There’s a really unique accommodation facility located in Tochigi prefecture’s Nasu Kogen. Its name is Mongolian Village Tenger and it introduces authentic Mongolian culture in a prairie-like environment. “Tenger” means “blue sky” in Mongolian language. As its name suggests, this village attempts to offer a unique experience to the visitors under the wide blue sky.
Stay in a real Mongolian nomadic yurt!
The most fascinating experience at Tenger is the opportunity to sleep in real yurts imported straight from Mongolia. The yurts are portable, wooden structures covered with layers of fabric. While the interior of the yurt (each has 6 meters of diameter) preserves the authentic Mongolian spirit, the temperature and humidity can be controlled so as to adjust to the specifics of the Japanese climate.
There are 4 beds in each yurt, but with additional sofa beds it can accommodate up to 7 people. The furniture is designed by a famous Mongolian company. Simply looking at the tables, chairs and chest of drawers make you feel like you’re experiencing a completely different culture.
Besides the ordinary yurts, there are also bigger ones called Arslan (which means “lion” in Mongolian). They can accommodate up to 28 people.
A sacred cairn “ovoo” where your wishes come true
There are a total of 32 yurts spread across the grounds of the village which is an unusual sight in Japan. Between the yurts will find a cairn called “ovoo” where you’re supposed to pick a stone, add it to the pile and circle around the pile three times. This is a Mongolian ritual for praying and it is believed that doing it will help materialize people’s wishes. Your wishes will also come true, so be sure to try.
You can make a campfire with logs in front of the yurts. Enjoy the pleasant time around the fire under the starry sky. You’ll have wonderful memories from this place!
Experience khoomei and morin khuur after dinner
You can savor Mongolian dishes for breakfast and dinner at the local restaurant. The menu changes according to the season, and from April till October you can try barbecue with local ingredients from Nasu Kogen. In winter the Tenger shabu-shabu hot pot is quite popular. You can try different tastes all in a single hot pot. The rice gruel at the end is superb! Most of the sets require a prior booking, but the dishes are authentic Mongolian. You can also try the Mongolian vodka which is great for lovers of sake.
After dinner you can enjoy a performance on the Mongolian musical instrument morin khuur and the unique khoomei singing style. A top-class Mongolian folklore singer will entertain you with an authentic cultural performance. He’s famous in Mongolia and abroad and you will never forget this singing once you hear it. You’ll get goose bumps from his vocal abilities!
The hot spring in Tenger uses water that comes from 800 meters under the ground. There are gender-divided stone and cypress-tree open-air pools where you can soak in and relax, embraced by Nasu’s nature under the starry sky.
Enjoy the surrounding nature to the fullest with the activities in the centerfield
There are many activities to enjoy at Tenger’s center field square. You can try archery, which is one of the three main games of the Mongolian festival Naadam. First-timers can also learn how to do it, so feel free to challenge yourself. For large groups there is an activity called “Make your own yurt” (requires reservation in advance).
Besides that, you can try hands-on activities such as making Buuz dumplings or butter in the restaurant, or playing with traditional Mongolian toys. One of the games uses lamb ankle bones, while another one looks like chess but uses camel-like pieces. You’ll be fascinated by trying all these games for the first time.
You can also take a walk around the village and enjoy the beauty of the four seasons in a forest field work activity.
Mongolian costumes and instruments are displayed in the lobby
The front lobby looks like a real museum with many Mongolian items displayed. There are valuable Mongolian costumes, musical instruments, toys, traditional everyday items and others. You can buy some cute Mongolian goods from the facility’s shop – some of them you won’t find anywhere else in Japan. Put on your favorite Mongolian costume and take a photo of yourself. For an additional fee you can dress up as a Mongolian. There are costumes, hats and shoes of all sizes, including for kids.
Please get informed about the conditions of staying in Tenger village when you check in. At the front lobby you will be told how to use the beds, the toilets, the keys, the lights, the hot spring and the restaurant. Even those who’re familiar with Mongolian culture will find new and interesting experiences at this place.
I strongly recommend this facility to experienced travelers who’re looking for unique places. The Mongolian Village Tenger in Nasu Kogen is a place where you can experience authentic Mongolian culture with your entire family. Be sure to create many great memories by staying at the village.
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