‘Shakyo’(Brush) Meditation

‘Shakyo’(Brush) Meditation

The teachings of the Buddha have been passed down to us in the form of written ‘sutras’ or religious scripture. By tracing the sutras in a form of calligraphy called ‘shakyo’, Japanese believe the words flow through you; and through the silence and awareness this studied practice, the body and mind harmonize together in a form of meditation.

Zenko-ji Temple offers visitors the opportunity to be instructed in ‘shakyo’ by one of its resident monks. The action of tracing the characters with stillness of hand and the feel of the brush leads you into a meditative state; one in which participants reflect, calm their mind, and often achieve clarity on whatever worries they have brought with them.The harmonization of body and mind achieves one of the principle goals of Buddhists.  ‘Shakyo’ meditation is a distinctly Japanese practice through which you may discover such peace and tranquility.



09:30 - 16:30



From Nagano Station: Exit the station from the Zenko-ji Exit and take the bus heading for Zenko-ji Temple. Get off at the Zenko-ji bus stop and walk uphill to the temple complex. Alternatively, exit the station via the Zenko-ji Exit and follow the signs up the hill to the temple (approx. 20 minute walk).

Reservation required by phone or email

Once at the temple entrance, head up the hill toward the main temple. You will pass under the Niomon (the first gate with two fierce gods) and continue on toward the Sanmon (the second gate). Shortly prior to the temple's water/cleansing station on your right, you will see the Daikanjin (Tendai Sect compound) on your left. The compound is accessible over a distinctive red-arched bridge therefore it is easy to spot. Once over the bridge and inside the compound you need to go to your left and someone will assist you.