The Japan Alps and the North Chubu Coast Travel Guide

The Japan Alps and the North Chubu Coast Sights

Eihei-ji Temple

  • 5-15 Shihi Eiheiji-cho Map It
  • Yoshida-gun
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 12/20/2010

Fodor's Review

One of the two headquarters of Soto Zen, the Eihei-ji Temple sits 19 km (12 miles) southeast of Fukui. Founded in 1244, the extensive complex of 70 temple buildings is spread out on a hillside surrounded by hinoki and sugi (cedar) trees more than 100 feet tall, some as old as the original wooden structures. This temple offers a rare glimpse into the daily practice of the two hundred or so monks (and a few nuns) in training. They are called unsui, or “cloud water,” the traditional name for monks wandering in search of a teacher. The rigorous training has remained unchanged since the 13th-century monk Eihei Dogen started this monastery. Each monk has one tatami mat to eat, sleep, and meditate on, and these are lined in rows on raised platforms in a communal room. All activities, including cleaning out the incense tray, are considered to be meditations, so visitors are expected to dress modestly and explore in silence. With at least one month's notice, visitors can lodge

at the temple, on the Sanro program to experience the daily routine of the monks (¥8,000 a night, including two meals) or Sanzen program (¥10,000 a night, two meals) to practice Zazen meditation. For less pious visitors, a plush new temple-run hotel is set to open next door in late 2019. The easiest way to get to Eihei-ji from Fukui is by train to Eihei-ji Guchi Station and by bus from there to the temple.

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Sight Information

Address:

5-15 Shihi Eiheiji-cho, Yoshida-gun, Fukui-ken, 910-1294, Japan

Map It

Phone:

0776-63–3102

Sight Details:

  • ¥500

Published 12/20/2010

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