Tour Price: $3489
Allow the ancient Japanese Buddhist culture to soak into your being as you experience the hot baths of Kurama, visit temples around Mt Koya, walk through the Zen gardens of Kyoto and journey to the World Heritage site of Nara. Spirit Tours has been leading tours to Japan with Buddhist masters for 12 years. Have you ever wanted to stay at a Buddhist Inn for a couple days to experience monastic life and chant daily with the monks, or walk the streets of the Gion district in Kyoto behind a Geisha? This spiritual journey is a leap into the beauty, the tradition and the essence of Japanese Buddhism and temple culture. You will discover your own Buddha nature and return home with a renewed vision for compassion and peace in the world.
Day 1: Transfer – Private – Osaka Airport to Hotel Vehicle/Assistant/Driver. Check into hotel – Evening Free
Day 2: We will visit the Higashiyama district, and the famous Kiyomizu-dera Temple, with its 11 headed figure of Kannon (Japanese for Kuan Yin). This temple is designated as a world heritage site. Tour Sanjusangendo, the temple that houses 1001 statues of Kannon, each with 40 arms. Evening Welcome Dinner Together.
Day 3: Visit the Golden Pavilion Kinkakuji a Zen temple in northern Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Formally known as Rokuonji, the temple was the retirement villa of the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, and according to his will, it became a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect after his death in 1408. Later, we will contemplate the superb Zen temples of Daitoku-ji and Ryoan-ji, the sites of the famous Zen garden composed only of rocks and sand, meditate upon the serene Ryonanji Zen Garden. Evening Free.
Day 4: Local train to Nara, a World Heritage site. Visit Todai-ji Temple, which is the largest wooden building in the world. It houses the Great Buddha (Daibutsu), which is also one of the largest bronze images in the world. There is a beautiful deer park with a great opportunity for feeding deer Afternoon return to Kyoto.
Day 6: Take a local train to the mountain village of Kurama which is tucked away in the hills above Kyoto. Soak in an onset, a natural hot spring bath, one of Japan’s great pleasures. Enjoy a traditional Japanese lunch and visit the famous Kurama-dera Temple, which houses Bishamonten, the protector of the north. Have the opportunity to leave an offering.
Day 7: Journey by bus to the sacred Mt Koya, known as the world headquarters of the Koyasan Shingon Sect of Japanese Buddhism. It is considered a sacred duty of many Japanese Bhuddhist to make a pilgrimage here, one time in their life. Stay two nights at a Sukubo, a buddhist temple inn. Walk through the ancient graveyard, Okunoin Cemetery, which houses the mausoleum of Kuki, the founder of Shingon Buddhism.
Day 8: Early morning meditaition with the monks. After breakfast we will tour to Kongobuji Temple the head temple of the Shingon Buddhist Sect. The temple was built in 1593. Afternoon Free to explore Mt. Koya on your own. Evening Dinner Together.
Day 9: Morning Meditation at the Inn. Return by bus to Osaka for our flight home.