Yakushiyama -Healing Buddha Mountain- Wellness Retreat

The Story of Yamashiro Onsen
This itinerary takes you to the ryokan Beniya Mukayu, in Yamashiro Onsen, Ishikawa prefecture. The town is famous for its natural hot springs, which make it the perfect place for a wellness retreat.
The history of Yamashiro hot spring is closely related to “Hakusan (White Mountain),” a sacred mountain in Ishikawa prefecture. In the Nara period (about 1,300 years ago), Buddhist saint Gyoki Bosatsu discovered a hot spring near Hakusan.
He carved a figure of Yakushi Nyorai (Healing Buddha) as the main deity, and enshrined Hakusan God to be the guardian of the spring. This was the origin of Yamashiro hot spring’s “Yakuoin Onsenji” temple.

Yakushiyama - the Healing Buddha Mountain
Later in history, Hakusan Five Temples were constructed to play a major role in people’s beliefs in Hakusan. Yakuoin Onsenji served as the principal of the five.
The area surrounding it was called “Yakushiyama (Healing Buddha’s Mountain)” for its high spirituality, and it was a place for Buddhist monks’ training and study, and also for healing, as the monks cured people with hot spring baths and medicinal herbs.
Beniya Mukayu is a hot-spring ryokan quietly standing on a hill of this sacred Yakushiyama, on the site where the main hall of Yakuoin Onsenji was once located.

Beniya Mukayu - Richness in Emptiness
Perched on a hill of sacred Yakushiyama, Beniya Mukayu offers a perfect blend of friendly, attentive service and serene tranquility in harmony with nature. Mukayu means "richness in emptiness": through the architecture and minimal interior design, the ryokan makes the most of its natural blessings and brings the natural world and indoor spaces together.

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.

  • Day 1
  • Arrive at Kaga Onsen Station / Komatsu Airport
Once at Kaga Onsen Station or Komatsu airport, you will be welcomed by a driver, who will drive you to Beniya Mukayu by car or complimentary shuttle bus. From Kyoto it takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes by limited express train.

From Tokyo it takes about 1 hour by air.
You may also come from Tokyo by Shinkansen bullet train. It takes about 3 hours.

Beniya Mukayu’s complimentary shuttle bus service from Kagaonsen Station is available from 2:20-6:00pm (advance reservation required).

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

Japanese culture is highlighted through the tea ceremony. At Beniya Mukayu the tea ceremony is offered to the guests by the owner himself, Mr. Nakamichi, in the library. Enjoy a bowl of matcha tea and the conversation with the owner.

*Subject to availability of Mr. Nakamichi

Bathing in Yamashiro alkaline hot spring water
Boasting more than 1300 years history, the source of renowned Yamashiro-Onsen contains high concentration of Calcium, Sodium and Sulfate that not only improves blood circulation and soothes fatigue by thermal effects, but also helps to improve physical and dermatology condition with rich minerals. Moreover, it increases the skin’s elasticity, giving the skin a silky and smooth texture.

Each room at Beniya Mukayu has its own private outdoor hot spring bath overlooking the garden. Surely there is no more perfect place to watch the march of the seasons than from the wooden bath tubs that are always filled to the brim, ready to welcome you at any time for as long as you want.

The ryokan also has a large communal bathing area with indoor and outdoor baths.

Spa Entei
At our Spa Entei, we provide the Yakushiyama treatments for your mind and body, which inherit the spirit of traditional Yakushiyama hot spring and herbal remedies once provided by local monks.

You can choose your treatment tailored to your conditions based on the Ho, Sha, Ryu, Cho method designed by Toshitaka Koi, a specialist of Chinese herbal medicine. Hot spring water and medicinal herbs are used in all treatments.

Yakushiyama Amenities – The Philosophy
Beniya Mukayu wanted to develop Mukayu’s original amenity items that reflect the spirit of Yakushiyama. In collaboration with Dr. Yoon Soung Choi, a prominent bio-chemist with great skill, we have accomplished the Yakushiyama amenity line.

The Yakushiyama Amenity is a skin-care line that contains minerals of the Yamashiro hot spring and various kinds of carefully selected natural ingredients all combined by cutting-edge technology.

  • Day 2
  • Day trip to Eiheiji-temple
Take a day trip to Eiheiji by car and visit 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.

Zazen meditation
Eiheiji is the perfect place to experience zazen meditation the way it has been practised everyday by the monks for more than 800 years.

Beniya Mukayu features a library divided into two spaces: a space full of light with white walls to read or relax while appreciating trees and flowers in the garden; and a black-toned calm space with bookshelves for a quiet study session.

Beniya Mukayu’s signature Yakushiyama body treatment
We provide counseling based on the principle of the medicinal herbal matrix, “Ho, Sha, Ryu, Cho,” and prepare a custom blended “herbal ball” and “herbal cream,” according to the physical condition and constitution of each guest.

After the massage, steamed herbal balls are applied as hot compresses, pressed gently against the body. Spa Entei’s original “medicinal herbal ball” and “medicinal herbal cream massage” will allow deep penetration of the herbs’ medicinal components, leaving the body refreshed and balanced.

  • Day 3
  • Day trip to Kanazawa
Take a day trip to Kanazawa by either express train or car.

D.T. Suzuki Museum is a small and beautiful museum designed by Yoshio Taniguchi. It is an ideal place for visitors to deepen their understanding of the ideas and achievements of Daisetz Suzuki, a prominent Buddhist philosopher best known as D.T. Suzuki. The contemplative space and the Water mirror garden make the museum a good place for self-reflection.

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 Kanazawa Castle, Kenrokuen Garden, Higashi Chaya (Geisha District), Nagamachi (Samurai District), and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art.

Return to Beniya Mukayu.

Beniya Mukayu’s Japanese pressure point massage
Perfect after a day walking around Kanazawa, this pressure point massage without any oils, removes stiffness from the entire body, especially focusing on the neck, shoulders and back. It is applied slowly along the meridians to eliminate fatigue.

  • Day 4
  • Unique Tailor-made Experiences
Enjoy Beniya Mukayu’s unique tailor-made unique experiences and the Spa Entei.
Unique experiences are available either in the morning or in the afternoon, allowing you to also enjoy the Spa Entei when it is more convenient for you. Duration varies from a minimum of 90 minutes to a maximum of 3 hours. All unique experiences are guided by English speaking staff or include instructions in English, and they are tailor-made according to your needs, the season, weather and preferences.

Option 1: Hakusan Medicinal Herbal Ball Making Experience — Your Handmade Wellness
Option 2 : Chashaku (tea spoon) Making Experience — Craft a Unique Tool for Enriching Your Tea Time
Option 3 : Enjoying with Flowers — Mukayu Style Flower Arrangement Based on Zen
Option 4 : Moss Terrarium Making Experience — Your Jar-sized Garden

Option 1 - Hakusan Medicinal Herbal Ball Making Experience: Your Handmade Wellness

With the assistance of the therapists of our Spa Entei you will learn how to make and apply your own herbal balls using medicinal herbs native to the Mt. Hakusan. You will be able to choose your favorite ones from a selection of wild seasonal herbs, wrap them in cotton cloth and steam them in hot spring water from Yamashiro Onsen.

At Beniya Mukayu
1.5 hours
¥13,200 per person

Option 2 - Chashaku (tea spoon) Making Experience: Craft a Unique Tool for Enriching Your Tea Time

Chashaku, the bamboo scoop used in Japanese tea ceremony, was originally whittled down by the tea masters themselves. Choose the appropriate bamboo for both the chashaku and its case (tomo-dutsu), then shape the essential parts of the chashaku using a small knife. Finally, write the name of chashaku and your name on the case with a brush and enjoy making tea with your own chashaku.

At Beniya Mukayu
1.5 hours
¥16,500 per person

Option 3 - Flower Appreciation and Arrangement

— Mukayu’s Aesthetics and Zen —
In the front garden, the approach, and the mountain garden of Beniya Mukayu, you will see a variety of plants in their natural state: buds, blossoms, and fruits. Take a stroll with our landlady or staff members to find your favorite plants. Pick and take them back, then arrange them in a vase with your own hands. Our style is rooted in Japanese tea ceremony; the flowers are arranged as naturally as if they were in the field. The flowers you arranged will be placed in your room for you to enjoy.

At Beniya Mukayu
1 hour
¥13,200 per person

Option 4 – Moss Terrarium Making Experience: Your Jar-size Garden

In the mountain garden of Beniya Mukayu, green mosses are esteemed highly and regarded as being important as the hundreds-old pine trees and the seasonal flowers. In this workshop, you can choose your favorite from a variety of mosses and plant them in a Sonnenglas Mini jar that is gently lit by a small LED light. You can take your moss terrarium home with you.

At Beniya Mukayu
1 hour
¥13,200 per person

Beniya Mukayu’s seasonal spa treatment

Spa Entei also offers seasonal spa treatments. Some examples include:

Spring: mugwort herb oil & Japanese Hakusan blended essential oil treatment
Summer: mint focused heat relief body treatment
Autumn: Osmanthus and olive oil body treatment
Winter: yuzu oil body treatment

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

To get to Tokyo, there are two options: transfer to Komatsu airport by car, or take the Shinkansen bullet train, 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 Kaga Onsen Station from 8:45 to 11:15 am.