Get closer to the spiritual heart of Japan by joining the priests of Yamabushi Mountain for a morning meditation service.
Mount Yoshino is located deep in Nara Prefecture and is best known as the site of some of the most spectacular cherry blossoms in Japan. However, for centuries, Yoshino has been a center of worship for Shugendo Mountain and an aura of mysticism still surrounds the village. Every morning from 6:30 a.m. The Yamabushi Mountain Priests gather at the Kinpusen-ji Temple for a half-hour service and everyone is welcome to join them for meditation.
This is not just for hardened practitioners of Buddhism; is for anyone who wants to get closer to the spirit soul of Japan, to experience a ritual that has not changed for a thousand years or more. You may well be the only person in attendance for your settling on the tatami floors within the Zao-do mat main hall of the temple as the Yamabushi process to begin the ceremony. The hazy and repetitive hum of the song, the tones of the giant conch shell and the scent of incense intermingle to provide a powerful aid for meditation and emptying of the mind.
This is an experience that will live with you long after the stillness of dawn has given way to the chatter of tourists and the sounds of cars going up the mountain roads; a unique memory of your trip to Japan.