Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple
Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple
4.5
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Popular mentions

4.5
643 reviews
Excellent
340
Very good
251
Average
46
Poor
4
Terrible
2

Maxwelpot
18 contributions
Jan 2023 • Solo
This is Eihei-ji Temple. It is a Zen temple where monks still perform solemn ascetic practices. The atmosphere of the temple is impressive and powerful that one can hardly help but feel tense. It was winter when I visited the temple, but the severe cold made me stand up straighter, and I could feel a part of the stoic lifestyle of the monks who train every day. The majestic ceiling paintings and the temple hall, where you can feel as if you are one with nature, are definitely worth take the time to see.
Written June 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Eleen C
Singapore, Singapore181 contributions
May 2017 • Solo
Found out that the monastery offer one night temple stay on their website. For foreigners it is required to hire a guide from a designated organisation (check temple website for details) during the stay. The temple management will not allow any non Japanese speaking participants to stay overnight. My guide stayed in a different tatami room from mine. I had a huge tatami room and access to an onsen all to myself since I am a lone traveller.

Woke up at 3am for a morning Zen meditation before an early morning ritual at 4am where all senior monks and trainee monks attend on daily basis. Part of the temple stay Programme allow me to witness the entire ritual. However due to time constraint(temple stay ends at 9am on day 2), we started tour of the temple area at around 5-6am. Vegetarian Breakfast was offered at 7am. After breakfast I toured the temple for a second time. Unlike Temples in Kyoto, this Temple allow photograph taking at almost anything in the temple except monks. Trainee monks attended to me and my guide and I am not allowed to take photos with or of them.

Many trainee monks are quite young, possibly in their twenties and seem determined to enter monk hood. There are a lot of rules to observe including during meal times. Not a place to do temple stay if you are not used to strict discipline and unfamiliar with Chinese / Japanese temple culture.

However the monks are quite understanding that people may not know their rules and are forgiving. The famous Eiheiji meditation hall is an eye opener for those who are serious about meditation.

Many Cedar trees on temple grounds are at least more than 500 years old as told to me by my guide. Their trunks are thick and usually larger than human arm span. The forest cemetery at the back of the temple is absolutely beautiful. Will be back to make day trips for sure. There is a bus service directly from Fukui JR station to the temple and it is only 25 mins. Shops and restaurants are available in front of the temple. Not as busy as Temples in Kyoto but I completely appreciate the Zen spirit around the temple and the serenity of the nature that accompanied it. No wonder it is the training ground for future Zen masters.
Written June 11, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

outofbody
Auckland, New Zealand216 contributions
Mar 2014 • Couples
A 50 minute train ride + 20 min bus ex Kanazawa for this unforgettable experience. Nestled at the base of a soaring mountain, with late season snow and ice still present, this working 12th century Zen monastery has power and presence. We were privileged to tiptoe around the monks going about their day- a ceremony honouring past temple priests was particularly moving with deep throaty chanting. This felt like another world - astonishing natural beauty, and spiritual devotion. One of the highlights of our 2 weeks in Japan.
Written March 23, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JapanTess
Japan693 contributions
Aug 2013 • Couples
Eiheiji is Japan's largest Zen monastery. Very interesting history, and interesting walk around the grounds with traditional architecture against a Japanese forest background. You can see Zen Buddhist monks going about their business, and watch authentic ceremonies being performed. Since it is a working monastery, there are rules against photographing the monks, and visitors must remove their shoes.
The road up to the temple has many touristy shops and places to eat/drink. It is also worth walking in the area around the outside of the temple, which has small shrines, many interesting statues, and a beautiful stream.
Worth visiting in any season.
Written August 28, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

StanleyAuckland
Auckland, New Zealand2,230 contributions
Nov 2011 • Couples
I mistakenly said we had only stayed two nights in Kanezawa. Should have been three because on the second day we took a day trip (using rail pass ) to Eiheiji (temple).
Caught the 9.48am Shirasagi (white Heron) train to Eiheiji Town arriving there 10.48am.
From station caught local bus which cost 720 yen per person each way. The bus stops outside the temple and takes about 20 minutes from the station. Please note that for the return journey, you have to walk back (downhill) about 300 metres to the village You will find the bus stop on the left, just past a tourist souvenir shop.
Eiheiji is huge. The entry fee is 500 yen and well worth paying. It is set in the mountains and surrounded by 700 year old cedar trees.
We spent about 1 hour 15 minutes inside the temple. On exiting the main building we turned left and walked a few minutes uphill to a small waterfall and then on to a clearing. Here there is a large prayer bell which one can toll. If you do toll the bell, please do it with respect.
Back in the village we had soba for lunch and caught the 2.30pm bus back to Eiheiji Station and the 3.36pm Thunderbird train back to Kanezawa.
The whole area is beautiful and well worth seeing.
Written February 23, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HonoluluTraveler_9
Honolulu, HI88 contributions
Apr 2017 • Couples
The temple grounds are extensive and require a lot of walking and stairs. A brochure is provided upon entry, available in Japanese or English. It is very explanatory but is helpful to be accompanied by a Goodwill Guide or someone else who is knowledgable about Soto Zen Buddhism. The training and rituals of the monks at the temple (as many as 200) is extensive, requiring enormous personal discipline. The grounds are beautiful and various temple halls and altars are elaborate with specific meaning to every item and its location. The reception room is huge with an extremely elaborate ceiling, depicting the 4 seasons. Zen meditation is also available to visitors.
Written April 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JapanTess
Japan693 contributions
Sep 2015 • Friends
Has lost none of its charm after multiple visits. Still fascinating, and full of details, that may be missed and discovered on repeat visits. Have visited in the sun, snow, and now in incredibly heavy rain - the temple was very atmospheric in the rain. No problem walking around the temple, as all is inside or covered. Eiheiji, Japan's largest Zen Buddhist monastery, is worth visiting in any weather.
Only one size of slipper is available, which may be uncomfortable if your feet are bigger than their slippers.
Parking can be a problem, but can be lucky and get a place near to the entrance if you try. All parking is run by local shops, and costs around 300-500 yen for a few hours, depending on where you park.
Written September 28, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vanessa Y
Tokyo, Japan815 contributions
Sep 2015 • Couples
Tucked away in the heart of Fukui's mountains, we visited Eiheiji Temple (the "Temple of Eternal Peace") on a beautiful sunny morning, so the sunlight thru the statesque cedar trees was absolutely lovely. Everything was lusciously green and tranquil - it was as if time stood still.
It's quite common and easy to visit temples and living monasteries in Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand etc. however, not so in Japan. They currently house around 100 monks, where they learn the Soto sect discipline of Buddhism. The grounds are vast and amazing and were built in the 13th century.
After a brief explanation (in Japanese) of the area, with the do's and don'ts (you can't take photo's of the monks nor enter a few areas) ... you get to freely wander around the rest of the grounds (carrying your shoes with you everywhere - they don't seem to use the little lockers off to the side, anymore - unfortunately). Everything is basically undercover, so you don't have to worry about facing the elements.
Among the temple's 70 structures, there are 7 main areas to see ... if you let the crowd rush off and hang back a little, you can really enjoy the architecture and better appreciate the beauty of the temple, quietly ...
The main hall with 230 paintings on the ceiling is quite breath-taking. There are so many different flowers, fruit, trees, birds and wildlife depicted on the ceiling ... it's elegantly refined and extravagantly beautiful.
We wandered around slowly and it was much bigger than we had anticipated. There are a lot of steps to climb up and down ... but, stopping off for each area, in between makes it an enjoyable experience. There are so many interesting things to take photo's of ... I'm glad we spent a lot of time here.
I would like to come here again when everything is covered in snow ...
We parked our car across from the Yamaguchi souvenir shop (which is very close to the temple) and as we spent more than 1000 yen on souvenirs, the carpark was free.
Written September 17, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WorcesterMoray
Worcester1,063 contributions
Sep 2017 • Couples
The temple is a little out of the way up in the hills. Hidden by trees so that despite its size cannot be seen from the road.
Is a working temple and a large number of monks around on this visit. I think some kind of meeting was taking place.
Impressive history and English guide leaflet provided. Location in trees is good.
A great many steps inside so not suitable for people with walking difficulties.
A small shop where my wife made a few purchases!
Written September 15, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WorcesterMoray
Worcester1,063 contributions
Aug 2013 • Couples
A extremely interesting Zen Buddist temple. You are able to walk around a set area inside which allows you to see all areas. It is a working temple so monks are around.
it has a long history and is a large site and the area surronding it has much to see.
Written September 5, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Daihonzan Eihei-ji Temple, Eiheiji-cho

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