‘Zazen’(Seated) Meditation

‘Zazen’(Seated) Meditation

Meditation is one the primary Buddhist practices and one which brings great peace and joy to both practicing Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. ‘Zazen’ or ‘Seated Meditation’ focuses practitioners on their posture, breathing and mindfulness. In doing so the body and mind find unity and in the quiet stillness of the practice, we become present in the moment, free of distraction, and open to the true nature of existence.


Zenko-ji Temple offers all visitors the unique experience of practicing seated meditation in the atmosphere and sacred settings of one of Japan’s most important temples. Each meditation is guided by a resident monk, taking at least 30 minutes (times can vary depending on the particular sitting). Experiencing ‘zazen’ at Zenko-ji affords visitors a reflective, peaceful, and personal insight into the basis of the Buddhist religion.



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.