Discover the Tamana area in northern Kumamoto on this spiritual and physical tour and learn why the sacred Mt. Shodai used to be home to many Yamabushi.
- Trip Outline
- Inquiries & Bookings
Trail Running Tour: ★★★★★
Hiking Tour: ★★★☆☆
Through experiencing the legend of the flying dragon of the spiritual Mt. Shodai, as well as temple training, trail running or hiking, you can grow as both an athlete and naturalist.
<1> Learn culture of living together with nature while enjoying the trails.
- Mt. Shodai is a mountain where you can experience Japanese culture on the trails.
Mt. Shodai, where the majority of this tour will be spent, is the symbol of the Tamana area that has been loved and protected since long ago. It was once a training ground for Shugendo and is now a mountain for trail runners and hikers to enjoy and communicate with nature. There is also Renge-in Tanjo Temple Oku-no-in Temple where the legend of the flying dragon continues to be passed down. Through mediation and training offered at the temple, your trail experience will surely become clearer.
- Learn Japanese culture of “satoyama,” a space where humans and nature coexist.
In Japan, there are areas called “satoyama.” They are places where humans and nature continue to exist together. You could say that Tamana is a symbolic place of satoyama, as people here have farmed rice and lived off of the nature resources and ingredients of the land for more than 2,000 years. That kind of satoyama lifestyle has a large influence on the outlook of nature and religion for people of Japan.
- Get a deeper experience through optional activities
There are some optional experience prepared, as well, to learn more about spiritual and food culture of Japan. Some options offered are the “8 Gods of Health & Fitness Tour” which visits 8 small shrines, each dedicated to a part of the body, “Kappo Meshi & Herb Tea” cooking activity which uses bamboo and wild herbs from the area, and a “Japanese Sword Workshop” where you can see how a real sword is made and even try cutting with one. Through these activities, you can further your understanding of Mt. Shodai.
<2> A trip that is good for you, good for the area, and good for the environment
Good for you: Activities and food for you Body, Mind, and Spirit
Good for the area: Programs to create sustainability of the area’s resources through culture, cuisine, and people.
1.Good for the Earth: As much as possible, business that make efforts to reduce negative affects on the earth, as well as those that locally grown ingredients, are used in this tour.
These themes, which have long been a part of Japanese culture, are also connected to the United Nation’s propsed SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). While modern society may have a focus on the economy, as people that were born and raised in Japan, it is important to reexamine our area resources, history, and culture to create a more sustainable society. We believe this project is a way to find the wisdom needed to create that kind of society.
<3> SDGs Goals
12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
TARGETS AND INDICATORS
-12.4 By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature
-12.b Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products.
15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
TARGETS AND INDICATORS
-15.4 By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development
2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
TARGETS AND INDICATORS
-2.3 By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment
＜Tour Connection to SDGs＞
- Introduce forest and mountain conservation activity of Mt. Shodai
- Experience nature through trail running
- Introduce nature and traditional lifestyle while hiking
- Introduce local culture and customs of the area
- Experience cuisine culture of the mountain foothills through cooking kappo-meshi and herb tea.
- Learn and experience samurai culture at a sword workshop
- use restaurants that implement the following
- Use local ingredients
- Purchase from small scale farmers
- Use organic ingredients
Includes a half day tour around various small shrines dedicated to health and fitness. While circling around the shrines, visit a local sake factory.
Training experiences at Renge-in Tanjo Temple Oku-no-in Temple. Dress like the temple priests and join them in a meditation. Finish the experience by ringing the world’s largest temple bell.
Experience Japanese sustainable “Satoyama lifestyle” through cooking. Steam rice inside bamboo over an open-fire and create your own original herb tea with various power food plants found in the area.
Visit an authentic Japanese sword workshop and have a chance at wielding and cutting with a real sword.
Take a hike through into Mt. Shodai and learn about the edible plants, culture, and history of the mountain. (hiking tour)
Enjoy running through the trails of Mt. Shodai that even pro trail runners praise. (trail running tour)
Itinerary A (Trail Running)
Meet & greet at Shin-Tamana Station > Lunch: organic Japanese lunch set > Transfer to Nagomi Town > Gods of Health and Fitness Tour (short version)
Sake factory tour > Onsen bath > Transfer to hotel > Dinner
Breakfast > Depart hotel > Temple experience & Meditation at Renge-in Tanjo Temple Oku-no-in (1 hour prep & 1 hour training), Ringing of the world’s largest temple bell > Lunch & free time > Trail running on Mt. Shodai (option: sunset run) > Run ends at hotel > Dinner
Breakfast > Check-out and transfer by car > Cooking Activity: Kappo-meshi (bamboo steamed rice) cooking & Original herb tea making > Lunch & free time > Transfer by car > Japanese sword workshop & sword drawing activity > Finish at Shin-Tamana Station
Itinerary B (Hiking)
Meet & greet at Shin-Tamana Station (or Fukuoka Airport) > Lunch: Macrobiotic Japanese lunch set > Japanese sword workshop & sword drawing activity > Transfer to hotel > Freetime > Dinner
Breakfast > Depart Hotel > Temple experience & meditation at Renge-in Tanjo Temple Oku-no-in (1 hour prep & 1 hour training), Ringing of the world’s largest temple bell > Lunch & free time > Hiking on Mt. Shodai (option: sunset hike) > Transfer to hotel > Free time
Breakfast > Check-out and transfer by car > Cooking Activity: Kappo-meshi (bamboo steamed rice) cooking & Original herb tea making > Lunch & free time > Gods of Health and Fitness Tour (short version) > Sake factory tour > Finish at Shin-Tamana Station
For inquiries and bookings for this tour, please contact us here: Heartland Japan Inquiries
***Hiking tour price is 550yen cheaper than listed price.