Get a rare glimpse of life as a monk

If you wish to take on the 1400-kilometer Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage, one of the aspects you will need to consider is lodging. From relatively affordable hotels and locally-run minshuku guesthouses to traditional Japanese-style ryokan inns, you will have a variety of options based on your preferences and budget. However, today, I would like to introduce shukubo, which is the unique option of staying at a temple

First off, staying at a shukubo is very convenient because you don’t have to stray from the main pilgrim path. Prices are also typically on the affordable side, similar to minshuku guesthouses, generally around 5,000 yen a night per person (can cost extra for meals, room type, etc.)

The second and perhaps most appealing reason to stay at a shukubo is that you can get a rare glimpse into a monk's life by, for example, joining the morning (and sometimes evening) prayer service called otsutome. You can recite Buddhist sutras with a monk in an area of the temple where people are generally not allowed to enter

Iwamoto-ji Temple offers a variety of experiences like Buddhist spiritual training along the nearby Shimanto River (including zen meditation available from May to September), sake tasting, and a “temple sauna” perfect for a chilly autumn day

Among Kochi’s 16 temples, there are four that have shukubo! Below is the list

Kongocho-ji Temple

Iwamoto-ji Temple

Kongofuku-ji Temple

Hotsumisaki-ji Temple

Learn more about the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage: https://visitkochijapan.com/en/highlights/henro

Photo credits: ©!SHiMANTO
  • Get a rare glimpse of life as a monk

  • Get a rare glimpse of life as a monk

  • Get a rare glimpse of life as a monk