Sankiro, constructed in 1931, was once a high-class Japanese-style restaurant representative of Moji Port. It was used as a social venue for major companies and banks, and was counted among the top 3 Japanese-style restaurants in Moji Port in the early Showa era (1926–1989). The large, 3-story wooden building has a total floor area of more than 1,200 square meters and over 20 rooms. TheIt is the largest Japanese-style building still standing today is the largest in Kyushu. Its location atop a hill on the Yamate side from Mojiko Station means it affords a panoramic view of the Kanmon Straits. It has an elegant structure, and its view was described in Moji Shinpo (newspaper) on April 5, 1931 as follows. “The building incorporates the best of the old and new. It is elegant and strong. There are 15 large and small rooms, and the view is lovely. The Japanese-style restaurant has a magnificent exterior that is without compare in the Kyushu region.” The newspaper’s explanation of a gathering held at Sankiro paints a picture of the spectacular atmosphere of that time. It is’s said known that the founder, Asa Miyake was born in the late Edo period (1603–1868) and had started services at Sankiro by 1906 at the latest. She made the most of her business acumen to expand the business in her lifetime, and in 1937 built the Sankiro that stands today in 1931. Asa passed away 6 years later in 1937 at the age of 83, and her family took over the business. The Miyake family was well acquainted with culture and the performing arts, and performances of Noh, dancing, and Japanese classical music and more, among other performances were held on a 16-tatami-mat stage. It is said that a variety of performers and intellectuals attended the lavish parties. Records that remain today are filled with the names of many notable persons, including the comedian Roppa Furukawa , the poet Kyoshi Takahama and, Sazo Idemitsu, founder of Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. who was known from the novel, “A Man Called Pirate.” Sankiro, which symbolized the prosperity of Moji Port, declined after WWII, and the restaurant was closed down around 1955. Later, there was a period when the family rented out the building while living in it, and but in the end a man who was Asa’s grandson quietly lived in a few rooms on the 1st floor. When that man died in 2004, the surviving family renounced the inheritance since they were unable to maintain it. The building was in danger of being sold and dismantled. Interested locals who heard of the situation created the Organization to Preserve Sankiro. Within a year the organization had gathered 16,000 signatures and 19 million yen in donations, and acquired the property rights. The building was subsequently donated to the City of Kitakyushu, which began preservation and repair work in 2012. The principal work was finished in March 2014. Currently, the building houses the Japanese-style restaurant, Sankiro Saryo where diners can enjoy dishes from Shunpanro, the long-established pufferfish restaurant. On the 1st floor there is also an exhibit room introducing Sankiro as it was back in the day, and a large room on the 2nd floor can be viewed for free when it is not being rented out.
Address：3-6-8 Kiyotaki, Moji-ku, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture
Hours : 10：00ー17：00
Closed : Mondays (or the following day when Monday falls on a national holiday)
Fee : Free
Category: Constituent cultural properties
Genre: Story 3