山伏

キウイ

Tsutaya: Yamabushi-run Ryokan Traditional Inn in Snow Country

In yamabushi training you meet a whole lot of amazing characters. My first time round I met a dude who had represented Japan at rugby, and who did 1,000 push ups a day, I’m not even exaggerating, you could see him at it whenever you woke up because he was always up before you (outside, mind you). I also met the Australian founder of the equivalent of Sky TV (there’s an amazing story for you), and a Buddhist monk from Tokyo who was full of knowledge about the yamabushi, really enthralling stories, and was doing the Shinto Shrine training with us instead of the Buddhist version like you’d expect (he was the one who made my Horagai conch). There were also a few CEOs of big companies in Japan, not to mention other Brazilian, Dutch, and American yamabushi.

I’ll never forget Shida-san though. This guy was eccentric, and it turned out he ran one of the more popular Ryokan traditional inns in the region, Tsutaya Ryokan in Shizu on the way up to Mt. Gassan on the Nishikawa side. I remember Shida-san being very open and easy to talk to, and also very welcoming, inviting me to come and stay at Tsutaya at the next available chance. Two years later though, I hadn’t had the chance to stay, so I thought I would do something about that and I booked a night for us next week!

A few years back James May did a series in Japan called ‘Our Man in Japan’ in which he stayed in Tsutaya, or at least had a bath with Master Hoshino. Unfortunately they didn’t mention Shida-san much, but as a yamabushi, I would say he would be one of the most experienced mountaineers around, perfect for running a Ryokan located where it is.

With more than 10m falling at the summit annually, Mt. Gassan has some of the heaviest snowfall in Japan. Shizu Onsen where Tsutaya Ryokan is located is on the way up Mt. Gassan, and a few years back when I went there in April there was still at least 3 or 4m on the side of the road. Needless to say, Shizu Onsen gets a lot of snow, and when winter rolls around, saying this place is a winter wonderland would be putting it mildly. I’m looking forward to getting to know Shida-san on a more personal level and sharing his story with you, as well as exploring the place!

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.


Tim.

MOUNTAINS OF WISDOM

Subscribe to my weekly yamabushi newsletter

RECENT BLOG POSTS

black and red typewriter on white table
Ideas that spread – My experience with plagiarism
woman wearing teal dress sitting on chair talking to man
Portrayal in a second language
person standing in pathway
Every experience has a hidden agenda

YAMABUSHI BLOG POSTS

A Jizo statue at the top of Mt. Kyogakura in Sakata
Being Yamabushi
Yamabushi
Similarities between Shugendo and Stoicism
Mt. Haguro's Five Story Pagoda
A five story pagoda video

RANDOM POSTS

action bicycling bike biking
The ‘wrong’ route
photo of women talking to each other
Domain knowledge is the deal maker
man wearing straw hat drawing his sword
The Choice or How to Win in a Sword Fight

CONTACT ME

Get In Touch

Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

timb008@gmail.com

All photos my own. Contact for more. 

Subscribe to the Mountains of Wisdom Mailer

* indicates required

Share this:

Like this:

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