Temple Lodging in Japan

Seiganto-ji Sonsyo-in
TEL 0735-55-0331 including 2 meals 8,000 yen
including 2 meals 7,000 yen (group)
Access "JR Nachi station" > (bus) > "Nachisan bus stop" > 15 minutes walk

This is a grand ascetic training Mecca around the Nachi-no-Taki waterfall, with a drop of 133 meters. As a sacred place lasting more than 1,600 years, this temple is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you walk on the Kumano Old Road, a beautiful mountain road made of stone stairs in the forest, you will feel as if you have been taken back to ancient times. You will feel the romanticism of the ancient journey.

Shukubo Sonsyo-in is a three-minute walk from Seiganto-ji and Kumano-Nachi Taisha. The wooden gate and the primary forest of the mountains spreads in front of the temple and are very impressive. It is located in a truly wonderful environment. What is more pleasant is the frank and yet considerate approach of the shukubo staff.

When I entered inside, the people there welcomed me cheerfully and they invited me into their kitchen after a meal saying "Why don't you have a slice of melon?" At night, they lent me a book about Kumano. (People in another group seemed to have borrowed a video tape.) You will be able to feel the at-home warmth that cannot be found in an urban hotel. After dinner, they showed me where to watch the moon rise and recommended that I take a walk as there was no curfew.

The room I stayed in was a 6-tatami mat Japanese style room with a TV set, an electric fan and a yukata robe. There was a garden in front of the room and in the back, the mountains of Kumano spread out. You can easily walk to the Nachi waterfall. You will able to spend a relaxing day in the quiet surroundings abundant in nature.

They serve shojin style dishes (not exactly shojin cuisine) including green pepper tempura, vinegar gluten, chimaki dumplings and cooked potato. Their sesame tofu has the strong flavor of sesame and it is as tasty as any other that I have ever eaten.

In the morning, they conduct services in the Nyoirin-do (main hall) of Seiganto-ji temple. Sutra textbooks are distributed to the participants and the Lotus Sutra is chanted together. You will be able to calm your mind in the dark hall. When I participated, they provided sweets and oranges after the service, intending to share what had been dedicated to Buddha.

Please confirm the latest information at the time of lodging.