Two women meditating and a monk Zazen, or sitting meditation, is a form of mental or spiritual training which originated in India. When doing zazen, the practitioner sits with the correct posture, breathes regularly, and abandons worldly thoughts. Zazen was introduced to Japan from China, and the Zen Buddhist sect was established which used the method to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Several temples in Japan welcome visitors to experience zazen sessions.

Where to experience zazen:
Taizo-in Temple - Kyoto
Tosho-j Temple - Tokyo
Eihei-ji Temple - Fukui

main gate

Shukubo Temple stays

Seijoshin-in exterior Temple lodging or shukubo, as it is known, is a great way to experience a quieter, simpler, more spiritual life. The stay includes vegetarian food, an early rise, and participation in morning Buddhist services. The most famous place for shukubo is Mount Koya near Osaka, where about 50 temples offer lodgings. Average costs are around 10,000 yen per night, including breakfast and dinner.

Where to experience shukubo:
•  Mt. Koya Shukubo