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The hotogaya reproduced the signs posted by merchant associations who used the inn.  If they belonged to the association, they got a discount on their rooms.  Junichi pointed out that one association was of tea merchants because this was a famous tea growing area.
Copyright © 2007, Helen and Steve Rindsberg

The hotogaya reproduced the signs posted by merchant associations who used the inn. If they belonged to the association, they got a discount on their rooms. Junichi pointed out that one association was of tea merchants because this was a famous tea growing area.