Rest & Relaxation – Susami River Home & Staying with a Monk

After pushing it hard in Kyoto to do all the things, we desperately needed a break. That much needed break came in the form of a riverside home, spring weather, and staying with a wonderful Monk named Tomi. Our first Airbnb by the river, was a breath of fresh air out of the city and just what the doctor ordered.

Spending our days hiking the trails around the house, sitting next to the river with a cup of green tea, and exploring the region by bike was soul filling. By now it was almost March and I started getting excited for summer by having a glass of wine by the outdoor fire, and pretending it was warmer than it was. It was nothing insta worthy, but the ease I felt there has stuck with me.

Tomi the Monk

Next on our rest stops was staying at a temple with a monk named Tomi. Our Airbnb was perfect and Tomi was a fantastic host. He gave us a tour of the temple grounds, and walked us through his shrines. Luckily he had a great sense of humor, because I asked if one of the shrines was a chicken, turns out it was a phoenix, so I’ll never live that one down.

Our first day there he invited us to his daily practice, one of which was banging a bong so that the locals in the area knew the time. He even let us give it a go, which was definitely something I have always wanted to try. Our night there was simple and we were so tired that we sadly missed the morning meditation. Missing this opportunity to meditate with a monk at his temple during his practice is one of my greatest regrets of all my travels. He understood we needed rest, and happily saw us off that morning and I wanted to include it here so I remember the name and location of this temple so I can go back and do it properly next time.