Are there Zen temples in Japan that allow staying there for a few months for meditation for foreigners? How much does that cost? Are there free ones? How about visa?

  • As with all questions about visas, please state your citizenship. Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 4:12
  • @NateEldredge, I mean visa in the context of my question, not in general visa to japan.
    – Incerteza
    Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 5:13
  • 1
    Why would you need a visa to enter a temple? What exactly do you mean? Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 22:15

2 Answers 2


Japanese temples don't provide place for meditation for random people, it's only for real followers and pilgrims. Several temples allow to stay for a night only for a fee, again you can only see ceremonies from side. All temples allowing tourists I know are not Zen as it's not the main school in Japan. But they require booking and have queue, they prefer real pilgrims than tourists. You need at least tourist visa.

  • 6
    "Zen" is not a school, but a philosophy and a set of practices. The main Buddhist schools in Japan that follow it are Soto, Rinzai and Obaku. Commented Jun 2, 2017 at 13:07
  • There are plenty of real temples, of one of the main schools, that allow tourists to stay overnight. Think AirBnB run by a temple. There are tons of little temples in Japan, and many of them run little side businesses like temple-stays or cafes or day cares or whatever to help make ends meet. If you want to experience zazen there are places that offer that too, though we'd be talking individual sessions rather than months of stay.
    – Gene
    Commented Mar 7 at 22:41

There is one Zen Temple which does English in Kyoto.

I would suggest you contact them about long term arrangements.

If you are a student and under 30, with some Japanese proficiency. http://nagaokazenjuku.or.jp/english/index.html#sixth

Can't make it to Japan? http://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/eng/temples/outside_jp/index.html

  • I didn't say I need english
    – Incerteza
    Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 14:19

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