Nearby Dining & Accommodation Options
The area surrounding the temple offers plenty of dining and accommodation options. Within the temple grounds, the ‘Nakamise Dori’ (inner shopping street) sits between the Niomon and Sanmon gates and home to numerous gift shops, cafes, restaurants and food vendors. Local specialities including ‘oyaki’ (steamed buns) and ‘soba’ (buckwheat noodles) can be readily found, along with usual staples such as ‘senbei’ (rice crackers) and ever-present soft serve ice cream. Please note, that when buying food and drinks at the Nakamise, visitors are not permitted to carry them into the final temple precinct.
As one of the most important temples for pilgrimage in Japan, Zenko-ji is home to many ‘shukubo’ (Buddhist guesthouses) that welcome visitors from all over the world. Increasingly popular with international visitors, staying a shukubo offers a unique experience of the temple and its continued role as a thriving religious centre.
Located on the Nakamise, Jizokan Matsuya Ryokan is a popular guesthouse offering Japanese-style rooms with on-floor bedding and ‘kaiseki’ (traditional multi-course) meal service. Literally inside the temple grounds, Jizokan Matsuya is a good option for visitors wanting direct access to the temple and within a moments walk of the main hall for attending the morning ceremony.
For visitors wanting Western-style amenities and English-speaking staff, Hotel Kokusai 21 is located approximately 15 minutes walk from the temple and our recommendation for accommodation in Nagano City. The hotel’s proximity to both the temple and JR Nagano Station make it the ideal place to stay when in Nagano. Also offering a free shuttle service to and from the station and several in-house restaurants serving both Japanese and international cuisine, Hotel Kokusai 21 provides everything you need to ensure a comfortable stay while in Nagano.
Nearby the temple, the Monzen/Patio Daimon complex offers a range of dining options including Monzen Terrace Enya. A relative new comer to the Nagano dining scene, Enya has quickly established itself as one of the city’s most popular restaurants.
Serving a mixed menu of Japanese and Western cuisine, Monzen Terrace is a modern restaurant based on the traditional principles of service and good food. Enya’s menu is built around Nagano’s delicious array of seasonal vegetables and fruit, with seafood sourced from the nearby coastal markets of Niigata.
Located only moments away from the temple entrance, Enya offers outdoor dining on its undercover veranda and terrace, which in the summer months host the restaurant’s beer terrace – the perfect location to stop for a snack, drink or meal on your way to and from the temple.