Seven Centuries as a Sacred Mountain
For over 700 years, pilgrims have traveled to Minobusan to pray at the imposing Kuonji temple complex. The worshipers once came by boat, sailing north into the current on small vessels that plied Fuji River between its upper reaches and where it spills into the Pacific Ocean. Today they come by road and rail, most travelling through the Kofu basin before heading south along the same Fuji River. The journey takes less than three hours from the heart of Tokyo to Minobusan, a sleepy village that tapers off at the great Sanmon entranceway to the sacred mountain.
Minobusan is home to Kuonji, the heart of the Nichiren Buddhism sect, and one of Japan’s three holy mountains. Buddhism has been at the core of the community here since 1281, when priest and philosopher Nichiren founded the temple. Today, Minobusan is a key center for Buddhist training and worship and boasts the largest number of shukubo (temple lodging) in the Kanto region.
Ebisuya was built for the family of a once-famous merchant who had made his fortune in the Minobu area. The house remained unlived in for decades before being renovated in 2021 and opened as a self-contained holiday villa available on a nightly basis.
The interior of Ebisuya marries exquisite, authentic décor with highly functional, state-of-the-art amenities. The objets d’art found in many of the rooms are either originals to the house or have been added as archetypical examples of Yamanashi craftsmanship.
The entrance to Ebisuya is through a traditional Japanese garden illuminated at night, while at the rear of the house a spacious and secluded furnished terrace looks out over a mountain stream onto a thickly forested escarpment.
Welcome to Ebisuya, a beautifully restored country villa that marries today’s comforts with the ambience of 1930s Japan.
Built in 1933 for a wealthy merchant, Ebisuya is located within the Buddhist enclave of Minobusan, a mountain village steeped in religion and tradition.
During the renovation process, every effort was made to preserve Ebisuya’s original structure and furbishing while incorporating cutting-edge fixtures and designs. The result is a secluded self-contained property that weaves past elegance with the luxuries of the modern age.
With privacy and peace of mind, savor bygone Japan in an exclusive environment undisturbed by the outside world.
Amenities & Appliances
Rain shower & ceramic bathtub
Face & bath towels
Hand & body soap
Shampoo & conditioner
Washlet lavatories x 3
Pajamas & nightwear
Socks & slippers
Kitchen utensils & detergent
Washing machine & powder
Desk, dining table, card table, chairs & sofa
Authentic Décor & State-of-the-art Amenities
Ebisuya was built at a time of great social change in Japan. As such, it features numerous elements that are rare and historically fascinating. Reflecting a century of creative sensibilities, each object of art and design found throughout the house has a story to tell.
A large ornate vase within the entranceway greets guests as they enter Ebisuya. The remarkable coloring of this 50-year-old vase has been produced through the use of copper-red glaze known as cinnabar. The carp (koi) and Chinese character (fuku) painted within it are the work of Kofu-based artist Fumihiro Saegusa and are there to attract good fortune.
Clouds are a motif of Ebisuya and can be found in various forms throughout the house. Cloud-shaped lighting fixtures crafted in Yamanashi highlight the original wood and bamboo ornamentation in the ceilings and the spacious L-shaped hiro-en inner veranda.
The sliding doors that open onto the garden contain the original Taisho glass panes.
Although extremely rare today, this style of glass was once common throughout Japan. The irregular patterns in the glass produce soft refracted light and slight changes in color.
The high-ceilinged Western-style drawing room is a rare sight in a Japanese house but was once a popular feature in homes of the wealthy. As with Ebisuya, the Western-style room was usually built on the left-hand side of the house close to the entrance.
The original Buddhist and Shinto altars are enshrined together in a syncretistic fusion known as shinbutsu shugo. The reed screens around this sacred space are today highly prized as décor objects.
Added modern amenities have been discreetly blended into the structure of the house so as to be functional and convenient without detracting from the ambience. These amenities include a fully fitted kitchen island, wet room with stylized bathtub, modern “washlet” lavatories and air conditioning in all main rooms.
The furnished wooden deck at the rear of the house is both spacious and secluded, providing a comfortable space for outdoor soirees and undisturbed relaxation.
Eat Local & Eat Well
Ebisuya offers guests a variety of options for eating locally and eating well. These include self-catering, ordering in, eating al fresco at the adjoining Café Zencho and enjoying traditional dining at Kakurinbo, a nearby temple lodging.
Self-catering is easy and intimate
Ebisuya has a fully equipped kitchen complete with gas range, refrigerator, rice cooker, toaster, microwave oven and wine cooler. You can enjoy a cozy meal at the kitchen island counter, a more formal dinner at the six-person dining table or something romantic out on the terrace. If you’re coming by car and want to cook yourself, be sure to buy supplies along the way, as there are very few stores in Minobusan and no supermarkets.
Local food right on your doorstep
Café Zencho offers fresh, healthy meals and snacks with a focus on food produced locally. The menu is frequently revamped to allow for the availability of seasonal ingredients. Customer favorites include pasta dishes made with Yamanashi’s celebrated hoto noodles and sweet kinako bread hot out of the oven. As well as food, the café serves an assortment of hot and cold drinks, including Kakurinbo’s very own Temple Beer. Open all day for breakfast through to early dinner, Café Zencho’s large outdoor terrace area and snug indoor counter bar are right next door.
Combining local gastronomy with Buddhist food culture
One Minobusan landmark that has attracted global attention for its innovative approach to traditional Buddhist accommodation and cuisine is Kakurinbo, a temple lodging only a 10-minute walk away. At Kakurinbo, the concept of “chisan chisho” (地産地消), the consumption of locally produced ingredients, is a key element in its meticulously prepared and beautifully presented meals. Prominent among these ingredients are yuba tofu sheets, an essential part of the Buddhist vegetarian diet, and Akebono soybeans, which are unique to the Minobu area. Kakurinbo offers breakfast, lunch and multicourse kaiseki dinners that rely heavily on seasonal ingredients, allowing diners to enjoy the varying flavors of Japan’s four seasons. Meals at Kakurinbo can be enjoyed within its traditional dining room overlooking the celebrated shinji-ike (心字池) garden or on the outdoor Sakura Terrace surrounded by lush mountain nature.
Please do not hesitate to contact us to find out more about the many delicious and memorable dining options available.
Terms & Conditions for Ebisuya Guests
Please read the following terms and conditions before making a reservation. By making a reservation, you agree to be subject to these terms and conditions during the entirety of your stay at Ebisuya.
Ebisuya is an accommodation facility operated by Kakurinshoja Co., Ltd. It is available for use in its entirety on a nightly basis in the style of a rental villa.
The facility has 10 futons (capacity 10 persons). However, please be sure to let us know in advance if your group consists of more than six persons.
Check-in time is between 10 am and 5 pm. If you do not arrive by 7 pm, your reservation for that day will be canceled. Therefore, please be sure to inform us if you plan to arrive late.
In addition, please be sure to observe the terms and conditions of use set forth below. Please note that noncompliance with these terms and conditions may result in the cancelation of your stay.
Terms and conditions
Please take all safety precautions when using naked flames (gas, cigarettes, matches, lighters, barbecue, wood stove, etc.).
Fires, including bonfires and fireworks, other than with the equipment provided, are prohibited.
Smoking indoors is prohibited. Please smoke in the designated smoking area outside. An ashtray has been made available.
Guests found to have smoked indoors will be charged a cleaning fee of 100,000 yen.
Please note the following restrictions when using Ebisuya.
No pets allowed (excluding dogs approved in advance)
No goods that give off a strong or bad odor
No large amounts of luggage or other items
No inflammable items such as explosives and gasoline
No guns, swords and other weapons that are not licensed
No narcotics or other illegal substances
No gambling or other improper behavior
Please refrain from activities that may cause annoyance or distress to local residents. These include loud music and loud conversations, singing (karaoke, etc.) and use of musical instruments other than those approved in advance.
Use of facility
Ebisuya is available for recreation and accommodation. For other uses, please contact us in advance.
The accommodation is available on a nightly basis to the number of guests agreed upon when the reservation is made. Do not invite visitors or let people other than those in your group use the facilities and/or items in the accommodation.
Guests found to have invited people onto the premises without prior agreement by Kakurinshoja Co., Ltd. will be considered to have violated this agreement and will be required to vacate the premises immediately without a refund.
Use of Ebisuya as a location for filming for commercial purposes is possible, but will incur further costs. All arrangements for such activities must be made in advance with Kakurinshoja Co., Ltd.
About use of furnishings, appliances, etc.
Please do not use the furnishings, appliances, etc. at Ebisuya for any purpose other than the intended purpose.
Please do not take indoor furniture, audio equipment, etc., outside.
After using furnishings, appliances, etc., please return them to their original place in their original condition.
About use of kitchen
Guests are responsible for any damage to kitchenware, utensils, tableware, etc. and the cost of any damage must be borne by the guest.
When using the gas stove, be sure to turn on the ventilation fan above to remove all smoke and/or odors from the kitchen interior.
Do not put food out for wild animals.
Please close all windows before leaving the property in order to prevent wild animals and pests from entering the property.
The property is situated within natural surroundings and in the warmer months may attract insects. Please note that all efforts are made in cleaning and insect prevention.
Guests are responsible for the cost of repairing any furnishings, appliances, etc. indoors and/or outdoors that they damage.
The cost of any damaged furnishings, appliances, etc. discovered after the guests have vacated the property will be charged in full to the guests.
If it is discovered after the guests have vacated the property that an unusually large amount of electricity, gas, water, etc. has been used, then the guests will be charged these utility costs in full.
Kakurinshoja Co., Ltd. is not responsible for any accidents caused by natural disasters, negligence on the part of the guests or through non-compliance with this agreement.
Kakurinshoja Co., Ltd. is not responsible for theft, accidents, damage, etc. involving vehicles belonging to or operated by the guests.
Guests are advised to wear their valuables or lock them away when going out. Kakurinshoja Co., Ltd. is not responsible for the theft of valuables or goods belonging to the guests.
About pet dogs
Pet dogs may accompany guests if Kakurinshoja Co., Ltd. is informed in advance. However, dogs are not allowed inside the building itself. Dogs can be kept in the entranceway or on the terrace at the back of the property.
If dog mess, hairs, odor, etc. is discovered within the building, guests will be charged a house cleaning fee, the cost of replacement for bedding and equipment, costs incurred due to inconvenience to the next guests, etc.
About loss or theft of Ebisuya property
If the guests lose the door key they receive at check-in, they will be responsible for a key replacement fee and costs incurred during the period required to replace the key.
If the guests fail to lock the doors of Ebisuya before returning the key, they may be required to pay for any theft and/or property damage that may incur due to this failure to lock the doors.
Kakurinshoja Co., Ltd. staff members may visit to check on the security of the guests.
The guests are responsible for usage of the property from the time of check-in to the time of checkout.
Violation of this agreement may result in the guests being asked to vacate the property immediately and without a refund.
This agreement may be changed, suspended or abolished by notifying the guests in advance of their visit by a method that Kakurinshoja Co., Ltd. deems appropriate. However, if minor changes, improvements, etc., are made to this agreement that are deemed to have no effect on the guests’ usage of the property, they will be made without notifying the guests.
Matters not stipulated in this agreement shall be governed by the laws and/or regulations and/or customs of Japan.