OUR GUIDES

Eiji Shinozaki

Eiji Shinozaki

Born in Tokyo, Mr. Shinozaki had an isolated childhood, living as a hikikomori (shut-in), seeking meaning for his existence. After reading “Philosophy For Kids”, by Hitoshi Nagai, he acknowledged his uniqueness and his place in the universe. He went on to study philosophy in university, and later took a job in sales. He encountered zazen through his kyudo (Japanese archery) teacher, where he also met his future wife. His wife is of the family of the local Zen temple, Jizoin, and when his father-in-law fell ill, he started zazen training in earnest, to be able to fulfill the role of successor. 

He came to Zenpoji for his training in March of 2011, and had to immerse himself in zazen – calmly meditating in the half-lotus seated position – through the aftermath of the 3/11 Tohoku Earthquake. He was unable to check on the welfare of his family and friends, and unable to pray for the victims. At that difficult time, and onwards, the words of Ryokan Taigu, an eighteenth century Soto Zen hermit and poet, consoled him – “let natural disaster hit you when it has to, you will die when it is time to die” – meaning that we should all accept whatever might happen, it’s the only way we can accept whatever happens to us.

Message to participants in the Zen at Zenpoji Experience:

“Ever since I started practicing, zazen always refreshes my spirit. I often practiced when I struggled in my career in sales. Zazen is open to everyone, there is no difference between beginners and the experienced. I would love to help you find your lightness and calmness through zazen, by learning how to accept ‘this moment, this place, yourself’ which is uniquely yours, with an open heart.”

Hobby: kyudo (Japanese archery)

Favorite Book: “Zen Lectures in Modern Society” by Issho Fujita

 

Eiji Shinozaki from Zenpoji Temple in Tsuruoka

Eiji Shinozaki

Zenpoji Temple, Tsuruoka City

Master of Zazen and Shojin Cuisine

Our Guides

Ryuhei Abe 

Mr. Abe was born into a temple family, but he did not want to become a monk. However, throughout his youth, he felt frustrated with his situation and his inability to progress academically, and at 18 he began to practice zazen for self-development. He went to Eiheiji Temple in Fukui Prefecture to train, spending two and a half years there. While training, he worried about his future, and his master continually reminded him to “live in the now.” When the time came to leave Eiheiji, he walked the 500km back to Yamagata, taking 21 days, and coming around to a major shift in mindset and a new understanding of the …

Kazuhiro Hayasaka of Daishinbo Shukubo Pilgrim Lodge on Mt. Haguro

Kazuhiro Hayasaka 

Born and raised at the foot of Mount Haguro, Mr. Hayasaka is the 17th generation proprietor of Daishinbo Pilgrimage Lodge. After attending university in Tokyo, he moved to Sendai for work. At 29, he returned to Mount Haguro and became a Yamabushi, in order to carry on the family business. His hobbies are intertwined with the mountains, including hiking, skiing, and foraging for mountain vegetables. Until his father’s generation, Daishinbo was one of only two lodges which facilitated the Fuyunomine Winter Peak Ritual, one of the most intense ascetic traditions in these mountains.  Message to participants of the Trek with Yamabushi Experiences: “By wearing the white clothing of the Yamabushi …

Eiji Shinozaki from Zenpoji Temple in Tsuruoka

Eiji Shinozaki 

Born in Tokyo, Mr. Shinozaki had an isolated childhood, living as a hikikomori (shut-in), seeking meaning for his existence. After reading “Philosophy For Kids”, by Hitoshi Nagai, he acknowledged his uniqueness and his place in the universe. He went on to study philosophy in university, and later took a job in sales. He encountered zazen through his kyudo (Japanese archery) teacher, where he also met his future wife. His wife is of the family of the local Zen temple, Jizoin, and when his father-in-law fell ill, he started zazen training in earnest, to be able to fulfill the role of successor.  He came to Zenpoji for his training in March …

Our Experiences

Zen at Zenpoji 

Group Size Price Per Person Two ¥38,000 Three ¥33,000 Four ¥29,000 Five ¥28,000 Six or more ¥27,000  

Trek with Yamabushi: Winter in Haguro 

Group Size Price Per Person Two ¥77,000 Three ¥57,000 Four ¥49,000 Five or more ¥45,000

Yamabushido Programs 

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Yabase, Tsuruoka, Yamagata, Japan

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Megurun aims to support sustainable rural communities. To achieve these aims, we gained a travel agency license registered with the governor of Yamagata Prefecture: Region 282.