The 2 best spots that you should visit in Minamiashigara!!
Do you know there is a breathtaking temple in Minamiashigara? It is called Daiyuzan Saijoji (or Doryosan Shrine) and it has more than 600 years history.
On the way up to the temple, will be welcomed by thousands of ancient cedar trees, some of which are over 500 years old. Minamiashigara is just about 2 hours away from Tokyo, but you will see completely different views and feel the beauty of nature. In the precincts of the temple, there are about 30 temples and pagodas. As they do not charge us any entry fees nor parking fees, you can visit all of them for free!
At Saijoji the monks have a lot of things to do. It is not only for worship but also Zen meditation, working in the temple (cleaning), sutras and eating vegetarian food.
With regards to Zen meditation, it takes about 15 minutes. You sit on a Japanese cushion with your legs crossed, fold your arms, then cast your eyes down to a spot about 1 meter ahead of you. Do not close your eyes, or you would feel sleepy. They prepare chairs for those who cannot sit on the floors with their legs crossed.
Concerning vegetarian food, you will have 6 plates and sake. We call it Shojin Ryori and it is originally a special kind of vegetarian dish for Buddhist monks. It contains neither fish nor meat. The amount of the meal is not much, but you have an opportunity to eat the same food as monks do. To experience these options, you need to make a reservation. For more information, please call to the reception.
Address: 1157 Daiyucho, Minamiashigara 250-0127, Kanagawa Prefecture
Phone number: 0465-74-5880
Access: By train, take Odakyu line and get to Odawara staion, then transfer to Daiyuzan line and get to Daiyuzan station (21 minutes). At Odawara station, there is an information center for visitors. Take a bus at Daiyuzan station until Doryoson bus stop (8 minutes).
If you love beer, this is a place that you must visit. Why? It is because you can drink free beer there! Before drinking, you take a small tour of the brewery to see the process of making beer. The tour features short videos about Asahi breweries, exhibits of beer ingredients and the history of the Asahi companies.
After the tour, it is time to drink. You can taste up to 3 glasses per person and have a snack. For drivers, they give you soft drinks instead. There is a store near the tasting place where you can buy limited products of this factory, other kinds of beer and more.
To join this tour, you need to book. Please check below for more details.
Address: 1223 Nuda, Minamiashigara 250-0106, Kanagawa Prefecture
Phone number: 0465-72-6270
Access: By bus, from Odakyu line Shin-Matsuda station to the brewery (20 minutes). By taxi, from Daiyuzan line Daiyuzan station to the brewery (10 minutes), and from JR Gotemba line Yamakita station to the brewery (15 minutes).
By Eriko Watanabe