Region
Chugoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Tottori
Population
613,229

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.

Landscape of mountain reflection of Mount Daisen in a pond

Photo by: Landscape 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.

Morning rituals are all part of the experience.

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?

Situated at the base of Mount Daisen, Sanrakuso is nestled right in the sacred center of Tottori, just a short walk from Daisen-ji Temple, surrounded by towering green cedar trees. Founded in 718, Buddhist monks would make Daisen-ji their base as they devoted themselves to the quest in achieving a higher level of spirituality.

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.

Get there at the right time and try seasonal ingredients.

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 “Zen Burger Daisen-ji.”

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

A tatami mat room at the accommodation.

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.

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Things To Know

Details

The typical cost of a room here is between ¥8,640 -¥12,960 which includes access to the public bathing facilities, dinner, breakfast and service fees. Discounts are available for larger groups. See more on their website: http://www.san-raku.jp/en.

How To Get There

Address

14 Daisen, Daisen-chō, Saihaku-gun, Tottori-ken 689-3318, Japan

By train

To get to the temple from Yonago station, one of the area’s largest and most well-connected stations, take the JR San-in line heading to Tottori and get off at Daisenguchi station, from there a local bus will take you to the site from Oyamaguchieki bus stop.

To get to Yonago from Tokyo, take the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Nozomi 21 heading to Hakata and switch to the Yakumo line at Okayama station (6 hours).

By bus

There’s a local bus that runs between Yonago station and the temple site, just look out for the Oyama Honmyū line Oyama-ji Line; 大山・本宮線大山寺行. From station to the temple, it’ll take about an hour, plus a 10-minute walk.

By plane

Yonago is serviced by a domestic and international airport. Flights with ANA (flights to and from Tokyo) and Asiana Airlines (flights to and from Seoul, Korea) run regularly.

Where To Stay

Shukubo Kansho-in Temple Sanrakuso
  • Daisen 14 Saihaku-Gun Daisen-Cho, Tottori 689-3318
  • 8.6/10
  • 0.0 km
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Hotel Daisen Shirogane
  • Daisen 1362-2 Saihaku-Gun Daisen-Cho, Tottori 689-3318
  • 8.6/10
  • 0.2 km
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Tirol & Shirakaba
  • Daisen 39-2 Saihaku-Gun Daisen-Cho, Tottori 689-3318
  • 7.5/10
  • 0.4 km
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Yado
  • 144 Saihaku-Gun Daisen-Cho, Tottori 689-3318
  • 9/10
  • 0.4 km
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