The Zazen means a meditation, the Buddhist primarily religious practice. This practice can be usually seen in some specific Japanese Buddhist sects, such as Rinzai School, Soto School etc.), those which used to be commonly believed among Samurai in the past.
The significance of this religious practice is to face yourself and to find out who you really are. While other Buddhist sects taught their believers that continuous recitation of five or seven sutra can take them to the heaven, those Zazen focused sects’ belief was on the actual religious practices. Therefore, Zazen is still commonly practiced in some temples from those sects and some of them are open for the visitors’ trials.
【Name】Shunkoin Temple 春光院
【Address】42 Hanazono Myoushinji-tera Machi, Ukyou-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto 616-8035
Venue: Myoushin Temple’s North Gate (Shukouin is closer)
[Route 1] Katabiranotsuji Station 帷子ノ辻 or Hakubaicho Station 白梅町 → Myoushinji Station妙心寺
Take Keifuku Dentetsu Line and get off at Myoushinji Station
[Route 2] Keihan Sanjou京阪三条 → Myoushinji Kitamon Mae妙心寺北門前
Kyoto Bus Number: 10
[Route 2] Shijo-Karasuma四条烏丸 → Myoushinji Kitamon Mae妙心寺北門前
Kyoto Bus Number: 8
[Route 2] Kyoto Station 京都 → Myoushinji Kitamon Mae妙心寺北門前
Kyoto Bus: 26
Venue: Myoushin Temple’s South Gate
[Route 1] JR Kyoto Station 京都 → Hanazono Station 花園
JR Sagano Line (Track: 32 or 33). From the Hanazono Station, it is about 1 5min walk.
[Route 2] Sanjo-Keihan 三条京阪 → Myoushinji-Mae 妙心寺前 (Bus Stop Name)
Kyoto Bus Number: 61, 62, 63 or 65
[Route 3] Shijo-Karasuma 四条烏丸 → Myoushinji-Mae 妙心寺前
City Bus Number: 91
[Route 4] Kinrin-Shako 錦林車庫 → Myoushinji-Mae 妙心寺前
City Bus Number: 93
【URL】Shunkoin Today (Temple Schedule, in English):
Temple Website (in Japanese): http://shunkoin.com/Nihongo.html
Please make your reservation via email or phone.
Price and Plans
This temple offers the Zazen practice classes three times a day, as follow (please check in website before going, as sometimes classes are closed in some days)
1.9:00 – 10:30 (No reservation required)
2.10:40 – 12:10 (Reservation required)
3.13:30 – 15:00 (Reservation required)
** 2500 JPY (approx. 20 USD) per class
1) As for the classes on 10:40 – 12:10 and 13:30 – 15:00 reservation is required at least 5 days in advance. It will be only be open for a group consisted of more than 10 people.
2) If you are looking for exclusive tour with special requests, you can also contact them for more details.
How to Enjoy
In this class, you will be also able to learn the Japanese style hospitality with through Japanese Tea Ceremony.
This temple is not just only about the Buddhism, but it also owns some Toro (灯篭: traditional Japanese lantern often made of stone or wood) with specific designs which are influenced by the past Christianity’s highest prosperity in Japan (around 1570’s). One of the Toro here is selected as the Japan’s Important Cultural Property. Moreover, it is said that there are two hidden symbolic designs from the Christianity around the main hall of this temple.
This temple also owns a very beautiful Shintoism style garden, which is something you should not miss when visiting this temple.
About the Shunkoin Temple （春光院）
The Shunkoin Temple is from the Rinzai School and was found in 1590 by Yoshiharu Horio, one of the Hideyoshi Toyotomi’s vassals.
- It is recommended to wear comfortable clothes as you will have to be seated on the floor throughout the whole program.
- Before going, please make sure that the class is available from this page
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