Things to Do in the Area
This is a casual list and description of sites and attractions of interest within a few minutes or a few hours of the retreat. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, and the details may be subject to change over time. Please feel free to help us expand the scope and accuracy of this list by making requests, corrections, or even writing your own review of and guide to a particular site that may be of interest to other guests. Enjoy!
Very Near the Retreat: Ōjuki, Kōjuki, the beach, and the boardwalk…
Shōganji Zen Retreat is located in tiny Ōjuki Village, part of the fishing village cluster called Saganoseki. The next village to the east is Kōjuki, taking one of the tunnels through the mountain
Ōjuki is the tiny village that our retreat is actually located in. There is a crazy and wonderful second hand shop 5 minutes from the retreat near the ocean. Ask Jiho if you cannot find it. It has odd hours and looks like a bunch of junk, but it is inexpensive and packed with hidden gems if you take the time to look carefully. There are stacks of vintage scrolls in the back, and tons of interesting stuff. Prices are somewhat flexible especially if you buy a few items.
Kōjuki, next village to the east…
Explore the walkable nearby aspects of the Saganoseki village cluster. Take the tunnel into the next village over, Kōjuki;
There is a lot of fishing activity here and a little basic shopping. Notable attractions include a seaside recreational park and garden and a world class telescope observatory. The park is around the observatory, and while not very good for swimming, it offers excellent walking opportunities, ocean views, and a very nice restaurant
If you want a beautiful quiet little town among the mountains with great food, shopping, and a fantastic selection of superb onsens and ryokans (and ryokans with onsens!), Yufuin is the place. The town center is designed for walking with many of the streets car-free. Its beautifully laid out with mostly smaller traditionally Japanese building styles, and stunning gardens. Its pleasant to walk outside the city up on the less populated mountainsides taking advantage of great views of the city, and where you will stumble across more secluded onsens, ryokans, and eateries.
The food in Yufuin really stands out: All kinds of speciality food vendors and restaurants exist here offering up many specialized traditional Japanese delicacies, some that have been made the same way for hundreds of years. There is also a wonderful selection of prepared and packaged regional speciality foods, condiments, sweets, spices, and alcoholic beverages. There is also a selection of more touristy modern Japanese fast food, and a few non-Japanese options. There are excellent higher end and antique shops in and around Yufuin.