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Bear Luxe Insights - Sasayuri-Ann Rice Terrace Villa
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Update At

Mar 1st, 2019


A stay at Sasayuri-Ann

A stay at Sasayuri-Ann, like the best travel experiences in life, provides guests with a chance to change their lives through cultural and spiritual immersion. Going far beyond the ordinary tourism of ryokan and hotels, a stay at Sasayuri-Ann provides visitors with **a rare opportunity to understand and embrace the ancient philosophies that sustain Japan into the twenty-first century. Opened in the Autumn of 2014 by Tetsuji Matsubayashi, Sasayuri-Ann takes the essence of Japan and utilizes the forces of nature—mountains, waterfalls, rice paddies—to put guests in touch with their souls. Through that contact, the meaning of travel to Japan is broadened. You wake up next to a forest with the sounds of birds, in view of paddies, aromas of flowers and trees. This is the Japan of Shugendo, Shinto, Zen, and secular poetry, a place to discover how we are shaped by nature. More than religious, and as physical an approach to understanding as it is spiritual, Sasayuri-Ann is a place that, due to its setting and owner, is restorative.

Located in the Kii region, Japan’s largest peninsula, the surroundings are typified by rainforests, small farms, and profound vulnerability to the forces of the sea. Nara, the landlocked area of Kii where Sasayuri-Ann stands, is historically renowned as a pilgrimage site. So much so that in 2004, UNESCO designated several locations within it as World Heritage Sites. As the first and former capital of Japan, Nara has numerous shrines and temples that attract Japanese who seek a chance to be part of history. And now, with Sasayuri-Ann, guests from outside of Japan can join the spiritual journey.

The stay, beside rice fields and nearby temples, within view of mountains, is also a poetic journey. The traditions of Japan, best understood through entwining Shinto appreciation of shugendo, nature and Buddhist observation, are the epitome of a remarkable visit to this property. Through its beautifully crafted wooden architecture, refined interiors, local cuisine that emphasizes the rich regionality and agricultural bounty of the Japanese countryside, Sasayuri-Ann takes you back in time while anticipating and satisfying twenty-first needs and desires.

And because the stay is hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Matsubayashi eager to share traditions and culture with their international guests, omotenashi (Japanese hospitality) is in the foreground of the experience. Few places can provide a comparable visit that carries a visitor into the heart of a country. There is indeed a lyrical feeling to time spent on this Japanese villa run according to shugendo and shinto principles—the opportunity to experience a Japan of spiritual depth.

Matsubayashi is a monk, and practices Shugendo-Yamabushi techniques that he shares with his guests. In fact, nearby Mount Koya is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as it is the center of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. It is through nature and the home where you are staying that the richness of Japan becomes unforgettable.

Sasayuri-Ann Zao is a two hundred year old, traditional farmhouse that has been completely renovated. Tatami rooms, floor to ceiling windows, an open hearth, a huge and sunken cedar tub, and a modern kitchen. Guests can enjoy and imagine life on a well-groomed farm.

Sasayuri-Ann Ozunu is a second villa, recently added to the property. Made up of a rebuilt teahouse from the Taisho period, it is surrounded by Japanese stones with scenic backdrop of moutains. The purpose is to bring guests closer to living art and nature.

The real charm of this stunning property is, in fact, the chance to experience time travel through spirituality. Facilitating that process is Matsubayashi. Deep in the mountains of Nara, his practice of Shugendo has a home. Yamabushi, the mountain, is the principal field of training, where as in Zen, the temple is part of the focus. The scale of meditation in Shugendo is different as well from typical Zen. Using three types of meditative practices, Matsubayashi shows guests how to let go:

  1. Zen meditation

  2. Walking meditation through the mountains

  3. Meditation through sounds of playing the flute, ringbells and conch shell.

Enhancing this acceptance of nature, and restoring balance, is the essence of the Japanese aesthetic of harmonious living. Through strenuous emotional and physical action, the goal is to lose oneself and become part of the natural world. Adding to the meditation are its counterparts in Japanese traditions, such as the tea ceremony (Ocha) and flower arrangement (Ikebana), both of which Mrs. Matsubayashi can demonstrate to guests. Painstakingly, guests are brought into the culture with finesse. Things slow down.

The mix of ancient, natural traditions and modernity provide cultural pathways that bring guests into the heart of Japan. The setting of a rice terrace villa, in a region famous for pilgrimages, is magical. Sasayuri is a place that is increasingly rare in today’s world: It creates a here-and-now experience drawing upon past and future. The outcome is truly a chance for what Japanese call, aun no kokyu, breathing in harmony.

Sasayuri-Ann is located in the village of Fukano, in Nara prefecture, and has exquisite views of Mount Mura and Mount Takami. Easily accessible, and typically booked for two to four nights.

For inquriies contact Bear Luxe Corporation

EGG JAPAN 9F Shin-Marunouchi Building, 1-5-1Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6509

TELFAX 03-6339-5061 EMAIL info@bearluxejapan.com

About Bear Luxe Japan

Bear Luxe Japan is a network of the country's leading luxury travel suppliers dedicated to providing bespoke travel experiences with a human touch. Our industry-first digital portal seamlessly connects buyers and sellers at a one-stop window for marketing materials, negotiations, reservations and payments. Our goal is to contribute to the creation of meaningful luxury travel experiences that support the further development of Japanese culture and tradition and sustain local industries.