Cozy, rustic Ohara
This tour takes you on a day trip to Ohara, a quaint rural hamlet one hour north of Kyoto. Nestled between several mountains, Ohara is a picturesque destination. Visiting temples famed for Buddhist chanting, walking on the narrow streets, soaking in one of the ‘onsen’ (hot spring bath) makes for a perfectly relaxing day.
The Sanzen-in temple is a symbol of Ohara, and many people associate the two. There are several highlights in the precincts, including two different gardens and the temple building. You will also enjoy the surrounding landscape of Ohara. The best time to visit Sanzen-in is in June when its 3000 hydrangeas bloom, and in autumn when the maple leaves change colours.
Their garden is known as ‘framed garden’. The appropriate way to enjoy this garden is to use columns as if it is a frame. Visitors can enjoy this picturesque view while relaxing with a cup of tea. Ohara is a place where ‘shomyo’ (Buddhist chanting) was developed. You can hear this unique chanting in this temple.
If you are interested in Japanese paper, you can learn how to make it by hand in this studio. You will enjoy designing, making and finishing paper with help from their knowledgeable staff. (The whole process takes about thirty minutes.) There are various Japanese paper products on sale in their shop, such as postcards, letter pads and flower vases.