Subscribe to the Mountains of Wisdom Mailer

* indicates required



The pride of Japan’s Omotenashi Hospitality

There’s a shop near here that is (was) famous for their pumpkin pies. The pies were small, like those fruit mince pies you get at Christmas, and they were very good indeed. The shop was really cool too, it had a Kura or old school storehouse, right next to it and the shop was always busy. Until it wasn’t.

Sometime last year, the oven that bakes the pumpkin pies broke. So you’d think they’d fix it, or get a new one, right? Apparently not. Apparently there’s no one in the direct family, so instead they’re just going to finish up the business.

I’m not sure how long this business has been running, I’m sure it’s a long time because the buildings were at least somewhat old (I’m not sure whether the Kura was there at the start or not), and they certainly had a loyal following, but I can’t believe they’d be so selfish as to close for such a petty reason.

A lot of the time Japanese Omotenashi (Japanese term for hospitality) is self-serving. I love Japan and think people should be able to do what they want, but things like this really make me think about whether they are doing things for the people (so-called Omotenashi) , or for their own pride or selfish reasons. Of course this isn’t always the case, but sometimes it is.

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi


Hi, I’m Tim Bunting AKA the Kiwi Yamabushi, a New Zealander who became a Yamabushi Ascetic in the Dewa Sanzan mountains of north Japan. I’m part of the Yamabushido team, and we host life-altering Yamabushi training on the Dewa Sanzan (website link). People come to us for the ultimate mindfulness experience, to reach the next level, or simply connect with nature and themselves.

I’m on a mission to summit all 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture to spread the splendour of this fabulous location, and in dedication to all those who lost their lives out in nature, including my father.

On my daily blog I post thoughts of a practicing Yamabushi that I hope people can use to better themselves and live as fulfilling a life as possible.

Sign up to the weekly Mountains of Wisdom newsletter, follow me on social (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Clubhouse, all @kiwiyamabushi), or send me an email via the link below to stay in touch.



Subscribe to my weekly yamabushi newsletter


man in green and brown jacket
Accept and Release
trees during day
The Nature in Our Nature
hitchhiking astronaut
The gravity of the situation


Perspective changes everything
black and white book business close up
Active and Passive Vocabulary Learning in a Second Language
Alternative ways of reading


clear light bulb placed on chalkboard
Questions that trip you up
happy multiethnic women having fun while using gadgets in cafeteria
Out of practice: Why exposure is necessary for language learning
Mountains and valleys


Get In Touch

Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


All photos my own. Contact for more. 

Share this:

Like this:

Like Loading...
Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: