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5 Things You Need To Know About Temple Stay In Japan

Temple stay in Japan is becoming increasingly popular among tourists. Japanese word for it is Shukubo, and that’s how locals usually refer to it.

Temple stay in Japan is becoming increasingly popular among tourists. Japanese word for it is Shukubo, and that’s how locals usually refer to it. 

Just as the name says, temple stay is a practice of staying at Buddhist temples to experience unique aspects of Japanese culture. It can be a great way to experience the culture and tradition of Buddhism, or even just enjoy the beauty and serenity of being surrounded by nature.

Tourists can enjoy the beauty of the temple grounds, take part in religious activities, and even participate in meditation sessions. Temples offer a variety of types of stays from traditional to modern and luxurious.

Visitors can stay for one night or up to a month at some temples. The type of stay will depend on the temple and what they offer their guests. The cost also varies depending on the type of stay desired but it is usually affordable for all budgets.

In this article I’m going to tell you 5 things you need to know about temple stay in Japan. Who knows, maybe it will be enough to persuase you to try this experience when you visit Japan next time?

Table of Contents

Kyoo nite mo
Kyoo natsukashi ya
hototogisu

Even in Kyoto
Longing for Kyoto
Hearing the Cuckoo

Matsuo Basho,
17th century haiku poet

Prices for Temple Stay in Japan

Before you start planning your temple stay in Japan, you should know more about required budget for it. The prices of the temple stay in Japan vary depending on the temple you choose to stay at. The costs range from ¥6000 to ¥10,000 per day. Of course, there are some temples charging more than others. 

However, if you are looking for something unique to do in Japan, staying at a temple is definitely worth it. Whether you are looking for spiritual and cultural experience, or just want to see what it’s like to stay in Japanese temple, you shouldn’t worry about the prices.

There are many temples in Japan which offer temple stays. Take a look at a few of them, compare prices, and you’ll surely find an option that fits your budget.

Experiences during Temple Stay

How to describe temple stay in one sentence? Basically, it is a program that allows participants to experience the traditional Japanese lifestyle. But, it is not just about experiencing Japanese culture.

It also includes experiencing the Buddhist faith. Participants will be immersed in Buddhist teachings and traditions during their stay.

Buddhist practices include meditation, chanting, and sutra reading. As a visitor, you will also have opportunities to participate in temple activities such as making paper lanterns and folding origami cranes.

A shukubo meditation is done in a seated position with hands on knees, eyes closed, head bowed slightly forward and breathing deeply for 10 minutes or longer. This meditation technique helps with awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings or emotions.

A shukubo prayer is offered to thank the gods for their protection and support. It is done before starting any work, before eating, before bathing, and when leaving the temple grounds.

The Best Locations in Japan

Some of the most popular locations for temple stays are Koyasan, Zenkoji and Mt. Mitake.

  1. Koyasan is a Buddhist temple in Wakayama. It was founded in 806 and is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Japan. Koyasan has an interesting history and it’s considered as one of the holiest place for Japanese Buddhists.
  2. Zenkoji temple in Nagano is one of the most important Buddhist temples in the world. There is no better place to experience the traditional Japanese culture and immerse yourself into a spiritual world of Buddhism.
  3. Mt. Mitake is located on the outskirts of Tokyo. It takes about an hour from Shinjuku to get there by car or train. The reason why it is so popular among tourists is because it offers a nice view of Mt. Fuji on clear days, as well as a beautiful waterfall that’s worth seeing if you have time to spare.

Vegeterian Temple Cuisine

The temple stay in Japan is a great opportunity to experience Japanese culture and spirituality. But what are the meals like?

If you are a fan of Japanese food, I have great news for you. Temple stay is a great opportunity to experience the traditional Japanese food culture.

Have in mind that temple stay is a time for spiritual growth, not a time for indulgence. Shukubo meals are vegetarian and can be customized according to your dietary needs.

In shukubo meals, you will find rice, miso soup, pickles and other dishes that are made of vegetables or tofu. The meal is served on a low table with a zen-like atmosphere which is perfect for meditation.

Temple Lodgings in Japan

If you want to experience the culture and traditions of Japan, you should consider temple stays. Japan is a land of temples and shrines, which are typically the home of Buddhist monks. By staying in a temple for a few days or weeks, you’ll be able to experience what it’s like to live there.

Temple lodgings are becoming more popular among tourists because they are an excellent way to get acquainted with the traditional side of Japan. It is an experience that will leave you with a deep sense of spirituality and appreciation for Japanese culture. You can learn about the Buddhist culture and rituals, explore the temples, and enjoy the peaceful environment.

If you love unusual experiences like Shukubo, then you must read more about Konyoku – it’s a mixed onsen in Japan!

Josip Hotovec
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