Upside-down rest

Mom sent me this picture today in an email forward:

lovely pink upside-down building

The original sender of the email (Mom’s cousin) wrote alongside it, “Can someone interpret the Chinese? Japanese?” (Actually, who knows who the original sender of the mail was. But I digress.)

I took this as a personal challenge!

First of all, for the record, it’s Japanese. We have lovely examples of hiragana, katakana, and kanji.

Here’s the text right-side up:

Japanese text on building: さかさレスト とんちん館

The text is:



and it apparently means:

Upside-Down Hotel

The kanji is a pun. They use 館, which is pronounced “kan” and means hotel or guesthouse. But the word 頓珍漢–same pronunciation as とんちん館, different kanji–means “absurdity” or “contradiction”.

You will find many such puns in the Japanese language. :>

[Here is what seems to be the original image. Here’s a tour of the place, and here’s another one. According to this, they serve meals of fish curry and rice omelets. It also lists their address, 長野県松本市島内5030 (Nagano prefecture, Matsumoto City, Shimauchi[?] 5030). I may have to stay there someday if they have their own restaurant and karaoke…]