Japanese Temples Utilized as Lodgings to Accommodate Foreign Tourists

In recent years, a number of establishments from various sectors and industries in Japan are dealing with the impact of a decline in population as a result of its low birth rate and decreasing inward migration. This includes Japanese temples.


Since Japan is known worldwide for its distinctive and one of a kind accommodation such as themed hotels, book and bed rooms where guests are allowed to sleep on the book shelf as well as the famous capsule hotels, temples in the country have also come up with an innovative idea to attract more international travellers.


Photo credit to: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/

Recently, temples in the Land of the Rising Sun allowed tourists to stay overnight within the premises of their establishment. More and more travel enthusiasts and globetrotters consider this as a must try activity when visiting Japan. There are about three hundred temple lodgings available all over Japan.


While staying at the temples, there are a wide variety of interesting activities that tourists must definitely try out. They may pray, meditate and practice Japanese calligraphy in writing the Buddhist sutra.


According to Viral Shah, a Norwegian resident who stayed at a temple, “The setting was very nice with the sounds of the rain” Shah tried meditation at a temple situated in Mount Koya which is a UNESCO world heritage in Wakayam prefecture.


Based on a survey conducted by Japan Tourism Agency, eighty percent of those who have tried staying at temple lodging in Mount Koya were from Western nations. In order to promote the culture to these foreign tourists, the Nippon coordinated with some Japanese temples to organize various projects and programs such as chanting of temples and tea ceremony. In this way, guests will have a better understanding of Japanese tradition.


The non profit organization, Kyoto Culture Association, which is tasked to run the project said that “Many people ask the priest about meditation and other topics with a keen interest.”


Reference: Temple stays in Japan: Eat, sleep and maybe pray


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