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 Youmei-in, located near Tenryu-ji, a UNESCO world heritage site located in the Arashiyama area, 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 hand-made monk cuisine, 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.
Youmei-in is a sub temple of the Tenryuji temple, and was founded by Taigaku Shuusou zenzi in 1413.
Tenryuji itself is the most important temple in Kyoto’s Arashiyama district. It was ranked first among the city’s five great Zen temples, and is now registered as a world heritage site. Tenryuji is the head temple of its own school within the Rinzai Zen sect of Japanese Buddhism, well-known for its koan enigma that teach the way to enlightment.
Guests in residence at Youmei-in can also enjoy the marvellous red maple leaves of the sub-temple Hōgon-in during autumn.
Youmei-in temple worships Ebisu Sonshin, the god of wealth, one of the Tenryuji temple’s Seven Gods of Good Fortune.
Before returning to this sub-temple in 2003, which is part of the Unesco World Heritage designated Tenryuji temple compound, Noriaki Kunitomo worked in both Los Angeles and San Francisco, California as a designer, restaurant consultant, and advertising executive. His father was the monk at Tenryuji, and although he had been returning each month to Japan for many years, it was not until father’s death that he came back for good.
Thoughtful, with kind eyes and a mirthful laugh, Mr. Kunitomo is fluent in English and at home in both Japanese and U.S. cultures. He speaks with alacrity and with depth, always with an eye towards bringing joy to others. In his small study, on display is a photo of him with the Dalai Lama and in it both men are laughing.
In Youmei-in, “Guests can practice zazen facing the garden,” he says. And private discussions about Zen philosophy and life in general without no need of translator.
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.