Published On: Sat, Nov 15th, 2014

Unique Temple Lodgings Experience

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photo: alljapantours.com

Staying in a temple is included within temple lodgings planning and arrangement, and it is definitely different from your regular and common staying in business hotels. If you want to know more about monks’ life, as well as experiencing religious and serene experience, nowadays you can have such lodging arrangement. If you don’t want to have regular traveling moment, this is definitely the type of accommodation that you want to have.

 

About the Lodging

Also known as the shukubo, the temple lodgings are basically regular Buddhist temples that cater to tourists as well as pilgrims so they can spend a night within the premise. The hotels are open for both Buddhist practitioners as well as non-practitioners so outside people can understand and experience a slight lifestyle from the austere and simple monks. There are lots of great combinations you can expect from staying in this ground. Not only you get to stay in beautiful and historical buildings, you can also participate in unique activities of meditation or morning prayers. However, not all Buddhist temples offer shukubo lodgings. The most popular shukubo is located around Mount Mitake, Kyoto, Nagano, and Dewa Sanzan, known as pilgrimage destinations. The biggest one is in Mount Koya, where English is also used and been accustomed with.

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photo: a-foodaholic.blogspot.com

Pricing and Procedures

Despite the ‘old-school’ and traditional implementation, temple lodgings are quite modern and popular; some of them are even made in English. The temples provide fax, phone, or email reservation and order. Although most of them communicate in Japanese, some cater to English. Some can be even booked through online sites like Japanican, Booking.com, or Japanese Guest Houses. You need to spend around ¥6,000 or ¥10,000 per night for a person, with breakfast and dinner included. In popular spots like Mount Koya, however, the price range can be higher. Although some provide cheaper service (meals excluded), they mostly want cash only.

 

Service and Facilities

You can expect Japanese style bedroom that includes fusuma (sliding doors) and tatami. Sinks and toilets are generally shared between guests, although guest rooms are usually more private. Some baths for different genders are also provided in some temples. Ditch the idea of enjoying Western style, because you will be sleeping on a futon. Kotatsu or heated tables and gas heaters are generally available during winters. Don’t expect the standard amenities like WiFi connections or TV, although some temples do provide them – but not much, apparently. Some temples may even provide private washrooms and lavish quality meals – similar to ryokan – although it may cost you extra.

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photo: cradle-ds.jp

Vegetarian Menu

If you are a vegetarian, you may like the idea of staying in shukubo. Most of the meals are vegetarian or known as shojin ryori. After all, monks are not allowed to consume other creatures. Instead of meat or fish, you will likely consume konyaku, tofu, or other plant products that are rich in protein. Another perk of staying in temple lodgings is the fact that you can walk through the temple grounds and buildings, enjoying the peaceful gardens that aren’t accessible for outsiders.

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- the man who love japan , culture, people ^_^

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