Spiritual Retreats Near Tokyo

Great Buddha, Kamakura

Great Buddha, Kamakura

I.D.O.

Discover the art of Zen in and around Tokyo

With its many buildings and bustling center, hectic Tokyo is not necessarily the city that we think of when we talk about spiritual retreats in Japan. However, the Japanese capital is full of temples ready to welcome foreign visitors for a relaxing session. Between multi-day retreats and simple collective meditation sessions, discover five places to practice Zen in the heart of Tokyo.

zazen meditation

zazen meditation

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The art of zazen in Engaku-ji (Kamakura)

With the giant Buddha that made the area popular with visitors, it is not surprising that Kamakura is part of our selection. Among the temples here, it is Engaku-ji that interests us.

Founded in 1282 this old Buddhist temple offers several zazen sessions every Saturday. The "classes" are then divided by level, with an hour of meditation for beginners from 1.20 to 2.20 p.m. Then a session for advanced practitioners from 2.40 to 3.40 p.m. The monks also run a 60-minute session open to all every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. This is preceded by a Japanese sermon from 09:00.

Engakuji Temple

Engakuji Temple

DR

Meditate at the weekend in Kounji (Tokyo)

Kounji is a small temple hidden away in the district of Setagaya. Attached is the school of Soto Zen temple that organizes classes open to beginners every Saturday night (17:00 to 19:00).

Training, tips and readings of sacred texts, meditation sessions are akin here to real courses where strictness is required.

Shojin Ryori

Shojin ryori is often served in round containers

Masahiko Satoh

In Tokyo, some temples offer structured courses to learn the basics of Zen

In Tokyo, some temples offer structured courses to learn the basics of Zen

ryosokuin officail website

Naritasan Shinshoji is one of the few temples near Tokyo to accept multi-day spiritual retreats

Naritasan Shinshoji is one of the few temples near Tokyo to accept multi-day spiritual retreats

Flick/midorisyu

In Tokyo too, spiritual retreats are possible!

In Tokyo too, spiritual retreats are possible!

Flick/Pepe Calderas

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