Eiheiji Temple

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in Fukui
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Eiheiji (i) is one of the two head temples of the Soto Sect of Zen Buddhism. It was founded in 1244 by Dogen Zenji, the Buddhist scholar who introduced Soto Zen to Japan in 1228 after studying in China for several years.

Eiheiji stands in the wooded hills, about 15 kilometers outside of Fukui City. It consists of over 70 buildings and structures, connected with each other by covered walkways.

Eiheiji is still an active monastery with around 150 practicing Zen monks. It is possible for foreign visitors affiliated with a Soto Zen Buddhist organization to stay at the temple for one or more nights and follow the monks' daily routine.

A one night stay costs 8000 yen and includes a bath, dinner and evening meditation on the first day, and an early start (3:30am), meditation session, morning service and breakfast.

Participants of the more demanding multiple night lay practice program follow most of the monks' daily routine for typically three nights and four days for 12,100 yen.

Applications for overnight stays should be made well in advance. For details, consult the link at the bottom of the page.

Get There and Around

Eiheiji stands less than an hour outside of central Fukui City.

How to get to Fukui

There are direct JR limited express trains to Fukui from Osaka (2 hours, 5510 yen), Kyoto (80 minutes, 4420 yen), Nagoya (2 hours, 5180 yen) and Maibara (1 hour, 2840 yen). These trains are fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

How to get from Fukui Station to Eiheiji Temple

With the closure of the Eiheiji railway line in 2001, access to Eiheiji has become less convenient.

There are hourly direct buses between Fukui Station and Eiheiji, taking 30 minutes and costing 720 yen one way. Alternatively, there are two connections per hour by the Echizen Railway from Fukui Station to Eiheiji-guchi Station (25 minutes, 450 yen one way), where you can transfer to a bus to Eiheiji (about 10 minutes, 410 yen).

Those approaching Fukui from the north, e.g. from Kanazawa or Kaga Onsen, can also get off the train at Awara Onsen, one stop before Fukui (by limited express train), and transfer to a bus to Eiheiji (60 minutes, 1110 yen, one bus every 2 hours).

Hours and Fees

Hours

4:00 to 17:00 (May to October)
5:00 to 16:30 (November to April)

Closed

No closing days

Fees

500 yen
Last updated: October 9, 2014
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