Kakurinbo Temple Lodging and Guest Villa Ebisuya

Kakurinbo Temple Lodging and Guest Villa Ebisuya

Cultural experiences and regional revitalization


Not far from 750-year-old Minobusan Kuonji, head temple of Nichiren Buddhism, is Ebisuya, a charming rental villa with a fascinating history. Originally built as the private residence of a local sake merchant, this 90-year-old building was lovingly renovated in 2019, and today welcomes guests from both Japan and overseas.

Surrounded by lush greenery, Ebisuya’s crimson ceramic outdoor bath steals the spotlight as Minobusan’s only natural hot spring, offering free-flowing mineral-enriched water. The Taisho glass sliding doors that separate the spacious interior veranda from the traditional-style garden evoke the romantic ambiance of a bygone era. The fusion of contemporary Western-style rooms and the timeless elegance of traditional Japanese aesthetics is worthy of an art gallery.


Ebisuya and Kakurinbo, a nearby 550-year-old shukubo (temple lodging), are managed by Junko Higuchi, whose handcrafted cuisine features locally-sourced ingredients such as yuba (bean curd sheets) and Akebono soybeans. Highly recommended for an unforgettable taste of regional cooking are Junko’s Akebono soybean natto and hoto pasta, both of which have received the prestigious Cultural Affairs Agency’s 100-Year Food award.

For centuries, Minobusan has been a place of profound spiritual importance, attracting pilgrims from all over Japan. Despite this, the town has faced the decline in visitor numbers in recent years due to an aging population and a shift away from religious practices.

To combat this problem, Junko has kickstarted a series of initiatives aimed at boosting inbound tourism while breathing new life into this sacred area. Over the past decade she has worked tirelessly, ensuring that Minobusan’s rich heritage and inimitable charm continue to captivate visitors from around the world.


Visitors from overseas made up 40 percent of the total number of visitors to Minobusan in 2019, and the opening of Guest Villa Ebisuya marked a significant phase of the area’s revitalization. The COVID-19 pandemic posed a major challenge, however, plunging Minobusan into a two-and-a-half-year period of stagnation.

Despite these challenges, visitors from overseas now account for a staggering 80 percent of all guests at Kakurinbo and Ebisuya, signaling a remarkable recovery. Room occupancy rates have soared to 90 percent, highlighting the area’s substantial progress.

Nonetheless, there is still a long way to go. The focus is now shifting to promoting cultural experiences and Minobusan’s natural environment.

Looking to the future, the establishment of a brewery producing Kakurinbo Temple Beer is planned as the third phase of the area’s revitalization efforts. This initiative aims to infuse Minobusan with renewed energy by embracing a novel approach.


To address staff shortages, Junko has also implemented working holiday programs to attract young visitors from overseas. It is hoped that this initiative will bring a youthful workforce to the community while improving the English proficiency of local residents. By embracing an international approach, the aim is to revitalize Minobusan by fostering a multicultural environment and creating valuable cross-cultural exchanges. Not going unrecognized, this and other revitalization work earned Junko the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Award for the prestigious Furusato Development Grand Prize in 2022. Looking forward, Junko plans to continue to breathe new life into Minobusan and invite visitors to share unforgettable experiences at Kakurinbo and Ebisuya.

Experience and cuisine at Kakurinbo 

Dining: Savor a variety of traditional cuisine at Kakurinbo. Specialties include dishes rich in locally sourced yuba and Akebono soybeans that highlight the tastes of the region.

Kimono Experience: Enjoy wearing a traditional wedding kimono. Choose from a selection of 13 beautiful kimonos and immerse yourself in the elegance and charm of Japanese culture.

Sutra Copying: This is a meditative practice in which you can experience the ancient art of transcribing Buddhist sutras. It allows for a serene and contemplative atmosphere, providing a deeper understanding of Buddhism.

Kintsugi: Learn about this traditional art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer and gold dust. Try your hand at restoring broken pottery, transforming it into a unique piece of art that embraces imperfections and showcases the beauty of the object.

Reservation inquiries by this QR code

3955 Minobu, Minobu-cho, Minamikoma-gun, Yamanashi
Tel: 0556-62-0014
Fax: 0556-62-0045