Far away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo or Kyoto, here in the heart of Tohoku you can discover a different Japan. A deeply traditional way of life that moves with the seasons at its own pace. Murayama is the perfect place to relax and enjoy what each season has to offer; whether watching the snow fall on the mountains in winter, enjoying the fall leaves in autumn, enjoying the cherry and peach blossom in spring or listening to the cry of the cicada in summer.
However Murayama also offers so much more to experience and explore.
Murayama is home to one of Japan's premier rose gardens. Just a short walk from the guesthouse you can enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and rich scent of hundreds of different varieties of roses. Don't forget to keep an eye open to the local monkeys though!
Yamagata is known as the Onsen kingdom. Every city, town and village in the prefecture has at least one hot spring and Murayama is no exception with an onsen village only 7 minutes by bicycle. The perfect place to relax in any season. There is also a special place to cook eggs in the hot spring water while you soak! Why not try the famous onsen eggs?
Murayama is the home and birthplace of Iai-do. A martial art based on quick draw sword fighting that has practitioners and students all around the world. The site of the discovery of Iai is home to the Iai temple and dojo, where you can watch people practicing or even try Iai for yourself!
On April 19th the temple holds its annual festival where you can watch people showing off their skills with the sword.
The mountains around Murayama have various paths and trails to enjoy. From a simple stroll to more challenging hikes there is an option for everyone. Look out for monkeys and deer, or see if you can spot the highly prized mountain vegetables such as warabi fern shoots or young aiko often picked as delicacies by the locals.
Yamagata is famous for its soba noodles and in Murayama there are numerous restaurants where you can try them. But why not try making them yourself? Master soba makers will teach you the techniques and tricks to make perfect noodles.
Zen meditation is practiced all over Japan. Why not try this relaxing traditional practice at one of Murayama's oldest temples?