If you’re in search of adventures that transcend the physical and taps into the mysteries of the universe, there are many spiritual places in Japan to make good on your desires! When modern life becomes a suffocating and overwhelming presence, retreat to the most sacred parts of the country for some therapeutic soul-searching. Lay it all bare with Buddhist monks at sacred temples as you peel back the chapters of the Buddhism way of life through sermons, sutra copying, Shabutsu, and Takigyo (meditating under a gushing waterfall). Experience the intricacies of a Homa ritual, among other treasured Buddhist practices that have been passed down generations!
Consider ninja training at the Akame ravine, among other spiritual places in Japan, as you embrace ancient martial arts with a touch of religion. On that note, you’re sure also to appreciate Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, a self-defense martial arts that lays emphasis on willpower in addition to fighting techniques.
Brimming with countless spiritual places in Japan, there’s no better place to discover the meaning of the universe than in the “Land of the Rising Sun!” When life seems confusing and tiresome, these spiritual detours may be what you need to for a fresh restart!
1. Authentic Zen Experience at Gionji Temple
Break from the shackles of ordinary life with a zen meditation experience at the beautiful Gionji temple. Learn about Buddhism ways form the head priest, including a millennium of history, simple sutra recitations, and more!
2. Shakyo Sutra Copying Experience at Gionji Temple in Tokyo
Shakyo practice entails hand-copying sutras. It serves as a form of reflection while praying for one’s wishes to come true. Trace the sutras at Gionji, where a sermon by the head priest also awaits!
3. Waterfall Meditation Experience on Mt Takao in Tokyo
If your soul or mind is short of strength, Takigyo, or waterfall meditation on Mt. Takao, Tokyo, is an excellent way to recharge your batteries. Stand in gushing waters and feel the roaring sounds replace all thoughts in a spirit-uplifting experience!
4. Spiritual Ninja Training at Akame 48 waterfalls
Becoming a ninja entails balance, speed, and endurance. The Akame 48 waterfalls are historical ninja training grounds of the Iga clan, and you can master Iga style ninjutsu in the pristine Akame ravine, an experience that challenges body and willpower!
5. Shabutsu Buddhist Image Tracing at a Monk Bar in Tokyo
Delve deeper into the divine with Shabutsu, a practice of Buddhist image tracing that serves to clear the mind of troubles and instill a reflective calmness while you retract the mind of Buddha. This monk bar in Tokyo offers an incredible experience that goes beyond the physical!
6. Chase after inner-peace at Daiji-in Zen Temple in Kyoto
Complete with a lush rock garden and a beautiful teahouse, the Daiji-in temple offers a window into the way of life for Zen Buddhists. Experience zazen meditation beside monks as you explore the heart and soul of the country’s traditions!
7. Pray away the stress at Koshinji temple
Koshinji temple offers zen mediation that goes back centuries. The shoji, fusuma, and tatami floors set the mood for this traditional experience, as do the summer wildflowers and the spring cherry blossoms. Enjoy a zen mediation in paradise!
8. Feed the soul with Zazen in Kamakura
Still racing thoughts and a weary mind with a mind-numbing zazen experience in Kamakura. You are bound to embark on an incredible spiritual journey that entails zen philosophy, zen art drawing on traditional paper, and more!
9. Buddhist meditation and painting experience in Miyajima Misen Daihonzan Daisho-in
Let the margins of Buddha tracing guide you back into the light at the Buddhist temple of Daisho-in in Hatsukaichi. Renew your dedications, or find yours, to Buddhism via zazen meditation in the green seclusions of Miyajima!
10. Experience sutra transcription and Gomadaki in Miyajima Misen Daihonzan Daisho-in
Be part of Shakyo at Daisho-in, where you’ll also be privy to the ancient Buddhist ritual of Homa. Make offerings around a consecrated fire as you pray for longevity, happiness, prosperity, peace of mind, or courage!
11. Goma Prayer Experience at Hosenji Temple in Kyoto
Home to statues of Buddhist divinities like Dainichi Nyorai, Hosenji temple has a revered feel about it. Gain insight into the true nature of existence by cleansing away desires of this world in a Goma prayer ceremony!
12. Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu experience in Miyagi
Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu is a 1200-year-old martial art practice that majorly focuses on self-defense. It is not only about physical prowess but also about transforming budo practice through the sheer power of the mind!
13. Discover a higher purpose in Hiroshima
When concentration and peace become elusive, this zazen experience in Hiroshima brings them back into your grasp. Uncover the secrets to perfect zazen meditation at the Myoshin-ji Temple School!
14. Take soul baths at Kamitakiyama Seiryuji Temple
Be washed anew with the cleansing flames of a Goma prayer ritual at Kamitakiyama Seiryuji temple. Fudo Myooh, a powerful deity known as “The Immovable Wisdom King,” may make your wishes come true!
15. Stretch into the spiritual with Okinawa yoga
This Yoga meditation experience in Okinawa serves to improve body health, but for those seeking a deeper meaning of life, it also offers stretches for the spirit. Practice in glass-filled Ryukyu tatami rooms that ensure plenty of natural light and great views of the beautiful outdoors!
16. Dance for fortune in Hiroshima
Often used to depict the Buddha due to its powerful and kingly nature, the lion is an important symbol of Buddhism spirituality. This lion dance experience in Hiroshima serves to pull fortune and good luck your way!