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Sustainable Travel Experiences in JAPAN

Gain Insight into Japanese Beliefs

Gain Insight into Japanese Beliefs

The geography and location of the Japanese archipelago afford a mild climate, while towering mountain slopes, fertile seas and verdant fields provide a diverse and compelling natural landscape. However, Japan is also prone to disasters, from typhoons and floods to heavy snowfalls and icy storms. In response to these conflicting elements, Japanese people have developed a sense of mindfulness with profound gratitude and awe toward nature. This reverence has formed a culture of respect for nature and the environment in Japan, and the idea that gods dwell in Japan’s mountains, seas, plants, trees and more defines the country’s ancient religions and practices. There are many ways to experience Japan’s unique spiritual culture. Join a pilgrimage route, stay in an ancient temple, try Zen meditation or simply marvel at the beautiful natural landmarks that have inspired deep-rooted beliefs.

Experience the life of Buddhist monks at Koyasan first-hand


Embrace spiritual fulfillment on a withdrawn, deep-mountain retreat



The legendary Japanese monk named Kukai (774–835 AD) founded the Shingon Buddhism sect and a monastery complex in Wakayama Prefecture known as Koyasan. Since then, for more than 1,200 years the monks at Koyasan have lived a simple, sustainable life in the verdant Kii Mountains. This active monastic center is one of Japan’s most sacred sites, but it is open to visitors. In fact, of the 117 temples located here, 51 are open for visitors to stay alongside the monks at the temple’s shukubo, a traditional pilgrim lodge. Here, you’ll learn about the monks’ daily lives and actively participate in early morning prayer and meditation sessions during your stay. The monks will also prepare your food, a Buddhist cuisine made entirely of vegetables, edible wild plants, grains and soybeans known as shojin ryori. Staying at Koyasan is a mindful, positive experience that will leave you feeling fulfilled, at peace and content for the days and weeks that follow your visit. 


Koyasan Shukubo Temple Lodging Association

600 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama



Become one with nature under the guidance of Dewa Sanzan


Yamabushi mountain priests guide you to spiritual and environmental discovery


ⓒ Yamabushido


Towering above the tree line of the Bandai-Asahi National Park are the three mountains of Dewa. Here, generations of mountain priests known as Yamabushi have walked the peaks for over 1,500 years. Following the ancient belief of Shugendo, a unique Japanese mountain faith that is a fusion of Shinto, Buddhism, and native Japanese animism, the Yamabushi are dedicated to connecting with nature through mind, body and spirit. Now, for the first time ever, you can join the Yamabushi and learn their ancient sustainable ways. Join Master Hoshino on a journey of self-discovery as you follow sacred trails and stay in a traditional Yamabushi-run pilgrim lodge. You’ll also learn long-practiced meditation and other techniques to reconnect with yourself and live more harmoniously with nature. In addition, your visit to Dewa Sanzan, and financial contributions to sustainable experiences like those offered by organizations including Megurun Inc., will give you the opportunity to directly support Yamabushi culture and the environmental stability of the region.



120-2 Konko-ji, Yabase, Tsuruoka-shi, Yamagata



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