Explore the fascinating Eihei-ji Temple Complex to learn about Buddhism.
Eihei-ji, which means the temple of eternal peace, is the seat of the Soto sect of Buddhism, with 15,000 secondary temples across the country. It was originally built by the Buddhist monk Dogen in the 13th century. In the middle of a cedar forest, the vast temple compound, covering an area of about 330,000 square meters, houses seven monasteries surrounded by more than 70 doyo halls connected by corridors. Even today, about 200 monks live in Eihei-ji. For the visitor, it is a moving experience to see the priests carry out their strict ascetic practice with spiritual devotion.
Before visiting the temple, we suggest reading “Eat, Sleep, Sit by Kaoru Nonomura”, a Japanese businessman who quit his job in Tokyo and went on to receive training in Eihei-ji for a year. The book is a fascinating account of daily life in the monastery.