Sanrakuso at Kansho-in Temple
Go forest bathing at Mount Daisen, try the hand-crafted Zen Burger and stay the night.
Towering over Tottori Prefecture at 1,729 meters, Mount Daisen is known as the “Mount Fuji” of Western Japan, which like its eastern contemporary is both physically imposing and also incredibly spiritually important to those who live here. To really appreciate this area in Tottori Prefecture, pay a visit to Sanrakuso at Kansho-in Temple — a traditional Japanese temple turned welcoming guest house, situated at the foot of Mount Daisen.
When traveling to the nature-rich area of Daisen, it’s definitely worth spending as much time as possible in tranquil, foliage-dense grounds that surround the area, and there’s really no better place than Sanrakuso, which is quite tourist-friendly.
There’s an activity here in Japan known as shinrin-yoku (森林浴), which in English translates to forest bathing, and in layman’s terms means just immersing yourself in nature. It’s said to have restorative effects on the body and the mind. Spending a few days here in Tottori’s hidden temple retreat is a great way to try it out.
Where can you find art and a cafe nearby?
In keeping true to its Buddhist legacy, Sanrakuso serves traditional style vegan Buddhist fare made from fresh, seasonal mountain produce found in and around the mountain area.
Because of the challenges of growing vegetables in an area 800 meters above sea-level, Sanrakuso cuisine is completely dictated by its location, so you can expect plenty of root vegetables, unique styles of tofu and seasonal variety that proves even under the most unfriendly of circumstances the monks of Tottori can pull off some serious miracles.
In keeping true to its Buddhist legacy, [they serve] traditional style vegan Buddhist fare made from fresh, seasonal mountain produce.
Non-staying guests are welcome to book a visit to the restaurant for lunch and dinner. A complete shojin-ryori course costs between ¥3,000 to 5,000 depending on ingredients and season, if you have any dietary requirements, be sure to let the chef know when you book as this offer isn’t available in winter. You can also try the hand-crafted “Zen Burger Daisen-ji” — a vegan take on an old favorite.
The 15-tatami-mat bedrooms here are set up in classic Japanese style; open, breezy and minimalist. A complete antithesis to the hectic energy of inner-city Japan, Sanrakuso at Kansho-in Temple and its tranquil surroundings is a place of peaceful relaxation, contemplation and appreciation for all the simple beauty Japan’s countryside offers.
The accommodation is really just the beginning of its charm. For those wanting to learn more about the true history of Buddhism here in Tottori, guests are invited to join in on the many regular events that happen onsite. The temple hosts Sutra transcriptions, traditional Buddhist meditations, as well as sightseeing opportunities like organized hikes, horseback riding and in the winter, skiing, just ask at check-in.
Know before you go
One of the most vibrant times to visit the area is the first weekend of June, when Mount Daisen hosts its annual Summer Opening Festival. During this event, you’ll witness over 2,000 torch-bearing locals parade through the area on their way to the Ogamiyama shrine. If you’re an early riser on the second day of the festival you can join the 5:30 a.m. climb to pray at the summit of Mt. Daisen. During the winter months, there’s plenty of excellent skiing to be had at Daisen White Resort on the northern side of the mountain, positioned just a 10-minute drive from Kansho-in.