Tuesdays, 9.00 – 9.54 p.m. from 9 April 2013
Ueba Kamo works at the Ministry of Finance’s Budget Implementation Planning Office. She is the only daughter of Ueba Kaoru, the proprietress of Uebaya, a long-established, high-end Japanese inn in Kyoto, but she hates Kyoto as well as the customs and protocol unique to traditional Japanese inns. Ever since she came up to Tokyo to attend university, she has never once returned to Kyoto. On the other hand, a consultancy firm called Wise Consulting is in talks to buy out Uebaya for a foreign hotel chain. The consultancy’s chief executive Takase Yujiro is impatient with Kaoru who is taking a long time to give her consent, and assigns this task to Kinugawa Shuhei, a professional in acquisitions. Kinugawa declares that he will pull it off within half a year and immediately comes to scout out Uebaya. This is when he witnesses Kaoru being taken away by an ambulance after collapsing from a heart attack. He contacts Takase and confidently tells him that it will only take one month to buy out Uebaya. Meanwhile, Kamo is notified of her mother’s death. She goes back to Kyoto for the first time in 10 years and conducts the funeral service in a detached manner. The funeral is attended by Uebaya’s employees who are determined to continue maintaining the inn despite Kaoru’s death. When the funeral is over, Kamo decides to temporarily entrust the inn to the employees and return to Tokyo. Kinugawa calls out to her as she leaves, and tells her that Uebaya is 50 million yen in debt even if this is set off against inheritance tax. He proposes to forgive the entire sum if she leaves things to him. Kamo goes back to Tokyo without giving an answer. She meets a friend from university days and tells her all the details. The friend suggests that Kamo use the knowledge and experience cultivated at the Ministry to run Uebaya until its assessed value goes up. Believing that with her brains, a makeover of the inn is a simple matter, Kamo comes to Kyoto again and stays as a guest at Uebaya. The next day, she gets in touch with Kinugawa to asks him for an additional loan in order to restore the finances. After that, she gathers the employees of Uebaya and announces significant reforms which will overturn the hospitality that has been kept all this while. The employees are dumbfounded and disapproving. Kamo tells them that the inn will be run in this way from tomorrow onwards, but the reputation that her mother built plunges sharply. Furthermore, the employees hate her. Even so, she persists and tides through it with her inflated sense of self and energy. While she and Kinugawa claw at each other’s throats, cheat and sabotage each other, an odd friendship is gradually formed and they face the challenge of rebuilding Uebaya together.
Matsushita Nao as Ueba Kamo
A career bureaucrat at the Ministry of Finance’s Budget Bureau, and the only daughter of the proprietress of the long-established Japanese inn Uebaya in Kyoto. She abhors the fact that her odd name originates from Kamogawa River. Her father passed away when she was in high school. Because her mother had her hands full with the inn and guests, she got the impression that she is second to Uebaya and grew to hate the inn and the streets of Kyoto. In rebellion against her mother, she decided to go on to Tokyo University and never once returned after that. At the Ministry of Finance, she became the youngest project leader. Ishiguro Tetsuya, her senior at the same ministry, is her boyfriend. Both her work and love life are going smoothly when she receives news of her mother’s death. Her forte is preparing documentation, collecting data and staying up all night.
Shiina Kippei as Kinugawa Shuhei
A consultant of Wise Consulting. He has an MBA from the US. A rather sharp and shrewd Kyoto native who has idiosyncrasies. However, he is impossible to hate. He has the flexibility to accommodate what the other party does right on the spot. On the surface, he behaves irresponsibly. But behind closed doors, he quickly performs calculations and skillfully closes deals. He is assigned to acquire Uebaya because of his track record of more than 30 successful M&As in three years. He thinks that Ueba Kamo, who has become the new proprietress of Uebaya, is an easy mark. But faced with the fumbling, diligent employees of Uebaya, he ends up helping them against his better judgement. In truth, he has special feelings for Uebaya.
Katase Rino as Shiomi Mariko
The head waitress of Uebaya. She has worked at the inn for 33 years and was the right-hand person of the previous proprietress, Ueba Kaoru. Uebaya is like her alter ego and it pains her that Ueba Kamo has come back out of the blue and annouced a preposterous plan for reform. However, she merely waits to see what Kamo has got and does not kick up a fuss. Before long, she starts beating Kamo into shape with terrifying severity in order to make her the proprietress of Uebaya.
Ichige Yoshie as Ueba Kaoru
Ueba Kamo’s mother and the former proprietress of Uebaya. She was the ninth proprietress of the inn which has been in the family for 200 years. Her mother, the eighth proprietress, was extremely strict and she trained to be a proprietress by watching her. She emphasises tradition and social formalities, and maintains the highest level of hospitality for guests. However, this requires money and she gets a big loan from the bank. In the midst of this, she collapses from a heart attack … …
Wakamura Mayumi as Umegaki Suzuka
The female proprietress of the Japanese inn Umegakiya in Kyoto. She is also the president of the association of Kyoto ryokan proprietresses. She married into a family whose Japanese inn was on the decline, turned it around with her knack for management and made it flourish. She is the object of admiration for women who work in Kyoto’s inns. Impressed with Ueba Kaoru’s intentions for Uebaya, she secretly made that her goal. Even though Kamo rejects that and tries to head in a different direction, she treats her kindly.
Ibu Masato as Takase Yujiro
The chief executive of Wise Consulting. He has hooked up with UK’s Briston Hotels & Resorts and tries to orchestrate the development of a big resort in Kyoto by the Japanese and English. However, the acquisition of the Japanese inn Uebaya which is pivotal to this plan does not go well and he singles out Kinugawa Shuhei. He is thinking of maintaining the building but changing the interior to a modern one designed for foreign guests if the sale is successful.
Daito Shunsuke as Kamo Kyosuke
The owner of Matsuhiro, a shop for Kyoto accessories. He sells the accessories that he designs. A kind, thoughtful person. Because he was a junior high school classmate of Ueba Kamo, he is under the impression that he is Kamo’s first love. He thinks that they are mutually in love but she only treats him like a younger brother.
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