David at Sakura Farm.
Room at Sakura Farm.
David takes a traditional bath.
The accommodation may not be quite traditional Japanese, but the experience at this beautiful place certainly is.
The owner, Genzo Kosaka, was part of the computer rat race in Japan, but tired of that and went on a pilgrimage around his own country and was instructed in Zen Buddhism.
Twelve years ago he and his wife Seiko migrated to Australia and built their retreat in Mullumbimby, as far away from the hustle and bustle of corporate life as is possible. They have raised a daughter, they run their farm, grow and prepare most of their own food, brew beer and make washi, paper from banana fibre, which they export to Japan and the US.
The older of the two cabins has two bedrooms and a shared bathroom and the new timber building has two units with their own bathroom. All are air-conditioned and have refrigerators and there is a swimming pool.
Some traditional Japanese customs are adhered to, such as removal of shoes before entering a building, but beds are European style, not futons, and meals are taken at a table with chairs. The accommodation may not be quite traditional Japanese, but the experience certainly is. As Kosaka-san says, their retreat is not about the hardware, it is about the harmony.
Sakura's physical highlight is the outdoor Japanese bath, an integral part of that culture. Tradition is that you soap and shampoo before entering the bath, using wooden bowls to rinse yourself off. The bath is pine and has wonderful views of the ocean.
The tariff includes three meals and Seiko does all the cooking. Dinner is usually six or seven courses and Kosaka-san is fond of deep discussion on the meaning of life, the meaning of each dish and the philosophy behind Sakura Farm.