Izu Dancer while staying at Fukuda-ya, a Japanese Inn in the Yugano region of Izu. This same Inn features prominently in the book.
Having enjoyed reading the book I decided to go and stay at Fukuda-ya last weekend. The surrounding town, and nearby public baths (which also feature in the story) are quaint and retain an atmosphere of Japan in times gone by. Here are a few photos from my brief stay there