An inn where you can bring back the healing experiences during your stay to your everyday life.


~ Experience a transformative journey within the fermentation space created by EM (Effective Microorganisms) ~

Located on a small hill in the central part of Okinawa Prefecture's Nakagusuku village, " EM WELLNESS KURASHINOHAKKO LIFESTYLE RESORT " is a unique hotel that offers a "Fermented Living" experience, incorporating EM technology* in all aspects of life - clothing, food, and shelter. This resort stands out as one of the rare and distinctive hotels in Japan where guests can experience the wonders of living with fermentation.

With the motto "Fermentation = Improving for the Better," we propose a new resort-style as a sustainable hotel that contributes to our guests' healthier lifestyles and the preservation of the environment.

This time, we had the opportunity to interview Mr. Nishibuchi, the President and General Manager, about the untold story behind the birth of " EM WELLNESS KURASHINOHAKKO LIFESTYLE RESORT " and its appeal.

* EM stands for Effective Microorganisms, which is a collection of beneficial microorganisms found in nature, such as photosynthetic bacteria, fermentative lactic acid bacteria, and yeast. They are friendly to both humans and the environment. EM demonstrates its power in improving agricultural land and water environments.


Table of contents


-What principles or philosophies led to the creation of this hotel?

The owner company of this building is EM Research Organization, which is engaged in the research and development of microorganisms. I also come from an agricultural background and have been involved in research and promotion of microbial technology.

Many people may wonder how this microorganism research institution is connected to wellness.

There are various definitions of wellness, but Professor Masashi Arakawa of the University of the Ryukyus, who advocated wellness, stated, "Wellness is about creating a life that is based on a lifestyle that prevents illness while paving the way for a fulfilling life true to oneself." Our company's management philosophy also aligns with this concept.

For instance, when it comes to staying healthy, diet plays a crucial role. Microbe-rich soil fosters vibrant crops that provide our bodies with abundant nutrients. Moreover, these crops grow without the worry of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. While our company is dedicated to soil improvement and water purification, we firmly believe that by harnessing the power of fermentation and microorganisms, individuals can lead an organic and chemical-free lifestyle at home, which can structurally transform the current society facing an increasing number of illnesses. This is the core philosophy of our business. Hence, we view the hotel, where clothing, food, and shelter are all provided, as an exhibition venue for EM technology, creating a center where guests can experience wellness. This is why we decided to venture into the hotel industry.

-In 2021, the hotel changed its name from "Costa Vista Okinawa Hotel & Spa" to " EM WELLNESS KURASHINOHAKKO LIFESTYLE RESORT."

Since its founding, the hotel has embraced the philosophy of using EM technology to prevent illnesses. However, in order to strongly emphasize the desire for guests to not only experience a change in lifestyle towards wellness during their hotel stay but also to carry it back into their daily lives, we decided to rebrand and change the name.

The term "Wellness" was included in the name (EM Wellness Center Hotel Costa Vista Okinawa) since the hotel's opening in 2005. However, with the new name, we wanted to convey the idea of wanting to be involved with our guests beyond just experiencing a wellness lifestyle at the hotel and instead have them carry it back into their daily lives to enrich their lifestyle. As the concepts of fermentation and microorganisms might seem difficult as they are, we decided to launch the "KURASHINO HAKKO" brand to convey the message that incorporating fermentation will enhance one's life. We incorporated this concept directly into the hotel name. Although both internal and external parties criticized the name for being too long, we stood firm as there was no way to subtract anything further.

-I heard that the hotel's building also reflects the philosophy.

This building has a history of over 50 years. It was first opened as the Okinawa Hilton in 1972, and later operated as a Sheraton for about 20 years before closing down. After that, it remained unused for over 10 years, becoming a massive abandoned hotel that attracted attention from weekly magazines and television shows, even being referred to as a "ghost hotel." In 2003, EM Research Organization acquired the property, and the process of revitalizing it as a hotel began.

It was said that it would be cheaper to demolish and rebuild the main building. However, the main building was the last authentic structure built during the U.S. military occupation era and held cultural significance for Okinawa. Rather than demolishing a building with such historical value, we wanted to revive it. With that in mind, we utilized EM technology in every aspect of the renovation, including cleaning the entire building, concrete work, road paving, and landscaping. As a result, the entire hotel transformed into a wonderful healing fermentation space.


-We heard that the hotel utilizes EM (Effective Microorganisms) technology in various aspects of clothing, food, and shelter. Could you please provide more details about EM technology?

EM, in simple terms, is a technology that uses microorganisms to revitalize the microbial life in soil and water. Our living environment is surrounded by microorganisms, and whether we lead a healthy life or not, whether plants grow vigorously or not, and whether water is clean or polluted, all depend on the state of these microorganisms. Regarding the human body, recent research has revealed that brain function and mental well-being are heavily influenced by gut bacteria.

EM, in simple terms, is a technology that uses microorganisms to revitalize the microbial life in soil and water. Our living environment is surrounded by microorganisms, and whether we lead a healthy life or not, whether plants grow vigorously or not, and whether water is clean or polluted, all depend on the state of these microorganisms. Regarding the human body, recent research has revealed that brain function and mental well-being are heavily influenced by gut bacteria.

-How is EM technology actually utilized in the hotel?

For daily cleaning, we use a diluted solution of fermented liquid activated with lactic acid bacteria and yeast. When microorganisms ferment, they increase components that naturally eliminate dirt and odors. By using this EM-fermented liquid for cleaning, we create an environment surrounded by beneficial microorganisms, free from chemicals. We call this environment the "fermentation space," which ensures a chemical-free and healthful atmosphere for both the surroundings and our bodies.

In terms of meals, we pursue dishes that bring joy to both the mind and body by combining EM-cultivated organic ingredients with "fermented" foods. Our popular offerings include a "Salad Bar" featuring fresh vegetables from our own farm and fermented dressings, as well as a "Fermented Porridge Corner" where EM-cultivated rice porridge can be enjoyed with a variety of toppings. We also implement initiatives to recycle resources, such as fermenting and utilizing hotel food waste as compost on our own farm.

Regarding clothing, our cleaning process has unique characteristics. For in-house attire and linens, we rely on external vendors who use environmentally friendly soap and naturally derived EM fermented liquid for washing, avoiding the use of synthetic detergents, bleach, and fabric softeners. Even guests who are sensitive to chemical substances have commented that they can sleep soundly at our hotel, and we have had long-term guests who appreciate this aspect of our services.

When hotels embrace "wellness," they often incorporate treatments like thalassotherapy and yoga. However, for us, "wellness" means being in an environment with fewer chemical substances and surrounded by beneficial microorganisms.

Our aim is for guests to experience feelings like "It's so cozy here," "I slept soundly," "The food is delicious," or "My skin feels better" during their stay at our hotel. To achieve this, we are meticulous about ensuring that everything, from meals to clothing and living environment, contributes to a healthy state.


-Please tell us your recommended accommodation plan.

We are proposing a new style of travel called "Healication," which combines healing and vacation.

This is a new form of wellness travel, where guests are encouraged to take their time and have a relaxed and healthy journey, spending 3 nights and 4 days to peacefully align with their body and adjust their body's rhythm, rather than rushing through a busy sightseeing trip with just one night and two days, departing the next morning.

We hope to provide our guests with a time to cherish themselves and experience healing through body and mind-pleasing meals, a soothing hot spring bath that envelops the whole body in warmth, and a comfortable space that feels like being in nature, facilitating deep sleep. We wish our guests to feel the changes in their well-being during their stay, as they take time for themselves and indulge in moments of relaxation.

-If you have any recommended activities during your stay, please let us know.

That is a workshop where you can take home practical living wisdom.

We want you to continue experiencing the healing power of fermentation that you've encountered during your hotel stay even after your departure. We provide a platform during your stay where you can learn about the wisdom of "Living with Fermentation," which can contribute to healthier and better lives for yourself, your family, and those around you.

In the "Food" workshops, you can learn how to make fermented foods such as miso, amazake, shio-koji, and soy sauce-koji. Using pesticide-free or organic ingredients and additive-free seasonings, we aim to provide an experience that allows you to enjoy the pleasure of "creating by yourself."

In addition, we have set up QR codes so that you can refresh and rejuvenate yourself from the daily or travel fatigue by practicing yoga while watching videos in your room. You can enjoy evening yoga to improve sleep quality and morning yoga to invigorate your mind and body right in the comfort of your room.

-Earlier, you mentioned that you have your own farm, right?

Just a 10-minute drive from the hotel, there is our hotel-operated farm called "Sunshine Farm." Every Saturday, we open the farm under the name "Saturday Morning Market," where visitors can participate in vegetable harvesting and sales, as well as purchase free-range eggs freshly laid in the morning. Everyone is welcome to join.

You can harvest eggplants and bell peppers from this field today. They are priced at 50 yen per piece." We have created a price list for vegetables that can be harvested on the same day, so you can experience the joy of harvesting the vegetables you want by using scissors. Moreover, for the eggs, you can buy them individually as they are freshly laid on the same day. We have prepared a small chicken coop with about three chickens so that children can collect eggs themselves. When you enter the chicken coop and open the lid, you will find freshly laid eggs. This experience is not only enjoyable for children but also for adults.


Are there any limited special offers or event information available?

◆Wellness Yoga at a World Heritage Site.

World Heritage Site Nakagusuku Castle, which preserves the memories of the Ryukyu Kingdom era. Experience the power of the World Heritage and absorb the energy from the earth, sky, and sea through deep breathing and flowing movements in this yoga session, offering both dynamism and a refreshing sensation throughout your body.

◆Miso Making Workshop

The miso making workshop, which has been held monthly for about 2 years, remains highly popular and fills up quickly. The miso made by oneself or one's family is said to be a super fermented food that can withstand stomach acid.

◆"Meditation Retreat Stay" *Limited-time offer

When you live each day with your heart, body, and mind fully engaged, stress and fatigue can accumulate unknowingly. At times like these, what you need is a retreat.

In familiar surroundings, it's hard to truly relax from the depths of your heart. So, why not venture to a place disconnected from your daily life, and dedicate it solely to healing yourself?

During the Meditation Retreat, we offer three meditation practices and workshops that help align your mind and body, promoting rejuvenation and refreshment.

■ Copywriting: As you transcribe each character one by one, distractions are swept away, and you can savor the time to calm your mind.
■ Zazen: Under the guidance of the abbot of Shuri Kannon Temple, you sit with proper posture and experience facing yourself through unifying the mind.
■ Meditation Yoga: You experience the practice of shutting out external awareness and fully immersing yourself inward, achieving a state of no mind.
■ Incense Making: You can create your own incense that can be used for meditation at home or for relaxation.



Address: 1478 Kishaba, Kitanakagusuku Village, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa 901-2311, Japan 901-2311

TEL:(098)-935-1500  FAX:(098)-935-1600


【By car】Approximately 40 minutes from Naha Airport via the Okinawa Expressway (about 10 minutes from Kitanakagusuku IC).

【By Taxi】

Approximately 40 minutes from Naha Airport, the cost is approximately 7,000 yen.

【By Express Bus】

Take the express bus (Route 111/117) from Naha Airport and get off at the Kishaba Bus Stop. Alternatively, you can take the express bus (Route 152) bound for Rycom and alight at AEON MALL Okinawa Rycom. Then, please proceed by taxi.

■The person we have spoken with

Mr. Yasushi Nishibuchi

CEO/Managing Director


Born in 1977, from Miyagi Prefecture.

During high school, encountered Professor Teruo Higa's book "The Great Transformation to Save the Earth" and decided to attend Ryukyu University.

1966: Enrolled in the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of the Ryukyus.

2002: Completed the Master's Program at the Graduate School of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus.

Joined EM Research Organization Co., Ltd., and gained experience in various roles, including working at the Morioka office, the Awaji Island farm project, the international department, and the Tohoku reconstruction project.

2013: Worked at EM Research Organization Co., Ltd. in Okinawa as an Executive Officer in charge of the hotel business, and also became a Director of EM Research Organization Co., Ltd.

Current position since 2019.

■Editorial postscript

I actually went on-site for coverage and by the time I left, I was captivated by this hotel. It stood on top of a hill, offering a magnificent view, and the private spa, surrounded by tranquility, seemed so inviting and relaxing. It was truly a breath of fresh air that made me sigh in contentment. Among all the experiences, what left the most profound impression was the "fermentation space" mentioned in the article. It's difficult to describe the exact feeling, but the atmosphere had a delightful scent, different from aromas or herbs, that made me want to take deep breaths repeatedly. Sitting there, listening to the stories, it was a space where relaxation naturally embraced me.

In addition, I highly recommend their original store, where they carefully select items that add a touch of dedication to making daily life healthier and more enjoyable. They offer a total approach to a healthy lifestyle encompassing clothing, food, and living, making you want to incorporate their products into your everyday life (I ended up buying a handmade detox cola infused with organic herbs and spices. Just by being a little particular about the beverage, I felt like I could detoxify both my body and mind).

To end my discussion, if you visit the hotel, I recommend checking out the grassy area adjacent to the herb garden. There's a space where you can walk barefoot. As someone who usually wears high heels, it had been so long since I last felt the ground beneath my feet that I was genuinely moved and ended up getting a bit carried away. I still can't forget the soft and plush feeling of the grass.

For those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and connect with their own bodies, this is a hotel I highly recommend visiting.