Peace of Mind. Acceptance. Embracing that which does not last. Understanding that Nothing is Everything. Zen Buddhism is a Way of Life.
This exclusive stay within the Zen temple of Shinnyo-ji, known for its exquisite Japanese garden and its red maple leaves during autumn, brings the heart and soul of Japanese culture to guests. By staying at this Zen temple that is normally closed to the public, guests will feel in their hearts and souls what it is like to accept and embrace the Zen way of life. A powerful, unique, and unforgettable experience.
Rediscover yourself through the special cultural experience of tradition in a Zen temple with monks. The unparalleled experience of Zen, that includes Zazen meditation, chanting of sutras, and Tea ceremony, also gives one a better insight and understanding to Japanese values, cultures, and history.
In addition, guests are helping, through their financial contributions, to preserve cultural properties and to ensure that the profound culture of Zen Buddhism is both preserved as well as passed on to future generations.
Shinnyo-ji was founded in 1342 by the eminent Zen master Musō Soseki. It is presently associated with the Shōkoku-ji school of Rinzai Zen Buddhism, and has close historical ties with Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Pavilion) and Ginkaku-ji (the Silver Pavilion).
Among the buildings constituting Shinnyo-ji today are a kyakuden (guest hall), shoin (reception hall), chashitu (teahouse), and hattō (in which are found images of the Zen masters Musō Soseki and Mugaku Sōgen, and of several imperial princesses who ordained as nuns). The buildings are surrounded by large gardens graced with two ponds, expanses of green moss, and many stately trees.
“I have been here forty years,” says Shodo Egami. He is the monk who attends to guests. “I was born here, my father was a monk before me.”
Guests who stay here learn zazen, of course, and have discussions with Mr. Egami. He is as shy and playful as he is erudite.
“You have to free your mind,” he says. “To have no mind. To experience.”
Egami-san takes guests to the great Buddha Hall in the compound, which is an enormous, two-story building that houses centuries’ old statues and artifacts. One of the statues is of Mugai-Nyo-Dai, a nun who lived in the thirteenth century, a figure so important to female participation in Zen Buddhism that her work has caught the interest of international scholars.
But obeisance is not the end point.
“Zen is a religion of experience,” says Mr. Egami. “You have to start to continue.”
This is an exclusive, 100% private stay experience within an authentic Zen temple not open to the general public. For this reason, we kindly ask you to fill out the contact form below to inquiry about availability, price and experience arrangements. We look forward to welcoming you soon.