Closely connected to the community, Dairyuji`s events and retreats are run with the help and talents of many local people.
Keno grew up at Dairyuji, playing in the garden and climbing trees as a young boy. After studying Buddhism at Komazawa University, he trained for 3 years at Eihiji Monastery which was built by Dogen, the founder of the Soto-shu sect of Zen Buddhism. He then backpacked around the world for a couple of years having many adventures along the way. Inspired by his travels, he returned to Dairyuji with an even deeper appreciation of Zen and commitment to his community. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, he is the 38th head priest of Dairyuji. Keno loves singing and playing taiko drums.
Originally from America, Gretchen became interested in meditation after studying abroad in China, Tibet and Nepal. She loves the simplicity and beauty of Zen Buddhism and has lived in Japan for twenty years with Keno and their four children. She has attended many retreats including Thich Nhat Hahn`s Plum Village in France and Omega Institute in New York. Currently completing a 2 year training program to become a Mindfulness teacher, Gretchen helps host temple events and organizes the retreats. She is an avid maker, loving all things handmade, running a small bento bag company SORAbento.
Aiko pursued her yoga practice after suffering from panics attacks while living in Tokyo. Eventually becoming a certified Hatha yoga instructor she taught for several years in Okinawa before returning to Akita in 2014. Her warm style of teaching creates a welcoming environment for everyone to enjoy.
Living closely to the land as an artist and cooking instructor, Yoshie is a true free spire and infuses fun into everything she does! She cooks with seasonal food including locally foraged wild vegetables. She is very excited to run our cooking workshop!
Homestyle cooking “shokudo” restaurant with set menus. Located in the heart of downtown Funakawa it is a great option for lunch when visiting Dairyuji.
A renovated farm house, Ninigi cafe is an off the beaten path destination that will surely delight. Ninigi`s menu includes teas, coffee, deserts and a daily lunch.
A popular gourmet deli and bento caterer, Fukushima is a family run business in Oga that sources their produce and meats locally.
The story of Namahage is woven into the fabric of the Oga peninsula culture. A beautifully curated museum, tucked away in the mountains, gives you special insight into this unique legend.