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Zenbo Seinei – Expo 2025: Live to Travel, Travel to Live

Zenbo Seinei

Treat yourself to a spiritual Zen retreat at Zenbo Seinei, located on Awaji Island! This impressive building is designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban and features a 100-meter long wooden deck made of Japanese cedar that allows visitors to feel the wood’s warmth as they walk barefoot. In this enchanting complex, visitors can practice meditation and yoga based on Zen philosophy amidst the island's stunning scenery. In terms of cuisine, Zenbo Seinei embraces Japan's food culture of fermentation and serves "Zenbo cuisine" that is gentle on the body and free from animal products and additives. The facility offers day trip and accommodation plans, both of which include a variety of experiences, allowing you the opportunity to restore balance to both your mind and body and spend time reflecting inwardly.

Local insights

My name is Yukari Oohinata. After working as an assistant to the founder of an entertainment company, I started my own business and became the representative director of Pasona art now, a company that produces various events such as space production, public art, sports and health,while also working as the managing executive officer of the general affairs department at Pasona Group Inc. I moved to Awaji Island, Hyogo Prefecture, to work on creating an environment where working people can work vigorously while balancing work and child rearing. In April 2022, I also opened the Zen retreat facility Zenbo Seinei and became president of awajishima resort Co. Promoting mental and physical health, it offers a mindfulness experience in the great outdoors that cannot be experienced in the city.

Zenbo Seinei and Expo 2025

Zenbo Seinei’s fermented cuisine embodies Japan's culinary culture and has the ability to "Empower Lives," aligning perfectly with the Expo theme.

Q1: How does this attraction bring tourists and locals together?

A: At Zenbo Seinei, visitors can join workshops that allow them to experience Japanese food culture and interact with the producers of ingredients used in Zenbo cuisine, thereby exploring the history and culture of Awaji Island's ingredients. Additionally, Zenbo Seinei provides opportunities for local artists and farmers to showcase their activities and introduce Japanese culture. Moreover, many staff members are proficient in English, and some can also communicate in Chinese and Korean, which helps them break down language barriers and facilitate interactions between international travelers and local residents.

Q2: What kind of impressions have you got from visitors?

A: A guest from France was extremely grateful for the staff's kindness and flexibility in communicating in English, both of which made her feel like part of the family, despite it being her first visit to Awaji Island. During her stay, she enjoyed 90 minutes of meditation, yoga, and traditional and healthy meals. She was also impressed by the beautiful architecture and expressed her desire to return.

Q3: Any message for visitors planning to see Expo 2025?

A: Zenbo Seinei's convenient accessibility, just a one-hour drive from the Osaka/Kansai Expo venue, makes it an ideal destination for travelers. We encourage visitors to make the most of this opportunity. In addition to day trips and accommodation programs, we also offer an "Afternoon Tea Plan" featuring body-friendly sweets and savory dishes based on Zenbo cuisine, as well as meditation experiences. We invite you to experience the ultimate retreat at Zenbo Seinei while immersing yourself in the philosophy of Zen.

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