Zen Experience in the Land of Sacred Yamashiro Hot Spring Town
5 Days 4 Nights
  • Day 1
  • Arrive at Kagaonsen Station / Komatsu Airport
At Kagaonsen Station or Komatsu airport, you will be welcomed by a driver, who will drive you to Beniya Mukayu by private car or complimentary shuttle bus.
*Please book in advance.

Beniya Mukayu also has a complimentary shuttle bus service from Kagaonsen Station, which is available from 2:20-6:00pm.

*From Kyoto: about 1 hour and 45 minutes by limited express train.
*From Tokyo: about 1 hour by air.
*You may also come from Tokyo by Shinkansen bullet train; this journey takes about 3 hours.

In recent years, the Japanese lifestyle has become increasingly westernized, and traditional Japan is fading into the background. Staying at a ryokan is the best way to savor the serene beauty of the traditional Japanese lifestyle.

Check-in at Beniya Mukayu

Perched on a hill overlooking the city of Kaga, Ishikawa Prefecture, the beautiful Beniya Mukayu ryokan offers a perfect blend of friendly, attentive service and the serene tranquility of nature. Mukayu makes the most of its natural blessings, using careful landscaping and floor-to-ceiling windows to bring the natural world and indoor spaces together. In its 16 rooms, each of which boasts an open-air hot spring bath, the ryokan embraces a mixture of outside and in, wide-open nature and inner space – you can see, hear and smell the seasons everywhere at Mukayu.

You can then take a tour of the ryokan and environs with the English-speaking staff.

Welcoming tea ceremony
by Kazunari Nakamichi, the owner of Beniya Mukayu

A little teahouse is located in the middle of the ryokan’s beautiful Japanese garden. Inside, Nakamichi-san, the owner of Mukayu, invites you to discover the tranquility of the Japanese tea ceremony.
*Subject to availability of Mr. Nakamichi

Spa treatment at award-winning “Entei Seijutsu-In”
Spa “Entei” carries on a century-long tradition of healing, by using water from the local Yamashiro hot spring and medicinal herbs. Along with full-body massage, reflexology and other massage techniques, the spa also features herbal balls, which are steamed and applied to specific points on the body for a divinely relaxing experience.

Savor the finest Kaga-style kaiseki Japanese haute cuisine dinner by Chef Yoshinori Kinomoto, served on locally crafted dishes. Certified by Relais Chateaux, the Kaiseki Horin cuisine produces original signature dishes of outstanding quality.

  • Day 2
  • On site and around the vicinity
Complimentary morning Yoga Class
by Sachiko Nakamichi, proprietress of Beniya Mukayu

You may start your day with a yoga class in Horin surrounded by a calm and peaceful atmosphere.
*If Mrs. Nakamichi is not available, there will be a substitute teacher.
*Available every morning.

Unique tailor-made experiences with Mukayu’s English-Speaking Team
These start around noon – Beniya Mukayu’s English-Speaking Team can do activities on-site with you or take you to local exclusive experiences to discover the real Japan. Duration is around 2-3 hours. All itineraries are tailor-made according to your needs, the season, weather and preferences. Guided by Beniya Mukayu’s English-Speaking Team, you can choose from the following options at a price of 18,000–30,000 yen.


Option 1 – Cooking
Mukayu’s kitchen staff and an English-speaking translator will teach you some of the techniques used in the traditional Japanese cuisine. Menus range from maki (roll-up) sushi to miso soup, nigiri sushi and many others, according to your preference.

Option 2 – Calligraphy
Learn how to write a sentence of your choice in kanji Chinese characters (for a good luck charm) and your name in katakana characters.

Option 3 – Kimono-wearing
Learn the essentials of traditional Japanese kimono – how it should be worn and how to use it with authentic Japanese panache. You can also take pictures on the premises or in the vicinity while wearing the kimono, for a nice memory to take home.

In the vicinity

Option 1 – Yamashiro Onsen
~ Discover the Sacred Land of Yamashiro Onsen ~

This trip offers a unique experience of Japan’s religion and culture. Depending on your interests, the season and the weather, the tour includes some places that are difficult to reach for travelers, and only the locals know, such as Yakuo-in Temple, Hattori Shrine and Kutani Yaki pottery.

You could also wear a kimono to explore the town. (You can take pictures around the old town of Yamashiro or at Beniya Mukayu.)

Option 2 –Soba Making
~ The ultimate noodle experience: Making soba from scratch ~

A soba (buckwheat) noodle-making class at a local soba restaurant offers hands-on experience with a Soba Master in creating your own soba lunch from scratch. This fun activity will be a highlight of your trip to Japan!
Option 3 – Maruhachi Tea Factory
~ There’s always time for tea ~

Tea is the most commonly drunk beverage in Japanese culture. Kaga Boucha is famous for its quality and excellent flavor, and it gives us an opportunity to learn more about the “way of tea.” After a tour around the factory while watching the tea-making process, you may explore and discover different tea leaves and stems, and what makes kaga boucha one of the finest teas available. You can play a traditional Japanese guessing game called Chakabuki, in which you taste several types of tea and identify their character. At the end, guests can enjoy a cup of tea with a traditional sweet confectionery.

Option 4 – Tsurugadaki Waterfall
~ Hiking & Picnic and a visit to a traditional home ~

Summer in this region offers the perfect weather to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature. As you hike through the hills and forests, the path leading to the beautiful Tsurugadaki waterfall is extremely picturesque. When you arrive at the waterfall, throw an egg into it! This action represents a “gift to the Dragon God.”

Then continue your trip to Ozuchi, a hidden gem in the mountains. There are many traditional old Japanese houses here, made out of clay. Stop by the nearest cold spring to refresh your body in the healing waters, then have a picnic in your favorite spot and enjoy a special bento lunch box prepared by Beniya Mukayu’s chef.
*Available in June, July and September only.

Option 5 – Strolling around Yamanaka Onsen (Kaga)
~ Admire the beauty of nature along the river ~

Yamanaka is one of the four hot spring towns in Kaga. The tour starts with the famous Kurotani-bashi, a beautiful stone bridge, then continue to walk along the riverside and admire the beautiful surrounding nature. Take a walk in the onsen hot spring district at Yuge Street, where you can buy local souvenirs and the area’s famous lacquer ware.

Option 6 – Grape Picking and MooMoo Makiba
September is harvest time for grapes. Japanese grapes are one of the most popular fruits here in the city of Kaga. Grape picking is a unique activity, which allows the guests to pick enough grapes in a green house. Pick, eat and keep eating until the time’s up!

But spare some room in your stomach – because we will be heading to MooMoo Makiba ranch! Get to know farm animals such as cows and ponies and feed them by hand. End your afternoon with a milk tasting, fresh gelato ice cream and yogurt along with varieties of cake at MooMoo Café.
*Available only in September

Option 7 – Daisho Town Tour with Gondola Outing on the Daishoji River
~ Spectacular sakura in a traditional setting ~

Daishoji is a samurai castle town that dates back to the 17th to 19th centuries. In the spring, you can admire the sakura cherry blossoms along the banks of the Daishoji River, and later enjoy a gondola outing on the river.
*Available during sakura cherry blossom season only

Option 8 – Jokigen Sake Brewery Tour
~ The art of drinking ~

Head to Jokigen Sake Brewery, founded in 1819 in the historical city of Kaga, with majestic Mount Hakusan soaring in the distance. Jokigen brewery is eager to welcome Beniya Mukayu’s guests with a tour of the site and sake tasting afterwards. At Jokigen, there is a historical well, known as the “Well of White Water,” that has been in use since ancient times. Learn the art of drinking from the local expert!

In the late afternoon, you can relax and enjoy some time in your room. Otherwise, you may enjoy the SPA at Entei Sejutsu-in.

  • Day 3
  • Day trip to Kanazawa
Take a day trip to Kanazawa by either express train or private car with optional English speaking guide.

During the Edo period (1603-1868), Kanazawa was the seat of the Maeda Clan, the second most powerful feudal clan after the Tokugawa. As a result, Kanazawa became a place of great cultural achievement, to rival Kyoto and Edo (now Tokyo).

Today, Kanazawa is still an important city and the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture. The city boasts many historical attractions, such as restored residences and districts, as well as modern museums.

Unique tailor-made experiences organized by Beniya Mukayu (optional)
These unique activities are usually not available to tourists. Beniya Mukayu has tied up with local businesses to create a special program so that you can have a unique and memorable experience.
*Advance booking is required – 2 hours excluding lunch and transportation.
*Prices start at 5,000 yen per person.

Option 1 – Sake Tasting Workshop at Fukumitsuya Sake Brewery & Sushi Lunch
Head to Fukumitsuya Sake Brewery – the oldest sake brewery in Kanazawa, dating from 1625. This brewery boasts the highest level of craftsmanship and a family secret recipe. You will have a chance to see the fermentation techniques used in sake brewing and peek behind the secret door to see what makes the Fukumitsuya Sake Brewery so special. Join the sake tasting opportunity and learn how to read a sake label, the different grades of sake, and the proper way to drink it. Receive a surprise gift from Fukumitsuya Sake Brewery and then head over to the famous Sentori Sushi restaurant, where you can enjoy lunch with Fukumitsuya Sake.

Option 2 – Yamato Soy Sauce and Miso Brewery & Sushi Lunch
Soy sauce and miso are both essential ingredients in Japanese cuisine. Yamato Soy Sauce and Miso Company is well known for its high quality sauce products, which are pure and natural, and are used in three Michelin Star restaurants. After the tour around the facilities and experiencing the flavor and aroma of miso and soy sauce, you can take part in the final process of making soy sauce. At the end of the workshop, you can label and sign your own soy sauce bottle (150ml). Before leaving, try some soy sauce ice cream! Finally, we will head over to the nearby Hosho Sushi restaurant, where guests can enjoy their soy sauce creation along with delicious sushi for lunch.

In the afternoon you can continue sightseeing in Kanazawa. Here are some suggestions:

Kenrokuen Garden is known as one of Japan’s three best landscape gardens. Next to Kenrouken Garden is Kanazawa Samurai Castle Park, one of the great symbols of the city’s traditional culture and legacy.

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art is an impressive museum focusing on works produced since 1980 that “propose new values.” The museum’s collection includes works by such artists as: Francis Alys, Matthew Barney, Tony Cragg, Olafur Eliasson, James Turrell, Yayoi Kusama and many more.

Higashi Chaya District is the area where you can find the wooden Geisha houses lining either side of the street. “Chaya” means teahouse and Geisha are traditional female entertainers who were once numerous, entertaining guests in this area.

Nagamachi was a samurai district at the foot of the former Kanazawa Castle, where samurai and their families lived during the Edo period.

Myoryuji Temple is popularly known as the Ninja Temple. From the outside, it looks like a simple temple with two floors, but once you enter the temple, you find that in fact it has four floors and seven tiers. The temple has a complex architecture, with 23 chambers and 29 staircases. There are a total of 29 different contrivances to fool intruders, such as hidden chambers and stairs, unexpected and reversible trapdoors and floors, escape pits, and more.

Return to Beniya Mukayu.

  • Day 4
  • Day trip to Shirakawa-go & Gokayama Village
Day trip to Shirakawa-Go & Gokayama by private car with an optional English speaking guide.

Shirakawa-go and neighboring Gokayama village were declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995. They are famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old.

“Gassho-zukuri” means “constructed like hands in prayer,” as the farm houses’ steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer. The architectural style is designed to withstand the large amounts of heavy snow the area experiences in winter. The roofs are made without nails, and provide a large attic space used for cultivating silkworms.

Return to Beniya Mukayu.

  • Day 5
  • Departure from Kagaonsen Station / Komatsu Airport
Check out from Beniya Mukayu.

Before you head to your next destination you could drop by the following temples to experience traditional Japanese religious practices.

~ Zen Experience at Hokyoji Temple~
Hokyoji Temple is located in a secluded mountain area. This Soto Zen training temple was built 1278 and known as the second oldest Soto temple in Japan. Atmosphere surrounding the temple is very sacred, therefore this is one of the best way to embrace an spiritual aspect during your trip. The temple is considered very strict, as usually they do not accept outside visitors.

Feel free to choose between a Soba noodle restaurant (located at Ono town) or join the training monks for a humble lunch, before you start your spiritual journey. A zazen (Zen sitting meditation) instructor can accompany you upon request.
*Advanced booking is required, along with English guide and driver.

~ Another Zen Experience at Eiheiji Temple ~
Eiheiji is the head temple of the Soto Sect of Zen Buddhism. In 1244, Eiheiji Temple was founded by the famous Buddhist scholar Dogen Zenji, after finishing his Soto Zen studies in China. It consists of over 70 buildings and structures, connected with each other by covered walkways. It is still an active monastery, with around 150 practicing Zen monks.
The monks speak only Japanese –to maximize your trip, hiring an English speaking guide is recommended.

The town of Eiheiji is a lovely, tranquil place nested in the mountains along a river – it is a pleasant place for a stroll or a quiet lunch.

To get to Tokyo, there are two options: transfer to Komatsu airport by private car, or take the Shinkansen bullet, which takes approximately 3 hours.

You may also continue to Kyoto by limited express train. It takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Beniya Mukayu provides complimentary shuttle bus transfer to Kagaonsen Station from 8:45 to 11:15 am.