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The demands of modern life can sometimes be overwhelming, and setting aside time to care for your body and soul is important if you want to stay healthy. Japan is famous for its culture of hard work, but luckily there are also many ways to find healing and total relaxation to recover from all the accumulated stress. Japan’s close ties to Zen Buddhism have also pioneered many ways to take a break from mental stress, so it’s easy to find many different approaches to relaxation of mind and body. If you really want to get away from it all to focus on yourself for a few hours or a few days, we recommend you try one of the following wellness retreats.
1. SEINEI Zen Wellness (Hyogo)
Not far from the cosmopolitan city of Kobe is a small island called Awajishima, where Zen Wellness SEINEI is located. In this retreat surrounded by a lush green forest, you can escape from everyday life in a beautiful minimalist structure that enhances your retreat experience. You can opt for a day or night package, and either way you enjoy delicious vegan cuisine and mindfulness activities like yoga, meditation, and calligraphy. You are sure to feel completely refreshed after your stay at this retreat.
Website: SEINEI Zen Wellness
2. Forest Therapy Overnight Retreat (Nagano)
Shinrin Yokuor forest bath, is a proven method to leave your anxieties behind and heal in nature. Nagano Forest Therapy Night Retreat is an evening program for holistic relaxation that takes you deep into the forests of Nagano Prefecture. The city of Shinano, where this retreat is held, has long been a top destination for forest therapy, which has benefits like lowering blood pressure and boosting the immune system. As the culmination of this program, you will experience three full hours of immersion in the forest and also participate in activities such as breathing exercises, hydrotherapy and harmony therapy. Complete relaxation is a given after this forest bathing retreat.
Website: Nagano Forest Therapy Overnight Retreat at Rakuten Travel Experience
3. Yoga with sea breeze and breakfast in Tanesashi (Aomori)
What could be more relaxing than practicing yoga on a grassy lawn while enjoying the magnificent view of the ocean in the background? Surely this must have been the idea behind the creation of the activity known as Sea Breeze Yoga and Breakfast on Tanesashi Natural Lawn. And it’s true: stretching slowly in such wonderful surroundings is undoubtedly one of the best ways to start the day refreshed and full of energy. After the yoga session, you will enjoy a delicious and satisfying breakfast. This morning’s activity takes place in Aomori Prefecture, near Hachinohe, making it perfect for those staying overnight in the area.
Website: Sea Breeze Yoga and Breakfast at Tanesashi Natural Lawn
4. Zen meditation in the Enman-in temple (Shiga)
East of Kyoto and near the southern edge of Lake Biwa, Enman-in Temple organizes various activities to introduce Zen Buddhism to local and foreign tourists. You can take part in a short Zen meditation session, after which you will be introduced to the Japanese tea ceremony and learn how to properly prepare a delicious cup of matcha tea. they will show you too tosenkyo, a traditional Japanese dart board. The picturesque temple garden is also worth a visit, and the spring water that can be drunk here is said to be good for one’s health.
Website: Temple d’Enman-in
5. Ryokan Yumotokan (Shiga)
Located between Nagoya and Kyoto, Shiga Prefecture is often overlooked by tourists wanting to explore the more famous highlights of Kyoto and Osaka. This means you can have a quiet local experience here that will be quite different from what you’ll experience in more touristy areas. So why not reserve a moment of relaxation? onsen hotel in Shiga to rest and recuperate between your visits to Tokyo and Kyoto? A stay in Yumotokan is likely to be the highlight of your trip, as you can sample the best of Japanese cuisine with a kaiseki meal, then soak in a top-floor outdoor hot spring overlooking Lake Biwa. .
Book here: Yumotokan
6. Haimurubushi (Okinawa)
Starting or ending your Japan vacation in Okinawa is sure to add a tropical touch to your vacation. Famous for its white sand beaches, azure blue oceans, and abundant marine life, this island prefecture is a true paradise on earth. Kohama is a small island wedged between Iriomote and Ishigaki where people come for one reason: to relax. Haimurubushi is the best hotel here to make the most of your stay with its comfortable rooms, romantic terrace, and incredible views. To complete your relaxation program, you can participate in morning yoga sessions and reserve me time in the beautiful spa.
Book here: Haimurubushi
7. Shojin Ryori on Mount Takao (Tokyo)
Mount Takao is very popular because it is easily accessible from central Tokyo for those who want to walk outdoors. At just 599 meters high, Mount Takao is suitable for almost all fitness levels, and there’s plenty to see and do along the way. If you are looking for a healthier day at Mount Takao, why not give it a try? shojin ryori. At the main temple, Yakuo-in, you can enjoy a varied meal made with fresh, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Eating here while hiking will be the perfect complement to your active day in nature.
Website: Mount Takao Shojin Ryori
You may have heard of temple stays (shukubo) before, an experience where you can not only stay overnight in historical temple accommodations, but also take part in various types of temple activities. Immerse yourself in the way of life of Buddhist monks by participating in zazen meditation, writing Buddhist sutras, and attending the morning ceremony. a vegetarian shojin ryori the food is also part of the experience. Perhaps the most famous temple stays in Japan are Koyasan, but it is also possible to stay in shukubo accommodation in other areas such as Tokyo or Yamanashi Prefecture.
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Japan Merveille Voyage is a travel agency that offers guided tours throughout Japan.
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