We are locals who want our guests to discover the best of our region!
Owners Ben and Ruka first moved to Shinanomachi (next to Myoko) in 2015. They started off with a small airbnb style investment near lake Nojiri while ben worked as a guide. In summer they use their intimate knowledge of the area to assist foreign investors find, purchase, renovate and manage lodges in the Myoko and Madarao area. When the stars aligned, Gozan Lodge was purchased and renovated from an old "minshuku" style pension to emulate the simplicity and quality of serviced Alps huts which they visited in their travels of Austria, Switzerland and Slovenia. The lodge has been initially built and renovated using locally milled Japanese cedar and we have reutilized many features of the building to retain its original charm. We want our place to be comfortable, social, affordable and focused on local food, drink & artists. Most importantly we want our guests to leverage our experience of the many resorts and backcountry options to make the most of their time in the mountains.
Ben is originally from Australia but has lived in Japan since 2012. Ruka was born in the US but has lived in Japan most of her life. They were married at Lake Tahoe in 2015 and moved out to the mountains shortly after, abandoning the city life for something more enjoyable and mentally sustainable. Ben is working on the pathway to be a mountain guide and currently holds Japan Avalanche Network Operations level 1 (CAA Equivalent) and WildMed Wilderness First Responder 80hrs certifications. They both love the backcountry in all seasons but spend the typhoon periods surfing and camping in South Eastern Japan. Ben privately guides clients around the resorts and some safe backcountry options while tailguiding for goodguides who's lead guides are all certified NZMGA or IFMGA guides.
Lucy is a German Shepard - Labrador mix that joined our family in 2020. Born in Aomori, she is fit for winters in Myoko. She will be welcoming guests and enhancing their stay with her charm.