A temple stay in Japan is likely to be a highlight of your visit, offering an experiential window into Buddhist traditions and practices.
Japan offers a variety of accommodations ranging from Western-style hotels to traditional Japanese inns called ryokans. Travelers with a spiritual interest, however, should take advantage of the network of temples that offer guest rooms.
Prices are reasonable, especially by Japanese standards, and they often include breakfast and/or dinner. Accommodations vary depending upon the size of the temple, but you can often reserve a private room, though baths and restrooms are typically communal.
You will likely sleep on a futon in a room with sliding paper screens. Some temples allow guests to observe rituals and you will also have access to the grounds of the temple complex when it is closed to the rest of the public. It’s a tremendous advantage to be able to tour the temple sites when they’re not crowded with people.
Temple Lodging in Japan gives useful information on temples across the country that take visitors.
Lori Erickson is one of America’s top travel writers specializing in spiritual journeys. She’s the author of the Near the Exit: Travels With the Not-So-Grim Reaper and Holy Rover: Journeys in Search of Mystery, Miracles, and God. Her website Spiritual Travels features holy sites around the world.