If burning the candle at both ends makes you feel burnout, a bit of solitude in tranquil retreats is a wonderful idea to calm your mind and resume your spirits. Here are the best temple hotels in Japan, where you can detach from the daily grind for rest and reflection.
KOYASAN FUDOIN TEMPLE, KOYA-CHO, ITSU-GUN, WAKAYAMA PREFECTURE
Located in the Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, the Koyasan Fudoin Temple was originally built to accommodate Buddhist priests and practitioners before welcoming regular visitors. The temple is home to simple accommodations with serene surrounding gardens that is suitable for solitude-seeking travellers. Here, you will have the opportunity to enjoy Buddhist vegetarian dishes in the shoin or 450-year-old traditional study hall. In addition, some of the Buddhist religious services available every morning including Ajikan Meditation and Buddhist sutras transcription are amazing experiences that you should not skip. With the soothing sound from the pond and garden views, this temple hotel offers the utmost tranquility for those who want to retrieval from the busy life and immerse themselves in tradition.
Price: from $123/night for a Japanese-style room, breakfast and dinner.
ICHIJOIN TEMPLE, KOYA-CHO, ITSU-GUN, WAKAYAMA PREFECTURE
Located in the center of Mt. Koya, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, the Ichijoin Temple is originally a space for Buddhist priests and practitioners that currently allows visitors to observe the daily rituals. Visiting this cozy temple lodging, you can enjoy the Buddhist vegetarian cuisine or Shojin Ryori that is prepared using seasonal ingredients and is very popular with previous guests. Sutra transcription and Buddhist image tracing are also interesting religious experiences for those who want to indulge in tradition and escape from the modern world.
Price: from $290/night for a Japanese-style room, breakfast and dinner.
CHIKURININ GUNPOEN TEMPLE, YOSHINO-CHO, YOSHINO-GUN, NARA PREFECTURE
Situated in the north of the Nara Prefecture, Japan, the Chikurinin Gunpoen Temple with an area of 33,000 square meters was constructed by Sen no Rikyu, the famous tea master creating the Japanese tea ceremony school. With the elegant amalgamation between traditional and modern aesthetics, the temple intrigues travelers seeking solitude for rest and reflection. Visiting the temple, you will definitely fall in love with the view of the Yoshino and Zao-do Hall mountains with the cotton rose flowers visible from the hilltop. Take your time for meditation and breathwork in the garden that was rebuilt by Sen no Rikyu in the Momoyama period to resume your spirits set your mind calm.
Price: from $213/night for a Japanese-style room, breakfast and dinner.
JIMYOIN TEMPLE, KOYA-CHO, ITO-GUN, WAKAYAMA PREFECTURE
Situated at the center of the Koyasan Mountains close to the Karukayado Temple, Koyasan University, and the Kongobuji Temple, the Wakayama prefecture, Japan, the Jimyoin Temple is a perfect destination to detach from the buzzing life. By the time you reach the temple, you will be greeted with a warm cup of tea and debriefed about activities and meals during your stay. Vegetarian meals are served in-room, creating a private intimate setting for solitude seekers. For a more adventurous and complete trip, you can take a pilgrimage to the Koyasan Mountain and relax in an onsen, a Japanese hot spring.
Price: from $126/night for a Japanese-style room, breakfast and dinner.
SHIGISAN GYOKUZOIN TEMPLE, HEGURI-CHO, IKOMA-GUN, NARA PREFECTURE
If you are looking for a temple lodging to recharge your batteries, the Shigisan Gyokuzoin Temple located in the northwestern region of Nara in Quasi-National Park is the perfect destination. Constructed in the Asuka period around the year 593 B.C by Prince Shotoku, a philosopher and politician, this spacious and picturesque guesthouse consists of three sub-temples specifically designated for lodging. With its captivity of up to 200 guests, this idyllic temple is home to single and medium-sized multi-occupancy rooms. Here, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the public bath and a warm cup of tea at the property tea house. Aside from vegetarian meals, you can order a traditional, multi-course kaiseki meal to try a variety of Japanese cuisine.
Price: from $100/night for a Japanese-style room, breakfast and dinner.
SENJU-IN TEMPLE, SHIGIZAN HEGURICHO, IKOMA -GUN, NARA PREFECTURE
Known as the oldest building of the three guesthouses located on the grounds near Gyokuzoin Temple, the Senju-in Temple owns the architecture dating back to the Edo period, with calming Japanese-style art and outdoor space. This temple accommodates up to 100 guests with 18 rooms. Visiting this idyllic temple, you should not miss the amazing experiences with a fee including scripture writing and zen meditation. No matter what you choose to do, the Senju-in Temple is worth a visit to recharge your batteries.
Price: from $90/night for a Japanese-style room, breakfast and dinner.