December 20, 2021
Kakurinbo Temple Lodging & Ebisuya Rental Villa
As recommended by the Washington Post
For over 550 years, Kakurinbo has welcomed pilgrims and weary travelers to its tranquil setting in the forested foothills of Mount Fuji.
As a shukubo, or temple lodging, Kakurinbo offers a harmonious balance of hospitality and spirituality. Its clean and simple aesthetic, with warm wood, tatami-matted floors and shoji doors through which light softly filters, exudes tranquility and comfort.
The centerpiece of Kakurinbo’s celebrated garden, designed by the great poet, priest and gardener Muso Soseki, is a shinji ike pond in which koi lazily drift.
Kakurinbo is one of some 20 operating shukubo in Minobusan, located in southern Yamanashi Prefecture. As home of Kuonji, the head temple of Nichiren Buddhism, Minobusan has traditionally attracted pilgrims. Today, visitors come to relax and explore the many highlights of the local area, such as Shichimenzan, another sacred mountain.
Kakurinbo offers a warm welcome, exquisite cuisine and a variety of activities linked to Buddhist culture. Bilingual staffers are usually on hand to explain and help with workshops. Bicycles are available to rent for those who are ambitious to explore the hilly terrain, or take on the challenge of a trip to Lake Motosu.
Kakurinbo has recently opened Ebisuya, a lovingly restored merchant’s villa dating from the early Showa period. Ebisuya, which can comfortably sleep six guests, is now available as a self-contained, single-property accommodation.
The adjoining Farm Café Zencho is popular for light lunches, coffee and cakes. Dotted with wicker chairs, the café’s spacious terrace is the perfect place to share a bottle of Kakurinbo Temple Beer, Minobusan’s first craft ale. The beer, which comes in three styles, also makes a great gift for friends back home. The adjacent hot spring, the only one in Minobusan, is currently under renovation and will open in 2022. Fascinating, authentic and off the beaten track, Minobusan is only a bus ride away from Shinjuku Busta or two hours by car from Tokyo. Kakurinbo and Ebisuya welcome guests all year round.