Temple Lodging in Japan

TEL 0494-54-0296
Access "JR Yamanote line Ueno Station" > "JR Kumagaya station" > "Chichibu Railway Mitsuminekuchi station" > 20 minutes car

In ancient times in Japan, women could not enter mountain temples where ascetic training was conducted. Because women's worship was allowed at Taiyo-ji temple, it was called a sacred place for female worshippers in the Edo period and was busy with many worshippers. It is designated as one of Chichibu's thirteen sacred places of Buddhism. They offer accommodation as a shukubo and zazen practice at the zen hall. They also serve shojin vegetarian cuisine.

The shojin cuisine is made from ingredients harvested locally in Chichibu. I thought each dish was wonderful and sufficient in volume. I was very satisfied. The dishes cooked by the head priests, who received training at a temple in Kyoto, were really excellent. The evening dishes included mushroom tempura, kenchin (vegetable) stew, handmade buckwheat noodles, cooked rice and yuzu takuan (radish pickles seasoned with yuzu orange). The morning dishes were spicy devil's tongue jelly seasoned with sweet soy sauce, pumpkin with sweet mushroom sauce, cooked satoimo potato, cooked rice, miso soup and yuzu takuan.

The bath is a general home bath. It is new and clean. As it gets cold at night, we stayed in a room in the temple office building located next to the main hall. When we stayed there, the two of us were the only guests, but they say as many as ten people can stay there. The religious service is given in the morning and in the evening and is rather short.

In the zazen experience, we received kind instructions from the head priest. He gave consideration to us as beginners, so we were able to experience zazen without feeling too stressed. The temple was located deep in the mountain where no other residences exist. All we heard was the sound of the running river and the twitters of the birds. In the cold and tense air in early November, I felt refreshed as if I were one with nature and purified.

The priest is a very ardent person, and he is making efforts every day so that people will be more interested in Buddhism. He kindly replied to our questions no matter how trivial they were, so I felt very close to him. The fee for the stay, which is 5,500 yen per night including 2 meals, is really cheap for the content. The Homotsu-den (treasure hall) and Enm-do were nice as well, but the biggest charm of this temple was the fact that it is located in a hidden place surrounded by high mountains.

Please confirm the latest information at the time of lodging.