Experience Guided Meditation & More at Zenko-ji

Experience Guided Meditation & More at Zenko-ji

Zenko-ji is a vibrant spiritual center which welcomes visitors to enjoy the temple and experience the practices and rituals that underpin its teachings. While you do not need to be Buddhist to be welcomed at the temple or to enjoy the sanctity and beauty you will find there, Zenko-ji offers a range of activities that are fundamental to the study and practice of Buddhism. Led by monks in residence at the temple, undertaking any of these activities is an engaging and rewarding way to experience essential practices in the tranquility of one of Japan’s most important temples.

‘Shakyo’ Meditation (Brush Meditation) / JPY500 / 30 minutes

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. You can experience this practice at Zenko-ji, instructed by one of the resident Buddhist monks. This practice is equally rewarding for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, affording the practitioner with tranquility and peace of mind as their hand and brush follow sutra to completion.

‘Zazen’ Meditation (Seated Meditation) / JPY1000 / 30 minutes (minimum of 3 people)

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. Whether you are experienced in the practice of meditation or trying it for the first time, undertaking ‘zazen’ guided by a monk at one of Japan’s most important temples, will leave an indelible mark on you and your understanding of Buddhist culture.

‘Goma’ Prayer (Fire Ceremony) / JPY3000 / 30 minutes

Buddhists believe that we must subjugate and ultimately rid ourselves of worldly desires in order to see the true nature of existence.  In order to guide and support us in that goal, qualified monks perform ‘Goma Prayer’ or ‘Fire Ceremony’ in which wooden prayer sticks are burned in a consecrated flame in an act that is believed to be spiritually and psychologically cleansing for participants. The eradication of negative energies, detrimental thoughts, and other impediments, aids us on our journey toward enlightenment and transmutes your visit to Zenko-ji into a personal and cathartic experience.

If you wish to make a reservation for any of these activities, please contact the temple by phone on 026 243 4236 (between 8:30~14:30) or via email at: Want to try any of these activities on a private tour or charter? Feel free to contact us and let’s get planning together!