A tranquil setting for a monastery with delicious Trappist-made food
The Tobetsu Trappist Monastery, located at the western end of Hakodate Bay in japan, offers a serene and peaceful setting for visitors seeking a glimpse into the monastic life. The monks of Tobetsu live a self-sufficient life of prayer and contemplation, creating a harmonious balance between nature and spirituality.
Established in 1896, Tobetsu is one of two Trappist monasteries and five Trappistine convents in Japan. The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, commonly known as Trappists, is a Roman Catholic contemplative religious order. The monks of Tobetsu follow a strict schedule, starting their day at 3:30 a.m. and retiring at 8 p.m. Their commitment to prayer and reflection is evident in the tranquil atmosphere that permeates the monastery.
To reach Tobetsu, visitors can take a South Hokkaido Railway train from Hakodate Station to Oshima-Tobetsu Station, followed by a 30-minute walk to the monastery. Alternatively, the monastery is accessible by car, with a scenic 40-minute drive from Hakodate along the coast road to Tobetsu.
Upon arrival at Tobetsu, visitors are greeted by the beautiful red-brick buildings that stand in contrast to the lush green surroundings. The architectural beauty of the monastery is a testament to the monks’ dedication to their way of life. The monastery is not open to the public, as it is a closed community, but the stunning scenery that surrounds it makes Tobetsu worth the visit.
One of the highlights of a visit to Tobetsu is the opportunity to taste the delicious Trappist-made food. The monks of Tobetsu grow their own fruit and vegetables, ensuring that their meals are fresh and organic. In addition, they produce homemade butter, jam, and cookies, which are available for purchase at the shop outside the monastery. The Trappist butter cookies, in particular, have gained popularity as one of Hokkaido’s most sought-after souvenirs.
The butter cookies are made using a secret recipe passed down through generations of Trappist monks. Each cookie is carefully crafted with precision and attention to detail, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth texture and a rich, buttery flavor. The cookies are often enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee, providing a moment of indulgence and relaxation.
Another treat not to be missed at Tobetsu is the heavenly ice cream, served with a butter cookie. Made with the freshest ingredients and infused with the monks’ dedication and passion, the ice cream is a delectable delight that offers a taste of paradise. The combination of creamy, velvety ice cream and the crunchy, buttery cookie creates a harmonious contrast of textures and flavors.
As visitors savor the Trappist-made food, they can also take in the serene beauty of the monastery’s surroundings. The picturesque landscape of farmland and forest provides a peaceful backdrop for contemplation and reflection. The lush greenery and the gentle sound of nature create a sense of tranquility that is conducive to spiritual growth and inner peace.
In addition to the monastery itself, the surrounding area of Tobetsu offers opportunities for exploration and discovery. Nature enthusiasts can embark on hiking trails that wind through the nearby forests, immersing themselves in the beauty of the natural surroundings. The peacefulness of the environment allows visitors to connect with nature and appreciate its wonders.
For those seeking a deeper understanding of the monastic life, Tobetsu occasionally offers retreat programs for individuals interested in experiencing the daily routines and practices of the monks. These retreats provide a unique opportunity to participate in the monastic traditions and gain insights into the spiritual journey of the Trappist monks.
Visiting Tobetsu Trappist Monastery is not just a journey to a physical location; it is an invitation to embark on a spiritual quest. The monastery’s serene setting, delicious Trappist-made food, and opportunities for contemplation and reflection make it a place of solace and inspiration. Whether seeking a moment of tranquility or a deeper connection with one’s inner self, Tobetsu offers a sanctuary for spiritual growth and rejuvenation.
In conclusion, the Tobetsu Trappist Monastery in Japan provides a tranquil setting for visitors to experience the monastic life and indulge in delicious Trappist-made food. The monks’ commitment to prayer and contemplation creates an atmosphere of serenity and peace, making Tobetsu worth the visit. The monastery’s beautiful surroundings, including the lush greenery and picturesque landscape, further enhance the sense of tranquility. The opportunity to taste the Trappist butter cookies and heavenly ice cream adds a delightful culinary experience to the visit. Whether seeking solace, inspiration, or a deeper connection with one’s spirituality, Tobetsu offers a sanctuary for spiritual growth and rejuvenation.
Address And Maps Location:
392 Mitsuishi, Hokuto-shi, Hokkaido