List Of Temples Which Let You Stay Inside | Japan Temple Lodging - Updated 2022

temple stay japan
Sowmya
Sowmya  
Updated

Japan’s rich history and natural beauty have made it one of the most enduring tourist hotspots. From gazing upon the beauty of Mt. Fuji to enjoying the marvellous sight of cherry blossoms and exploring ancient castles and temples, Japan offers a wealth of experiences. The country’s temples in particular date back centuries and are usually located amidst breathtaking landscapes, making them a prime attraction. One way to enhance this experience is to stay within the temple itself. Called “shukubo”, temple lodgings are accommodation offered to pilgrims and visitors. Staying inside the temple offers an opportunity to appreciate the austere life of Buddhist monks and observe the functioning of the temple at close quarters. Read on to find the list of temples which let you stay inside and explore the appeal of Japan temple lodgings.

1. Myōshinji Temple, Kyoto (from USD 78)

Myoshinji taizoin07s3
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 663highland used under CC BY 2.5

Myōshinji Temple is a large Rinzai Zen temple complex in north Kyoto that has over 40 sub-temples in addition to its main temple. The temple’s official temple lodging is Hanazono Kaikan a modern Japanese-style hotel building located on the east side of the complex. The shukubo offers Japanese-style rooms as well as typical hotel rooms. The facilities available here include Japanese-patterned public baths, a Japanese restaurant, and a souvenir store. Meals offered include breakfast (Japanese- and zen-style) and dinner, both costing extra.


Hanazono Kaikan

Wifi Available

Address: Ukyo-ku Hanazonokitsuji Kitamachi 1-5
Accommodates: 4

Parking Restaurant 24-hour front desk Non-smoking rooms Laundry Facilities for disabled guests Ironing service Free parking

2. Seichoji Temple, Kamogawa

Kamogawa Seicho-ji 05
Source: Photo by user Tak1701d used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Seichoji Temple is located in Kamogawa, atop Chiba Prefecture’s second-highest mountain Myōken-san surrounded by beautiful mountain vistas. Its gorgeous setting makes it a top destination particularly to watch sunrises. The shukubo here primarily offers Japanese-style rooms with basic essentials like futons and yukatas (simple kimono). There are separate bathrooms and public baths with toiletries included. The onsite cafeteria offers vegetarian meals, breakfast, and dinner, the cost for which is however additional. Please note that you need to make reservations one week before your desired days of stay.

Seichoji Temple

Price: from 6,600 YEN/60 USD

Number of Guests: 2 per room

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3. Taiyōji Temple, Chichibu

IMG_9578
Source: Photo by user foam used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Located close to Tokyo, Taiyōji Temple in Saitama prefecture’s Chichibu region dates back to 1313 and still retains its antiquity in the way it looks with its buildings remaining untouched. The temple is located on the mountainside above a river valley, offering an incredible view of the Mitsumine mountains of the nearby Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park. Run by a lone monk, this shukubo program offers a chance to experience the life of a monk. The lodgings are basic Japanese-style rooms with futons. The program costs include costs for dinner and breakfast (vegetarian only). Public baths plus an outside bath (rotemburo) is available. The program also encourages you to participate in sutra copying (shakyo), sutra chanting as well as a sermon. The highlight, of course, is exploring its serene green surroundings and witnessing the sun rising over the mountains.

Taiyōji Temple

Price: from 9,500 YEN/ 87 USD

Number of Guests: 2 per room

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4. Mii-dera, Otsu

"Mii-dera, Otsu
Source: 松縄 正彦

Mii-dera Temple located near Otsu in Shiga Prefecture dates back to 672 and is one of the largest temple complexes of Japan. The shukubo experience here is high end. Called “Myogon-In”, guests rent a whole lodge that hosts a total of four persons. Though the facilities are modern the experience will be authentic in not only the atmosphere but also the activities offered. Guests also have access to a Japanese-style private garden. The price of the stay includes meals (vegetarian) and other experiences such as Shugendo / Yamabushi, zazen sessions, sutra copying and even Japanese craft classes. Please keep in mind that reservations may require up to 30 days’ notice.

Mii-dera Temple

Price: from 150,000 YEN /1,370 USD

Number of Guests: 4 persons

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5. Zenkō-ji Temple, Nagano (from USD 106)

"Zenkō-ji Temple, Nagano (https://www.booking.com/hotel/jp/temple-takayama-zenko-ji.ja.html)
Source: えんべる

One of the most revered temples of Japan, Zenkō-ji Temple in Nagano is popular with both locals and tourists. The temple lodgings called Zenkoji Tokugyoubou is located on the grounds of the temple itself. Styled in the traditional Japanese manner, the rooms are simply furnished with tatami mats and cotton yukatas. Guests can participate in morning prayers (“o-asaji”) and partake in special meals made for monks called shojin ryo.


宿坊 善光寺 Temple Hotel Takayama Zenkoji

Wifi Available

Address: Takayama-shi Tenmanmachi 4-3 Zenko-ji
Accommodates: 24

Parking Garden Non-smoking rooms Laundry Internet services Heating Luggage storage WiFi Available

6. Ekoin Temple, Mount Koya (from USD 104)

"Ekoin Temple, Mount Koya (https://www.booking.com/hotel/jp/shukubo-ekoin.en-gb.html)
Source: Mizuki Yoshi

The 1000-year old Eko-in Mt. Koya Temple is sure to offer an authentic Japanese temple lodging experience. The rooms are tatami-floored and come with futons and shoji sliding doors, plus basic amenities like TV. Most rooms come with garden views. Guests have access to facilities like a common bathroom and a hot spring bath heated with natural water of Mt. Koyasan. Traditional vegetarian Buddisht meals are served in the rooms during set timings the cost of which is included in the room charges. Guests can participate in a number of temple activities including meditation services, Sutra Transcription, morning prayers, and the Goma fire ritual. A night tour of Okunoin can also be arranged at an extra cost.


Shukubo Koya-san Eko-in Temple

Address: Koyasan 497

Special diet menus (on request) Food can be delivered to guest accommodation Breakfast in the room Designated smoking area Family rooms Kid meals Garden Chapel/shrine

7. Osore-zan Bodai-ji Temple, Aomori

Bodaiji Temple
Source: Photo by user Japanexperterna used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Mount Osore on the Shimokita Peninsula is counted among the three-most sacred mountains of Japan and that’s where the Osore-zan Bodai-ji Temple is located. Set against the backdrop of Lake Usori and the surrounding mountainsides, the temple is known as the place where spirits come to rest. The temple lodgings Shukubo Kisshokaku located on grounds offer Japanese-style rooms. The cost includes two vegetarian meals, served at the cafeteria as well as access to one of the four hot spring baths which are known for healing powers. Guests can also participate in prayer/memorial services and other available activities though prior reservations are required. Please note the temple is open only between May 1 and October 31.

Osore-zan Bodai-ji Temple

Price: from 12000 YEN/110 USD

Number of Guests: 2 per room

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8. Togakushi Shrine, Nagano

"Togakushi Shrine, Nagano
Source: 安藤 美紀

Nagano’s Togakushi Shrine can be found at the foot of Mount Togakushi within Myōkō-Togakushi Renzan National Park. The temple lodgings are located within the complex and comprise two separate historic buildings offering Japanese-style accommodation. Two meals per day are included in the charges and feature specialties of the region, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

Togakushi Shrine

Price: from 9,500 YEN/ 86 USD

Number of Guests: 2 per room

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9. Chishaku-in Kaikan Temple, Kyoto

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Source: Photo by user Marcel van der Hoek used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Chishaku-in Kaikan Temple in Kyoto is the head temple for the Chizan sect within the Shingon Buddhism path. The temple has around 20 temple halls within its large complex and one of them acts as the shukubo. These private rooms are simple but offer both Japanese-style and Western-style rooms. The price of the stay includes one meal and the option to participate in morning prayers. Reservations are needed for dinners and are charged extra.

Shukubo Chishakuin Kaikan

Price: from 6870 YEN/ 63 USD

Number of Guests: 2 per room

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10. Fukuchiin, Mount Koya (from USD 131)

Dry Garden of Fukuchiin Temple-Hotel - Koyasan - Japan
Source: Photo by Flickr user Adam Jones used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Fukuchiin is the temple lodging that’s located close to the Kongobuji Buddhist temple on Mount Kōya in Wakayama. This shukubo is also an onsen so you will have access to a communal hot spring (indoor and open-air) where you can relax. The guest rooms are Japanese-style so they will feature tatami floorings and futons. Some of the rooms also offer garden views. The price of the room also includes two vegetarian meals (breakfast and dinners). Guests are welcome to take part in temple activities such as the copying of sutras and traditional bracelet making.


Koyasan Onsen Fukuchiin

Address: Koyasan 657

Non-smoking throughout Private parking Vending machine (drinks) Fax/photocopying Newspapers Meeting/banquet facilities Air conditioning Heating

Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience

As shukubo is available only in selected temples, start exploring your options with this list of temples which let you stay inside Japan temple lodgings. Check online for reservation policies of your chosen temple - you will need to contact the temple directly in most cases, though some operate via local tourist offices or websites. Do note many temples require that you or someone in your group be able to communicate in Japanese.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Writing and travelling both bring joy to Sowmya's life. Her favourite destination so far is Bhutan. A land of incredible beauty! And her favourite style of travelling is solo backpacking!...Read more

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