Shinnyo-ji Zen Temple


Zen Temple




private house


1 - 5 pers.


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Experience the True Essence of Japanese Zen

– Zen : A Way of Life –

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 Temple –

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.


– Guest Experience –


  • Exclusive night stay within an authentic Zen temple normally closed to the public with a privileged view on the Japanese garden of the temple.
  •  Japanese style  Garden : Since the temple is not open to the public, its garden is somehow secret still today, yet, there is a beautiful Japanese garden at Shinnyoji temple. The garden shows beautiful colored leaves in autumn. During this particular season, ceiling of the room becomes salmon pink color because of sunshine reflected by colored leaves.
  • Zen Tea Ceremony : A Zen Buddhist monk directly serves guests tea. The guests will be able to have an private experience of traditional tea ceremony, enjoing the luxurious view of a study room. (Japanese traditional architecture called Sho-in).
  • Hand-made monk cuisine : guests will have the opportunity to experience the zen monk cuisine called shoujin-ryori during their stay, while discovering another aspect of Japanese cuisine yet.
  • Private Zazen meditation : Zazen is one of the basic Zen practices aiming of one’s mental concentration, by sitting in the right posture. Guests experience this practice by learning from a Zen Buddhist monk.


– Guest Exclusive Privileges –


  • Experience the most fulfilled and authentic private cultural program related to Zen of Japan
  • Exclusive night stay within an authentic Zen temple normally closed to the public
  • Direct encountering with the head monk of the premises, who will host guests during their stay and provides them with accurate guidance and teaching about Zen philosophy
  • Personal translator assistance at disposal during your stay


– Monk’s Words –

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.


> check the complete ZEN Experience program <

Shinnyo-ji - Highlights


Shinnyo-ji - Zen Experience


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.