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Journey Through Life With the Wisdom of the Forest

The philosophy of Yakuriki – 薬力


Nestled among the serene forests surrounding the iconic Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto, Japan, lies a hidden gem that offers more than just delicious drinks and snacks. Vermillion Cafe is a haven of tranquility and healing that embodies the philosophy of Yakuriki, a concept that emphasizes the power of nature to promote well-being.

Yakuriki Shrine, also known as Yakuriki-jinja, is a Shinto shrine located in Kyoto, Japan. It is dedicated to the god of medicine, Yakushi Nyorai, and is believed to have been founded in the 9th century. The shrine is an important place of worship for those seeking physical and spiritual healing.

One of the central tenets of Shintoism is its deep reverence for nature. Shinto followers believe that everything in the world, from mountains and rivers to trees and animals, has a spiritual essence or “kami” that deserves respect and reverence. Similarly, the philosophy of Yakuriki emphasizes the power of nature to heal and improve one’s physical and mental well-being. The word “yakuriki” can be translated as “the power of medicine,” but it also encompasses the idea of the healing power of nature.

The connection between Yakuriki Shrine and nature is evident in the shrine’s location and surroundings. The shrine itself is situated in a beautiful forested area near the foot of Mt. Inari. The forest is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including a cedar forest that is said to be over 1,000 years old. Many visitors to the shrine feel a sense of peace and tranquility as they walk through the forest and soak in its natural beauty.

The shrine’s annual festival, held in April, is another example of its connection to nature. The festival involves a procession through the forest to collect branches that are believed to have healing properties. These branches are used in various rituals and ceremonies throughout the year.

In addition to its spiritual significance, Yakuriki Shrine is also an important historical and cultural site. The shrine’s architecture and artwork reflect the artistic styles and traditions of the Heian period (794-1185), a golden age of Japanese culture.

I couldn’t find any specific poems associated with Yakuriki Shrine or its philosophy, but there are many traditional Japanese poems (waka and haiku) that celebrate the beauty of nature and reflect the themes of healing and well-being that are central to the Yakuriki philosophy.

For example, here is a famous haiku by Matsuo Basho that embodies the idea of finding healing and tranquility in nature:


Furuike ya
Kawazu tobikomu
Mizu no oto

“An old silent pond
A frog jumps into the pond—
Splash! Silence again.”

This haiku captures the simplicity and beauty of nature, and suggests that even small moments of connection with the natural world can bring a sense of calm and rejuvenation.

Another famous haiku by Yosa Buson celebrates the beauty of cherry blossoms, which are a beloved symbol of springtime in Japan:


Hana sasou
Na mo shiranu matsu no
Ka no tera

“The cherry blossom
The temple bell stops ringing—
But the sound keeps coming.”

This haiku suggests that even after the physical sound of the temple bell has faded away, the beauty of the cherry blossoms continues to resonate and bring a sense of peace and well-being.


Venture on a memorable path with our 10-week Shinrin Yoku Guide Training program accredited by Shinrin Yoku Association . This journey merges the accessibility of online learning with an enriching immersion in the serene forests of Japan. 🌳🇯🇵

Embark on your online adventure with flexible scheduling (GMT-3, Argentina Time) 🖥️🌐:
🌱 July 21 (Fri), 12 PM
🌱 July 28 (Fri), 2 PM
🌱 August 4 (Fri), 8 AM
(More dates available online!)

Continue your transformative journey with a 5-day retreat nestled in the peaceful woodlands of Nara, Japan 🏞️🎑:
🍂 October 2-6, 2023
🍂 October 9-13, 2023


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