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Discover The Hidden Path of Zen in Yamagata

 

Kindly keep in mind that we have this tour at two different location.
Zen Experience At Yamadera
Zen Experience At Zenpoji

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advisory information ;
In order to prevent the spread COVID-19, accommodations, transportation, and tourist facilities may change the services shown in brochures or on their official website without notice. For more information, please visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) advisory information page.
We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause, and we very much appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

The Yamadera mountains are a feat of nature’s divine beauty, offering scenery so outwardly that it takes the breath away. Drenched with refreshing foliage and a storybook backdrop, these green trails will fill your lungs with energizing air and your heart with lots of tranquility. It is no wonder these mountains, and the Yamadera shrine atop them, have been favored by monks for meditation over thousands of years!

Priest Ennin (Jikaku Daishi) is credited with building the shrine in the 860 A.D. For millennia, monks have sought out inner peace within these mountain paths, toiling and searching beyond the beautiful forests and to their heart’s desire. Perhaps you too can start on an adventure towards inner peace, in a temple that offers amazing scenery, complemented by the aroma and sounds of undisturbed nature.

Yamadera temple is a hallmark of the human resolve to stretch the limits and an epitome of devoted Buddhism, summed up in ancient architecture and through hundreds of years of dedication. This mountaintop spiritual escape offers food for the soul, colorful fall displays, rich shades in spring, and is a paradise for nature lovers as well.

The viewing platform, Godaido, was built as a scenic meditation spot against the scenery of the mountains and valley below. It remains the temple’s most popular structure and offers enchanting sessions of Zen meditation.

 

Following In the Footsteps of Yamadera’s Ancient Zen Monks

Matsuo Basho, a famous poet from a time long before ours, once retreated to Yamadera after hearing about the spiritual experience it has to offer. He was blown away by the scents, sounds, and sights and achieved higher enlightenment on his travels.

You too can start on a similar path to inner peace, and explore the depths of Yamadera spirituality, guided by an experienced local guide who’s deeply entwined with the area’s divine power.

Strolling past the whispering leaves, through centuries-old Shugendo training spots, and toward the hopeful sunrises piercing through the canopies, you’re sure to find your peace in the embrace of nature’s elements. With amazing vantage points in nature and caves untouched by modernity, a surreal adventure in the wild is yours for the taking.

The itinerary of the adventure at Yamadera also includes Shakyo, which serves to renew the weary mind and refresh a tiring body, and seated Zen meditation to awaken the senses and reset the psyche. Shakyo is essentially a form of traditional calligraphy that entails retracing the Sutra.

Discover The Hidden Paths of Zen at Zenpoji

Gods of the ocean, such as the dragon deity, are exalted at Zenpoji temple, one that was popular with fishermen and sea travelers, who came to pray for guidance and good tidings. According to local history, Zenpoji boasts immense spiritual appeal and might as it is said to be home to two divine servants as well, namely Nagi and Naga (powerful serpent spirits).

 

The temple’s origin story began in the late 10th  century, when revered monk Myotatsu retreated to these mountains, and saw it fit to put up a retreat overlooking present-day Tsuruoka city in Yamagata, which went by a different name at the time. Myotatsu’s life was dedicated to chanting the Lotus Sutra and his passion attracted the attention of the Naga who would visit to listen to his recitations.

Half a millennium after him, Tainen Jochin, a pilgrim who stumbled upon the retreat, laid the stones, so to speak, and founded what is today known as Zenpoji temple.

 

 

Neighboring the sacred mountains of Dewa Sanzan, Zenpoji is surrounded by unique nature and a spiritual vibe that streams down from the ranges. It is unlike any other Zen temple in Japan because of its geography, history, and atmosphere and also due to the local community’s immense investment into shaping the Zenpoji we know today.

Its divine links to the ocean also fire up its reputation as one of Japan’s most outstanding shrines.

At Zenpoji, you will meet humble Zen monks ready to share their secrets with you through the aid of a translator. They’ll teach you how to find calm in the eye of the storm, and pointers to still a wandering mind and sharpen the focus to slice through all of life’s distractions.

 

Daily life can sometimes feel like a complex puzzle, and through ancient traditions such as chanting, brush calligraphy, and zazen (seated meditation), it’ll become clear how the pieces fit together.

The restorative rituals also extend to mealtime, ensuring interesting performances to spruce up lunchtime. Each day at Zenpoji unlocks chapter by chapter of Zen tales and customs from a proverbial book written over a thousand years.

Though more than a millennia-old, these Zen experiences have relevance to modern living and can mold your future for the better via teachings of mindfulness and more.

Related Tours:
1. Yamabushido Training Programs
2. Kurukowa Noh Village
3. Zen At Zenpoji
4. Zen at Yamadera
5. Foraging At Dewaya Inn

Here Are A Few Other FAQs We Get A Lot:

How do I get there?

Zen At Zenpoji: Zenpoji is best accessed by private car or taxi. It is a 15-20 minute drive from central Tsuruoka. Zenpoji Temple, Sekine-100 Shimogawa, Tsuruoka, Yamagata 997-1117, Japan
Zen At Yamadera Meeting Point: 
Fumotoya Tozanguchi Ten, 4429 Yamadera, Yamagata, 999-3301, Japan

Is this a religion activity?

No. We expect all our visitors to be respectful of the practices that we teach, but people from all faiths, and none, are all welcome to take part.

Coronavirus(COVID-19) advisory information ;

In order to prevent the spread COVID-19, accommodations, transportation, and tourist facilities may change the services shown in brochures or on their official website without notice. For more information, please visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) advisory information page. We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause, and we very much appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

Available dates for Zen at Zenpoji and Yamadera ?

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Refund policy?

If the guest cancels their tour after the booking process is completed, cancellation fees will apply.

What do I need to bring?

Zenpoji is a place of worship and as such we advise participants to wear modest clothing in muted colors. We recommend loose, comfortable clothes (no skirts) as you will be sitting cross-legged on the floor (chairs available for those who need them). The monks at Zenpoji conduct much of their activity in silence, so we would ask participants to refrain from talking in the main areas, and to speak softly when necessary.