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
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.