Kunisaki, Japan: Tranquility at its Finest

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Need a break from the bustling city life? Give your mind, body, and soul a treat by visiting rural life in Kunisaki, Japan.

By Lee Ying Ying

Kunisaki is a city located in Kyushu, Japan, and is a charming respite from the likes of bustling cities like Tokyo or Singapore. Kunisaki’s plethora of Buddhist temples and shrines require some amount of walking to get to, but the journey and destination are gratifying. The rural city is dotted with hamlets covered in verdant forests and paddy fields interspersed with craggy ridges and mountains that scream (or rather, whisper) tranquility.

Walk Japan’s Kunisaki Retreat brings you to the countryside of the Kunisaki Peninsula, one of few places left in Japan where Mine-iri, a monk’s practice of traversing sacred mountain paths in prayer, remains a part of Kunisaki’s religiousity. The Kunisaki Retreat immerses customers in the best of Japan’s cultural past and present, all the while focusing on relaxing the mind, body, and soul.

Your accommodation during the Kunisaki Retreat will be a family-owned inn, adjacent to one of the most simple and elegant Buddhist structures in Japan. Start your morning with an instructed meditation and yoga session led by your host, who is also the abbot-in-waiting of Fuki-ji. Yoga is taught by a local practitioner who incorporates meditation and other forms of body work into her sessions, so newbies would have no problems relaxing by doing a simple session of yoga.

After your morning meditation, the Kunisaki Retreat takes you through Japanese activities such as making soba (buckwheat) noodles, ikebana (flower arranging), chado (tea ceremony), and Japanese taiko drumming, which are closely associated with Buddhism and meditation. Enjoy making your own locally-grown soba as the Retreat’s principal inn specialises in producing some of the best noodles in Kunisaki.

After a refreshing morning and sumptuous lunch, stroll along some of the less precipitous ancient pilgrimage trails once used by monks and locals for a breather, taking in the picturesque scenery of the Peninsula. A long-gone temple complex remains one of the Peninsula’s biggest religious institutions and serves as Kunisaki’s cultural monument.

Walk Japan’s local office and Community Project reside in Kunisaki. Their office is the form of a refurbished Japanese farm house and its project aims to revive Kunisaki and bring more life into this delightful region of Japan. You’ll also get to learn about its native vegetative and discuss about life in rural Japan, as well as help the locals maintain their forests by planting native trees to recreate some of its original woodlands.

 

Duration: 7 days 6 nights

Level: 1-2, anyone who can walk up to 5km a day in comfort

Price: JPY332,000 per person

Group size: Maximum 12 persons

Images by Walk Japan


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