Find Spiritual Solace near Mount Fuji

Stay at a historic temple guest house

At the foot of Mount Fuji lies a mountain village in Yamanashi Prefecture called Minobusan, where there is a temple attached to Kuonji, the main temple of the Nichiren Shu sect of Buddhism. This satellite temple, named Kakurinbo, houses a historic “shukubo”, or guest house, formerly used by Buddhist monks in training, which has been converted for overnight visitors.

Here, you can experience the real Japan through authentic Buddhist practices such as chanting early morning prayers and climbing steep stairs that lead to the splendor of structures like Kuonji Temple. Now, there is an overnight tour to let you get the most out of the spiritual, cultural and natural environment of Kakurinbo.

After arriving in Minobusan and perhaps taking a stroll through its quaint shopping streets, check into Kakurinbo. Introduce yourself to Buddhist meditation practices by doing Shakyo, the copying of sutras. Delve further into the world of contemplation by joining evening prayers before dinner , a predominantly vegetarian feast which will include the delicacy of “yuba”, or gently curdled tofu skin.

Following the kaiseki dinner is a “matsuri”, or festival experience. There is a festival held every October in Minobusan, in which lanterns adorned with cherry blossoms made of delicate washi paper are lit in a procession to honor the anniversary of the death of Nichiren, a Buddhist saint. This parade is combined with a dance festival held every September in Iwate Prefecture. Have fun beating the drums and joining in the song and dance, then ease yourself into slumber by soaking your muscles in a luxurious wine-infused bath.

The next morning, after awakening your soul with an early morning prayer session at Kuonji, you may do the same for your body with invigorating yoga. Then, try on some of Kakurinbo’s free rental kimonos and enjoy taking your precious photos or videos in their exquisitely landscaped Japanese garden.

Check out and head for Minobusan Ropeway on an English guided tour, from which you can see World Heritage Site, Mt. Fuji. Enjoy a fresh-air lunch on top of Minobusan while taking in splendid views of the surrounding scenery. Return to Kakurinbo after lunch on Minobusan and rent power-assisted bicycles to tour the bucolic wooded area, perhaps taking part in a Japanese tea ceremony experience to relax and refresh you even more.
Allow yourself to be healed in mind, body and soul by the spiritual power of this Buddhist mountain retreat in pleasant rural surroundings, conveniently accessible from Tokyo.

Access: From Tokyo Station, take the shinkansen bullet train to Shin-Fuji Station, about 1 hour. After alighting from the shinkansen bullet train, travel by train and bus to Minobusan Bus Stop, about 1 hour and 40 minutes.

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