A Buddhist guest house situated in an ancient temple in Mount Kōya, Japan has received critical reviews on Booking.com, with many commenting on the site’s “basic” amenities.
In response to the negative reviews, Daniel Kimura, a resident monk and an official Shingon priest at the Sekishoin Shukubo guest house, berated the tourists for not keeping their expectations in check prior to visiting Japanese temples.
“The futon & the pillows weren’t the best,” one reviewer wrote. “The meals were basic and vegetarian.”
To this, Kimura replied, “Just because you are a Westerner doesn’t mean you are going to treated specially [sic]. If you are that interested in a monks life then you should shave your head and be one.”
One tourist commented that the temple guest house has “quite unlike any food I’ve ever tasted.”
“Yeah, it’s Japanese monastic cuisine you uneducated f***,” the 30-year-old monk answered back.
On Sunday, Kimura’s responses went viral after Canadian journalist Melissa Martin posted a collection of them on Twitter.
“Monk at Buddhist temple lodgings on Japan’s Mt. Koya is 100% done with your tourist crap,” Martin wrote, posting four screenshots of Kimura’s comments.
Kimura, who is actually an American and lived in Japan for about 15 years, has since apologized for using profanity in some of his responses, the Guardian reports.
While he vowed to “tone down” his comments in future, Kimura explained that he was annoyed by tourists who continually post “arrogant responses like they’re some travel pioneer.”
“Of course, they don’t speak one word of Japanese and they come here expecting everything to be handed to them on a platter, and I’m like, you’ve got to know konnichiwa (hello) and ohayō gozaimasu (good morning) – just a little bit,” Kimura was quoted as saying.
“You get impatient, even for a monk or a priest. I have to work on that. [Tourists] come here expecting some six-star hotel and that’s totally wrong,” Kimura added.
“I try to explain that you can’t expect luxury when you come to a monastic setting and of course it’s going to be kind of barebones, but it’s deliberately like that.”
Kimura’s fiery comments have since been taken down from the travel booking website, which reportedly asked the temple not to insult the customers for leaving a review.