What is Eiheiji Temple ?
Deep in the mountains of Fukui prefecture, Eiheiji Temple was established in 1244 by the Reverend Dogen as the facilities for Buddhist monks undergoing austere Zen training. It consists of 70 buildings being used for conducting various Buddhist practices. The temple is the "Sohonzan" (head temple ) for the "Sotosyu" sect of Buddhism and the source of worshiping among the followers.
Beauty of the temple and its compound
The temple is in the midst of mountains, therefore, you can enjoy seeing the beautiful natural environment throughout the year. In winter, in particular, the entire temple is covered with deep snow each year, creating the picture-perfect scene of a different world.
What you have to do
When arriving at the temple, follow the guidance of the priests who will tell you how to behave politely in the Buddhist temple. You are not supposed to talk loudly to each other and have to walk quietly. But, above all, express your appreciation to the priests who treat you as if they were your parents.
What you can enjoy
You will be amazed at being in the spacious "tatami-matted" halls and seeing the images, decorarions and ornaments for worshiping. The ceiling pictures in "Sansyokaku" hall are splendid. While being in the purified environment, you will feel your mind enlightened and your soul refreshed.
Besides immersing yourself in the solemn atmosphere the entire temple produces, you can listen to the priests` lectures, participate in "zazen" meditation and cleaning of the tatami-matted floors. The taste of "Shojin-ryori" dishes, or a cuisine prepared without meat or fish, is good and it is conducive to your health. You can even stay in the temple overnight with a reservation two weeks in advance.