If you are interested in Buddhism in Japan, we do recommend you to go for some temple experiences. By practicing Zazen meditation and listening to sermons, you can achieve calmness and enjoy peace of mind. This time, we would like to introduce you the ascetic practices of Buddhism you can experience at two temples in Kyoto – Bishamonten Shorinji and Ninnaji.
Temple experiences available from beginners' course at Bishamonten Shorinji
The top recommendation for those who have a deep interest in Buddhism in Japan is, experiencing the ascetic practices of Buddhism held by real temples. Recently, Zen meditation has become popular all around the world, and there are plentiful temples in Japan holding Zen meditation experiences. In this article, we are introducing the Zazen meditation experience held by Bishamonten Shorinji in Kyoto.
What is "Zazen"? It is under the spotlight of the world for its relaxing effect!
Zazen, literally “seated meditation”, means to sit still with crossed legs and folded arms in a set posture, and fix your mind on one point, so as to detach yourself from thoughts. In fact, the precise method to practice Zazen varies from temple to temple, and it is a basic part of the ascetic practices in Buddhism. To experience Zazen meditation practice, you do not need to prepare anything beforehand. Just go with empty hands!
A list of Zazen meditation plans: with meals, with yoga practices, and so forth
When speaking of Zazen meditation, you might be thinking that it must be too difficult for outsiders. But remember the temple is offering courses for beginners? Glad to tell you that Bishamonten Shorinji offers not only a simple Zazen meditation course. There are also other Zazen meditation plans with options such as Buddhism-styled meals and yoga practices. This way, you may experience the practice of Zazen meditation freely and readily. Choose whichever plan you like, and do not bother to worry anymore! Reservations can be made by clicking the link below:
Dive deeper into Buddhist practices at Ninnaji
If you are asking more than experiencing only Zazen meditation, another option would be for you to visit Ninnaji, which is also a temple located in Kyoto. The temple provides accommodation for visitors to experience chanting with the monks there in the early morning.
Enjoy your time in a World Heritage Site, and even a National Treasure!
Ninnaji is a temple with long years of history, and is recognized as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. What is more, the “Golden Hall” of the temple, the specific place for ceremonies, is designated as a National Treasure of Japan, the most precious of Japan’s Tangible Cultural Properties. The “Golden Hall” is so cherished that it is not made public. As you can tell, it is especially a rare chance to experience Buddhist practices there with the monks.
Stay a night in a Japanese-style room
Ninnaji is such a historical temple that you might feel staying a night there is not a very brilliant idea. Well, this is not the case. The rooms for accommodation there are newly renovated, while the traditional Japanese-style elements are kept, for example, tatami flooring, sliding doors and hanging scrolls with a painting or a work of calligraphy. Stay a night there, and you can deeply feel the Japanese culture!
Get a taste of the meal at a temple!
There is a dining room in Ninnaji. Like every other dining room at the temples in Kyoto, the one here in Ninnaji offers tempting-looking meals made with healthy ingredients. The meals are unbelievably delicious at such a solemn temple!
Accommodation at Ninnaji can be booked on the link below. Make your reservation as soon as possible before it is fully booked!
Experience the restorative practices of Buddhism at temples in Kyoto!
Do you want to know more about Buddhism in Japan? Temple experiences in Kyoto is a must-try activity! It gives you more than just walking around a temple. Book your flight to Kyoto with us, and feel the essence of Buddhism!