04 Jul 2019 in In immersion
Leave behind everyday stress with a stay focused 100% on Japanese-style rejuvenation.
Imagine spending a few days free of the stresses and pressures of modern life. Cocooned in a luxury ryokan, reflecting on the ocean alone on an island, chanting meditative sutras in a Zen temple, or pampered with a shiatsu body treatment.
You’ll be immersed in a world of contemplative calm and timeless tradition, a chance to reconnect with nature, rejuvenate your mind and rebalance your body.
This is the experience offered by HOSHINOYA’s luxury ryokans. Dubbed “Digital Detox”, the themed stays are offered all year round and celebrate local culture through activities that promote wellbeing and mindfulness. And each ryokan has its own unique approach, inspired by local history and culture.
Zero digital distractions
Your program will be for 2 or 3 days, depending on the ryokan. Take your pick from 5 locations across Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto, Fuji, Karuizawa in the Japanese Alps, or the sub-tropical Taketomi Island in Okinawa.
Wherever you choose, your stay starts the same way. As soon as you step in the ryokan, you’ll be asked to give up your smartphone, laptop and other devices at the entrance. From now on, all that matters is the here and now.
It may be situated in the heart of Japan’s capital, but HOSHINOYA Tokyo is an oasis of calm. The moment you enter, you’ll feel soothed by the soft rush of tatami mats underfoot.
For the Digital Detox program, you’ll be taught traditional swordsmanship from a dojo master. By learning the essential moves and swinging techniques, you’ll clear your mind, become more aware of your upper body and free up your shoulders from everyday stress.
Day 2 begins with meditation, where you’ll learn to adjust your breathing, posture and mind. And you’ll also have a chance to try out your new-found skills by slicing bread with a sword!
Finally, you’ll head to the open-air hot spring baths on the ryokan’s top floor to rest your body and contemplate the sky through the open roof.
Surrounded by forested hills, HOSHINOYA Kyoto offers a Digital Detox stay that engages all five senses.
You’ll discover the traditional incense ceremony, learning to appreciate the different fragrances and their calming effects. And you’ll take time to craft your own incense burner.
The next morning begins early, in a Zen temple. Here, you’ll join a small group to chant sutras in a mesmerizing ritual that uses posture and breathing to calm the mind. It’s a unique experience, one that will stay with you for a long time.
During the 2 days, you’ll also practice stretching and breathing techniques to induce sleep, and you’ll be treated to a contemplative hour-long boat ride on your own along the Katsura river.
The focus of the program at HOSHINOYA Fuji is Rokkon-shojo, a philosophy that purifies the body and mind by rejecting worldly desires. Historically, Rokkon-shojo is closely linked to the worship of Mt. Fuji, and you’ll begin with a short walk to pilgrim lodgings that have served worshippers for over 400 years.
Here, you’ll learn the basics of the philosophy, which you will then practice while trekking in the shadow of Fuji.
The reward for your physical effort is an original menu at HOSHINOYA Fuji celebrating local cuisine. Finish your day around an open fire in the woods overlooking Fuji-san.
Okinawan ocean time
Celebrating local Okinawan culture, HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island offers a Digital Detox stay that gives pride of place to the ocean. You’ll board a traditional sabani wooden boat to explore the crystal-clear waters of the Yaeyama sea and fish far from the shore.
You can then take your catch to be cooked in a tiny restaurant in Taketomi village. During your stay, you’re invited to spend time self-reflecting in solitude on a small white-sand island that only appears at low tide.
The perfect place to contemplate the magnificent seascape and timeless charm of this gloriously unaffected part of the world.
The Alpine forests surrounding HOSHINOYA Karuizawa provide the perfect environment for Digital Detox. You’ll begin with a horseback trek through the foothills of Mt. Asama volcano. But first, you’ll take the time to get to know your horse, brushing them and forming a bond before you set off together.
On day 2, you’ll walk through the forest with an analogue camera, taking your time to frame and shoot snippets of nature, images that you will only discover later but memories that you will carry with you for a very long time.
Your time outdoors is complemented by rejuvenation at the resort’s hot spring baths and spa. Float in the warm waters of a Meditation Bath, be treated to shiatsu and acupuncture treatments. Immerse your body and mind in stress-free relaxation.