Travel: Buddhist Temple Lodgings

Spend a night in shukubo temple lodgings; a fantastic way to understand the simple, traditional lifestyle of Japan's Buddhist monks.At first glance, Buddhist temple lodgings on Mount Koya are very similar to any ryokan (traditional Japanese inn). You'll stay in a private room with sliding fusuma doors and sleep on futon mattresses on tatami-matted floors. Some rooms may have en suite bathrooms, although at most shukubo, communal baths (separated into male and female facilities) are common. Heaters are provided in winter which are essential for mountaintop temple stays.It's at mealtimes that things get a little different. The included breakfast and dinner are shojin ryori - that's strict vegetarian Buddhist cuisine. Ingredients are fresh and simply dressed, making the most of the subtle, natural flavours of the tofu and vegetables. In the early morning guests are invited to join the monks in a morning meditation service, which typically lasts around 30 minutes. You may also view the temple's cultural treasures, halls and gardens.

Courtesy of: insidejapantours

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