VISON: A place of health, relaxation and becoming one with nature

VISON: A place of health, relaxation and becoming one with nature

I recently had the pleasure of visiting a newly opened, on June 5, section of the expanding VISON, well-being and relaxation resort facilities located in Taki Town.
So what is VISON? VISON is a bit of a play on words in Japanese and means “beautiful village.” The main concept of VISON is to promote wellness, healthy eating and appreciation of the nature which Taki Town abounds in.

Written by Pete Leong

Upon driving up the road through the casual cafe and restaurant area of VISON I immediately was intrigued with the wooden architectural design of the buildings. Then I was taken aback when I realized the actual size of VISON as I made my way up the winding roads and more of the facilities came into view. In fact, the grounds cover an area of 119 hectares in total with half of that dedicated to natural forest and walking paths and 54 hectares of restaurants, large bath facilities, shops, a wood workshop area, a hotel and cabins. The main hotel and cabin areas are due to open this July, but the greater part of VISON is now open to the public and there is a lot to see, eat and experience here.

The first section that opened on April 29, 2021 is known as Marche, and is the first section you encounter as you enter the grounds. It has a long triangle-shaped roof and is home to many cafes and restaurants where you can get your fill of locally sourced fresh seafood from one of several fish markets or the famed Matsusaka beef among other meats. There is also a plethora of options for vegetarians and vegans with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables on sale, all of which are produced by local farmers. I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of the offerings were organically grown as well. Once you have picked out your lunch you can then enjoy barbecuing it yourself while you relax under the open-air cover and take in the scenery.

I am a seafood fanatic, so I was delighted to see the huge oysters and lesser seen kinds of seafood on sale which had my mouth watering. If barbecuing is not your thing there are plenty of other options, from cafe-style outdoor eating and vendors where you can get homemade-style hamburgers or my personal favorite, fish and chips. If you fancy something a little more up market, well there are restaurants that cater to that also.

Just across the road from the Marche food section you will find many more shops which are still under construction at time of writing. One section that is newly opened, however, is Kiond, which includes a coffee cafe in an all-wood-themed facility. Here visitors of all ages can try their hand at wood craft classes (reservation required) where you can even learn to use a chainsaw to make art sculptures from a log, while younger kids can enjoy the wood block climbing play area on all things to do with nature, take a guided hike through the forest or just sit and relax in the cafe library. Wood crafting workshops range from 2,000-3,500 yen per person and can be booked at the front desk.

Further up along the road and you will pass the massive new hotel complex. Just beyond that I came across a quaint little wooden building known as RINNE. It featured a dry herb research laboratory where various organic herbs are mixed together to create teas and natural aromas for the public bath area. Right next door you can try out some of the all-natural herb tea blends and purchase all sorts of organic products, ranging from snacks to body oils and insect repellents. I had a chance to sample some of their in-house made herb teas and I must say it was one of the most refreshing and flavorful teas I have ever tried.

Further still up the winding road and you come to the upper section for which I had the honor of attending the opening ceremony. Here you will find Spa VISON, which houses a massive public bath area to relax in after you are done with eating, wood crafting or exploring the forest. The wood theme is continued on here into the bath houses. Both the male and female sections feature indoor and outdoor herb scented baths. When entering the bath areas, you are greeted with pleasant uplifting aromas coming from the 42 degrees Celsius warm water pools. The herbs varieties in the water are switched every five days and male and female sections are also switched each day so that returning visitors can enjoy a different experience each time. Entrance to the public baths is 800 yen for adults or 400 yen for children.

Tourist attractions covered by this article