TRAVEL | MY TRIP TO KANSAI, JAPAN - TAMBA SASAYAMA

tamba tanba japan kansai sasayama
Werbung/Press Trip
This was my first trip to Tamba and I must admit that I was truly surprised, better to say AMAZED as Tamba became one of my favorite places to visit in Japan, and that for many reasons. While Tamba might be located within the countryside, it can become a super luxurious getaway, offering unique eyepieces and luxurious restaurants and hotels..



As soon as I arrived at the Sasayamaguchi station, I was heading tot he tourist information center, located in the station. I collected some information and headed with a taxi to the lunch spot, a French restaurant named Beau-Chemin, where I enjoyed local organic fruits and vegetables. The vegan menu was amazing and the location was really outstanding. I can definitely recommend this restaurant for a unique food experience.

japan kansai fine dining

After lunch I headed to a cosmetic workshop, where I was creating my own hand cream. The workshop took place in an old elementary school and I must admit that I was truly excited to visit a Japanese school, as I´m really interested in the Japanese culture and I felt that this was giving me a deeper understanding and a great insight.

japan workshop explore

A truly unique experience for me was the body therapy which was done by locally harvested wild grass at Holistic Mugwort. The owner is named Maya Adachi and she is using only locally grown plants for her treatments. She studied many years until she finally opened her spa which is already super popular. She is using a special tapping technique for her treatments and I must admit that I have never experienced anything comparable.

holistic mugwort japan tamba tanba sasayama

In the evening I was checking into my hotel, the Nipponia Tamba Sasayama, which offered me an upscale experience. NIPPONIA is a luxury hotel brand of renovated old and precious Japanese architectures remaining throughout various areas in Japan. Respecting its historical significance, each architecture is revitalized as a facility where one can feel the lifestyle, culture and history of the land. Especially Sasayama Castle Town Hotel NIPPONIA was opened in the fall of 2015 as NIPPONIA brand's flagship. Since Sasayama is a town that has been prospered as an essential point of transport from Kyoto since ancient times, a strong influence of Kyoto has been reflected in its townscape and culture. The unified landscape was registered as one of the most important townscapes of Japan, and it is also certified as "the 100 beautiful Japanese historical towns".

Please try to imagine this scene: traditional wooden Japanese houses standing side-by-side, while the tallest building one can see is the old castle. This is the shape of a Japanese city 400 years ago.From around the corner come a samurai and a woman, both clad in kimono, the sounds of their wooden sandals echoing off the road, this is Sasayama in Hyogo prefecture.This city, Tamba Sasayama, with a history spanning back over 400 years, is a recognized Japan Heritage site.

luxury hotel hyogo japan travel

Sasayama, which is located slightly to the east of central Hyogo prefecture, was formerly called Tamba no Kuni, and was a spot that travelers had to pass through when heading to the capital of Japan at the time, Kyoto. In the 16th century, Sasayama Castle was built here under orders of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the shogun of the time. In 2015, the entire city of Sasayama, including its architecture, regional songs, and overall culture was recognized as a national heritage site of Japan.

sasayama kimono shooting rental japan travel

As I enjoyed the area so much, I woke up early in the morning to go for a run through Sasayama, exploring some temples in the morning and the beautiful landscape along the sunrise. After returning to the hotel I had a kimono shooting in the Japanese garden, followed by a vegan tradition Japanese breakfast, before checking out and exploring some more of Tamba, before leaving for the next destination already.

I was walking around Sasayama Castle, which I quickly hit during my morning run, but it was still closed so early in the morning. Sasayama Castle was designed by the master architect of Japanese castles Todo Takatora himself. This castle was a perfect fortress for war, completely prepared to withstand battles as fierce as the Seige of Osaka Castle. Within the grounds of the Sasayama Castle ruins, you will find the tenshudai, a stonewall pedestal upon which the castle tower would have stood, if it had been completed. After the age of civil wars in Japan, the ground where the castle tower would have stood was leveled and played a central role in the politics of the time instead.

sasayama castle town cat cafe vegan

Besides I also visited my first cat cafĂ© in Sasayama and I couldn’t fix my face as I was so happy to cuddle the cute cats. All cats were taken from the streets and given a new home. Another shot was the Sasayama Senbon Torii Oujiyama Inari Shrine. This Inari Shrine is located quite close to the Kawaramachi Mercantile Houses District. From the entrance to the main shrine building there are countless bright vermilion torii gates lining the pathway of Oujiyama Inari Shrine, which is also known as Makekirai Inari. According to legend, during the Edo era eight sumo took their wrestling names from this Inari shrine in Sasayama and went on to win many consecutive victories, which has led to this shrine being a popular power spot to this day. I had lunch at the RH bagels shop in Sasayama. I can really recommend this restaurant for many reasons but I absolutely enjoyed the modern atmosphere. American style meets Japanese style – something one shouldn’t miss out!

Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo and Tamba Traditional Art Craft Park. Tamba Pottery

My last spot before leaving and taking the train was the Museum of Ceramic Art, Hyogo and Tamba Traditional Art Craft Park. Tamba Pottery is also named Tachikui Pottery after Tachikui, the place of its origin, with its origination being as far back as the last Heian-the early Kamakura period (1180-1230). It is counted as one of the ancient six potteries in Japan with Seto, Tokoname, Shigaraki, Bizen and Echizen. Everyone is very fond of Tamba Pottery. Indeed, anyone can see something of solid and elegant simplicity (Shibui), coming from its simple and calm appearance and its typical dark brown or black glazing. The tradition of pottery has been inherited for 800 years in this beautiful setting. The beauty of Tamba Pottery was introduced to the world by Mr. Muneyoshi Yanagi who was the founder of the Japan Fork Crafts Museum. Now many lovers of chinaware take great interest in Tamba Pottery and visit here from various countries around the world. Pottery classes are even given in school in Tamba. This time I couldn´t join a workshop but I will visit Tamba again, I absolutely loved it as mentioned in the beginning of this article, I was so surprised of the many things to do and to explore. There is a lot more that I want to do and see.

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