Special Tour of Ryuanji Temple w/ Shojin Ryori Buddhist Vegetarian Lunch in Minoh, Osaka

Overview

Enjoy a special tour of the historic Ryuanji Temple with its chief priest as your guide. See well-preserved painting on ‘fusuma’ panels up close, then enjoy shojin ryori (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine) prepared in the Minohyama (Mt. Minoh) style for lunch at Otowa Sanso, a charming inn nestled amid maple trees. Take home a blessed wallet as a memento of your visit! The most recent dates are as follows; 5/18/2022 6/16/2022 7/21/2022

Highlights

  • Perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in Minoh Park’s cultural attractions and not just the area’s natural scenery
  • Visit a culturally significant Buddhist temple with ties to the Shugendo folk religion and modern-day lotteries
  • Receive a special blessed wallet said to be able to improve financial prosperity
  • Try Minoh’s unique style of shojin ryori (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine) at the tranquil Otowa Sanso ryokan
  • Enjoy tea pairings specially selected by tea masters to go with your lunch’s seasonal ingredients and soup stock

Key Information

Important Information

• This experience is a package that includes the Ryuanji tour and lunch, but please book lunch as an add-on. Please note that the temple tour option and the lunch add-on have different age ranges for the child prices • The minimum number of participants for this experience is 1, and the maximum is 20 • Intoxicated guests are not allowed to join the tour • Due to the temple’s layout, please note that this tour is not wheelchair-friendly • In case of rain, you will not be able to see the interiors of the Phoenix Pavilion • Please make your own way from Ryuanji Temple to Otowa Sanso, which is an approximately 10-minute walk away • Guests with children aged 13 or younger will be served lunch in a private room in Otowa Sanso. Usage of the private room carries a surcharge of 10% of your total lunch bill (including additional orders, if any); please pay the surcharge on-site • For hygiene and safety reasons, you may not be able to participate in some of the tour contents depending on your health condition on the day. We will check your health condition on the day of the tour

Description

Immerse yourself in history at Minoh City’s Minoh Park (Meiji-no-Mori Minoh Quasi-National Park), an area with rich nature and culturally significant attractions located just a 30-minute train ride away from central Osaka. Ryuanji Temple is a temple with a history of over 1,300 years. En-no-Gyoja, the founder of the Shugendo folk religion of mountaintop asceticism, is said to have established this temple and practiced here. Let Ryuanji’s chief priest show you around the temple on a special tour, on which you’ll get to see well-preserved and intricate ‘fusuma’ (sliding-door panels) paintings up close, and also the Kakuden (guest hall) and Hououkaku (Phoenix Pavilion). Both of these halls are designated Registered Tangible Cultural Properties, and are only open for public viewing during certain times of the year. As a memento of your visit, you will receive a ‘fukusaifu’ with Ryuanji Temple’s original design. This lucky object is a blessed wallet used for holding lottery tickets, and is believed to be able to multiply money placed in it. With its practice of raffling off lucky charms, Ryuanji Temple is considered the birthplace of lotteries in Japan; to this day, you can still see artifacts from Minotomi, Ryuanji’s original venue for its lotteries, on the temple grounds. Then, for lunch, enjoy Minohyama Shojin, shojin ryori (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine) prepared in the Mt. Minoh style, at Otowa Sanso, a charming, tranquil inn nestled within the maple forest of Minoh Park. Vegetarian cooking is a practice associated with Buddhist and Shugendo priests, and at Otowa Sanso, you can try the same cuisine with a focus on soup stock and vegetables, while keeping the spirit of the practice in mind. As you dine, enjoy an explanation by the head chef about the harmony between the flavor of vegetarian soup stock and vegetables. You’ll also try Otowa Sanso's original take on momiji tempura (crispy, deep-fried maple leaves), a specialty of Minoh Park.

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