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Purity and clarity - Japan

A round trip through Japan meant for me: Amazement from the first to the last minute. I don't know any country that is so modern, so futuristic and so traditional at the same time!


A very special experience is the private villa of Mr. Matsubayashi. A house like a meditation, ideal to really leave the turmoil of everyday life behind and to sort your head. The farmhouse with a traditional Kaya thatched roof is located in the mountains, a two-hour drive from Osaka. It is surrounded by a classic Japanese garden with a gurgling water feature. The gravel is meticulously raked around the artfully trimmed knotty pines. In the background are mountains, which the Japanese maple bathes in its magnificent red at the end of the year. After the almond blossom in spring, autumn is probably the best time to travel.


The heart of the accommodation is the living/sleeping room with an "Irori" fireplace, where shabu shabu - Japanese hot pot - is prepared in the evening. The walls are made of clay and the doors are covered with paper. The decor is reduced, so there is actually no furniture. It is a large, bright room, laid out with pressed rice-straw tatami mats that emanate a pleasant fragrance – the only decoration is a white flower in a hand-made clay vase. There are neither chairs nor a sofa and even the bed is missing - the futons are only rolled out in the evening.


The landlord deliberately kept away from Western design concepts. "It's about the balance between civilization and nature, between town and country, between progress and happiness," he explains. "Here the spirit should have the opportunity to come to rest."


Pure Japan! The loud bling-bling of the big cities doesn't happen here. Instead, Mr. Matsubayashi introduces his guests to the Japanese way of life. The practicing Yamabushi monk takes me to his morning ritual at the sacred waterfalls of Akame. He begins the hike in the early morning mist along the river with a powerful thrust into the Horagai shell horn. The deep, mystical sound echoes on the rock walls for a long time.

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