Try zen meditation and experience local Japanese culture at a lesser-known, local Kinosaki temple.

Kinosaki Onsen's Gokurakuji Temple is in a secluded part of town, and is home to a peaceful rock garden, zen meditation practice, and a friendly Buddhist priest.

Through this activity, experience seated zen meditation in a local temple while gazing outside at the tranquil rock garden. There will be a sheet written in English with instructions on how to properly meditate, and the Buddhist priest can show you how. The priest's sermon will also be printed out for you to read after you're done meditating. You can also wear traditional monk's working clothes while you meditate. Afterwards, you will be served matcha and local Japanese sweets. Try communicating with the chief Buddhist priest over tea, it will make the experience all the more rewarding.

Experience Zazen, otherwise known as seated zen meditation, together with a chief Buddhist priest. Zazen starts with correcting your breathing posture, and originated in India. The doctrine of Zen Buddhism can be described as wordless communication, or expression without language. You can escape from hectic everyday life and open your ears to the sounds of nature during Zazen. Hear birds chirping and the wind whispering, sounds that you probably wouldn’t normally hear. Then your mind will soon have a sense of unity, which is why many people experience Zazen.

Gokurakuji is in a hidden corner of town, making for a tranquil area to practice meditation. Not many visit this temple, so you'll likely have the area all to yourself when you visit. The chief Buddhist priest is a friendly man who will show you the proper way to sit, breathe, and meditate. You may participate in meditation in your own clothes or in samue, which are monk's working clothes. Samue in multiple colors are available for you to wear.


5 days before activity
  • Morning Plan (10:00-11:30)
  • Afternoon Plan (13:45-15:15)
(Some times may differ)
Morning Plan
10:00 - Meet at Gokurakuji Temple
10:10 - Zazen meditation & Buddhist sermon (printed) *you can wear samue (monk's working clothes) if you'd like
10:50 - Chat with the chief priest over matcha (green tea) and Japanese sweets
11:30 - End of activity, receive a special souvenir

Afternoon Plan
13:45 - Meet at Gokurakuji Temple
13:55 - Zazen meditation & Buddhist sermon (printed) *you can wear samue (monk's working clothes) if you'd like
14:35 - Chat with the chief priest over matcha (green tea) and Japanese sweets
15:15 - End of activity, receive a special souvenir
Not Included
Gokurakuji Temple, 802 Yushima, Kinosaki-cho, Toyooka-shi, Hyogo
(Per person unless otherwise noted)
Number of People Participating in Total Price per Adult Price per Child (5-12 years old)
1-10 people 3,300 yen 1,650 yen
Zen meditation activity, matcha & traditional Japanese sweets, special souvenir
Day of Cancellation Cancellation Fee (% of activity price)
The day of 100%
The day before 50%
2-7 days before 30%
8+ days before 0%
Pay by credit card (VISA, MASTER, JCB, AMEX, DC) via an activity confirmation link in an e-mail that we will send to you following your reservation.
Gokurakuji Temple
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Customer Reviews

  • Javier


    Amazing experience. Everything was great and inspiring.

    Date of visit: 2019.11.08

  • Eva


    As someone with limited meditation experience myself, this was a rewarding + unique experience.

    Date of visit: 2019.11.15

  • Kymberly


    The buddhist priest was very welcoming and we conversed in basic English and Japanese. He is a very cheerful person. I thoroughly enjoyed today's experience. ありがとうございました!

    Date of visit: 2019.11.30

  • Justin

    United States

    Interesting and unique experience. Something I always wanted to try. The tea afterwards was a very cool experience as well!

    Date of visit: 2019.12.15

  • Bethany

    United Kingdom

    The monk was very friendly and welcoming. We had a great opportunity to experience zen meditation. It was challenging, but very fulfilling!

    Date of visit: 2019.12.15

  • Amelia


    The zen meditation experience was absolutely incredible. I was able to experience a part of Japanese culture that I would normally never have an opportunity to try. I would definitely recommend this programme.

    Date of visit: 2019.12.15