How to experience Japanese mindfulness

06 Mar 2020 in Just Relax

Eliminate stress and embrace the present through nature, meditation and relaxation.

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The concept of mindfulness has become a buzzword in recent years. Our lives are increasingly busy and stressful – and we’re all looking for ways to unwind. “Mindfulness” is the art of concentrating all your senses on the present moment, putting aside the past and future to be fully aware of what is happening now. It helps you be more focused and self-assured, and to be in touch with your body and surroundings.

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It’s a concept the Japanese have been practicing for centuries. Embracing the present is at the heart of many traditions in Japan, including cherry-blossom viewing, the tea ceremony, and the incense ceremony.

Next time you’re in Japan, why not treat yourself to a few days away from modern life?

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At Hoshino Resorts, you can choose from a number of special programs to experience Japanese-style mindfulness.

Zen meditation in Kyoto

Stay at HOSHINOYA Kyoto, and you’ll find all the ingredients you need to maximize mindfulness. The ryokan is set by the river Oi among the forested hills of Arashiyama – a few minutes by boat from one of Kyoto’s most tourist-friendly areas. An other-worldly calm reigns here, and you’ll feel it from the moment you walk through the property’s traditional Zen gardens.

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At the onsite spa, you can enjoy a regenerating massage. In the garden, you can take part in waterside breathing exercises.

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Or, for the ultimate in mindfulness, why not sign up for early morning meditation at a Buddhist temple?

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At the break of dawn, staff will drive you to a nearby temple, where you’ll join a small group for a ritual of energetic chanting followed by silent contemplation. It’s a unique experience, with the sun gradually filling the hall as you concentrate your senses on the here and now. After the ceremony, you’ll sip green tea with the priest and congregation before heading back to the ryokan for breakfast with river views.

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Pollen-free revitalization in Okinawa

This spring, HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island is offering a stress-free stay specially designed for those who suffer from pollen allergies. Based in your own private villa, you’ll spend 3 days on a tiny sub-tropical island free from the traditional triggers of hay fever.

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What better way to relax and live in the present moment?

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Populated by just 360 people, Taketomi island has a climate that is unconducive to pollen-heavy trees such as cedar and cypress, meaning the air is cleaner. What’s more, spring temperatures are around 25C.

As part of the “Goodbye Pollen” program, you’ll bathe in water steeped in mint and shiso, helping to wash off any pollen. You’ll be treated to a spa treatment to rejuvenate your skin.

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And you’ll be able to enjoy a beach picnic without fear of suffering your usual seasonal symptoms. What better conditions for eating bagels and seasonal fruit while admiring the ocean waves crashing against the island’s sandy shores?

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Finally, you can take part in morning and evening deep breathing and stretching, the perfect way to contemplate the sun rising over the beach or the stars lighting up the Okinawan sky.

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Morning canoeing by Mt. Fuji

At HOSHINOYA Fuji, you can reconnect with nature through the resort’s luxury glamping experience. Every private cabin is set in a forest of pines and conifers, and boasts exceptional views of Mt. Fuji. What’s more, the site offers a wide range of outdoor activities to help you forget stress and appreciate the here and now.

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For the ultimate start to the day, how about contemplating the reflected beauty of Japan’s most famous mountain from a canoe?

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Early morning is the best time to catch Mt. Fuji cloud-free – and Lake Kawaguchi, set just below HOSHINOYA Fuji, provides the perfect vantage point.

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With the sun just appearing on the horizon, you’ll have the lake to yourself. A moment of complete calm beneath Japan’s most celebrated sight.


Back to basics with digital detox

At HOSHINOYA’s luxury ryokans, you can sign up for a Digital Detox stay where you give up your smartphone, laptop and other devices to embrace timeless pleasures.

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You’ll spend a couple of stress-free days focusing on traditional value and relaxation. At HOSHINOYA Tokyo, you’ll meditate and learn samurai-style swordsmanship.

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At HOSHINOYA Karuizawa, you’ll enjoy a shiatsu treatment and take a horseback trek to Mt. Asama volcano.

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Five resorts offer the program – and each has its own take on how you can refocus your energy and make the most of the present moment. What better way to put mindfulness into practice?

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