Koloa in Kauai County, Hawaii — Hawaiian Island Archipelago (Pacific Ocean)
Yamamoto Store & Kōloa Hotel
Kōloa Heritage Trail — Ka Ala Hele Waiwai Ho‘olina o Kōloa
— Preserving the Heritage of Po‘ipū & Kōloa —
Erected by Po‘ipū Beach Foundation. (Marker Number 13.)
Location. 21° 54.217′ N, 159° 27.95′ W. Marker is in Koloa, Hawaii, in Kauai County. Marker is on Koloa Road (Hawaii Route 530) west of Maluhia Road (Hawaii Route 520), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Koloa HI 96756, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Koloa, Birthplace of the Hawaiian Sugar Industry (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Kōloa Missionary Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Kōloa Jodo Mission (approx. ¼ mile away); Prince Kūhiō Birthplace & Park (approx. 1.6 miles away); Hanaka‘ape Bay & Kōloa Landing (approx. 1.7 miles away); Hapa Road Pu‘uwanawana Volcanic Cone (approx. 1.9 miles away); Pā‘ū a Laka (Moir Gardens) (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Koloa.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. It is the first of the Kōloa Heritage Trail markers, and has a link to a list of all Kōloa Heritage Trail markers.
1. The Yamamoto Building
(transcription of interpretative marker in Photo 4.)
Constructed around the turn of the century, the Yamamoto building was originally operated as a plantation camp store and later as a general store and service station. The original owner, Mr. Yamaka, also had a small hotel to the rear of the property—called The Kōloa Hotel—which was generally used by “drummers” or salesmen who would arrive at Koloa Landing by steamer and travel through the island’s small towns to sell goods to the plantations and their stores. Another variety of guest was the Japanese traveling player who gave shibai performances at outdoor theater events.
The Yamamotos began to operate their store in the 1920s and sold candy and soft drinks to movie patrons of the Kōloa Theater
— Submitted October 26, 2008.
2. The Kōloa Hotel
(transcription of interpretative marker in Photo 8.)
Long considered the hub of the Kōloa community, the Kōloa Hotel is generally believed to be Kauai‘i’s first hotel. It was probably constructed at the turn of the century and used specifically as a lodging place for the numerous traveling salesmen, also known as drummers, who worked for large mercantile agencies on O‘ahu. These salesmen would arrive at Kōloa Landing after an often rugged ocean trip by steamer and rowboat. The would take their samples to each plantation camp store and sometimes even fan out from house to house in outlying communities. Troops of old-time Japanese actors and the occasional solitary traveler looking for inexpensive accommodations would also stay there since a supply of meals and company was assured. The Kōloa Hotel was leased by Yamamoto
— Submitted October 26, 2008.
3. The Koloa Hotel O-Furo
(transcription of interpretative marker in Photo 11.)
For use by its mostly Japanese hotel guests, the charcoal-heated bath tub was housed in a separate shed to prevent an accidental fire. The building also held a laundry washroom and is one of Kōloa town’s oldest structures. Culturally, the Japanese enjoyed their relaxing soaks in the o-furo, scrubbing and rinsing themselves first to make sure they would keep the soaking water clean when they entered the neck-high hot tub.
Field workers, as much as travelers, enjoyed the o-furo, but having a tub at home meant a lot of work for family members. This excerpt from Return to Mahaulepu by Charles Tanimoto, explains the situation:
“Since there was enough manpower in our household (seven females and five males), there should have been no problem in carting enough water for the furo bath. Getting the water for the bath also included the scouring of the bath tub. These were the chores we detested most. There was constant bickering among us as to who would get the water. After the tub was scoured and refilled with clean water, there was more argument because no one liked to tend to the fire to heat the tub. The fire
The luxury of a clean, hot bath meant a great deal in the era of manual labor, signifying refinements and pleasures unusual in a country setting.
— Submitted October 28, 2008.
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 26, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 2,837 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on October 26, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. 11, 12. submitted on October 27, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. 13, 14, 15, 16. submitted on October 26, 2008, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.