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An experience-based accommodation, circular village hostel GURURI, pre-opened in Osaki Town, Kagoshima Prefecture, on December 21, 2023 [1] [2]. The Osaki Town SDGs Promotion Council developed the hostel as part of their circular economy initiative to launch a series of experience-based facilities where visitors can experience the “Circular Village, Osaki Town.”

Osaki is a small town in Kagoshima with a population of just 12,146 [3]. Still, the town has attracted attention across Japan and worldwide for its circular economy practices, including its unique “Osaki Recycling System,” where residents sort their waste into 27 different categories. Osaki has achieved Japan’s top recycling rate 14 times.

At GURURI, guests can experience the day-to-day lives in Osaki Town, including waste sorting. The environmentally friendly hostel is situated in a refurbished building and incorporates many sustainable elements, including solar power generation using second-life solar panels. The Osaki Town SDGs Promotion Council is conducting the Proof-of-Concept (PoC) with Osumi Peninsula Smart Energy [4], the operator, to collect power generation data from second-life PV systems and conduct risk assessments during installation.

Installing second-life solar panels in tourist accommodations not only reduces environmental impact but could also raise awareness about the growing problem of solar panel waste in Japan and abroad. Guests can learn about the environmental - and potentially financial - benefits of choosing used solar panels over new ones. It would be interesting to see more use cases of second-life solar panels in the Circular Village, Osaki Town.

Osakini Project website (Japanese)

Press Release (Japanese)


[1] Osaki Town SDGs Promotion Council, “2023.12.21 体験型宿泊施設「circular village hostel GURURI」がプレオープン!竣工式&内覧会を行いました。.” Accessed: Dec. 22, 2023. [Online]. Available: https://www.osakini.org/gururi-preopen/

[2] Osaki Town SDGs Promotion Council, “体験型宿泊施設「circular village hostel GURURI」がプレオープン!2024年4月から本オープン、体験を充実させ一般のお客様宿泊も可能に。.” Accessed: Dec. 22, 2023. [Online]. Available: https://prtimes.jp/main/html/rd/p/000000032.000085406.html

[3] Osaki Town, “位置・人口・世帯数.” Accessed: Dec. 22, 2023. [Online]. Available: https://www.town.kagoshima-osaki.lg.jp/jk_madoguchi/machiannai/gaiyo/ichi.html

[4] Osumi Peninsula Smart Energy, “Osumi Peninsula Smart Energy.” Accessed: Dec. 22, 2023. [Online]. Available: http://opse.jp/index.html

Author: Saki Kobayashi / 小林 さき