Retreat Infos

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Retreats in Japan


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Buddhist English Academy
802 Diamond Place, 3-5-3
Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
Tokyo 160 Japan
Tel: (03) 342-6605 (The office can be contacted in English)
The Academy is an excellent source of information for those interested in both the theoretical and practical aspects of Buddhism, at all levels. It has contact with all the main Buddhist sects and with a wide spectrum of Buddhist organisations. It is a good contact point for foreigners recently arrived in Japan.

Dharma Center of Japan
2-21-4 Kohinata, Bunkyo-ku
Tokyo 112-0006 Japan
Tel: [81] (03) 5395-1088, Fax: 3-5395-4257
Web site:
Lineage: Universalist lineage of Ven. Namgyal Rinpoche, integrating Karma Kargyu and Theravadin traditions.
Description: Classes and retreats taught by Achariya Doug Duncan focusing on practical methods to awaken in this lifetime.
Contact: John Munroe:

Dhamma Dipa
2F, 1-3-4- Nakai, Shinjuku-ku
Tokyo 161 Japan.
Teacher: Ven. U Vicittasara
Meditation Method: An affiliated Mahasi Sayadaw Meditation Centre.

Aza Hatta, Mizuho-cho
Funai-gun, Kyoto-fu 622-03 Japan.
Tel: 81-771-86-0765, Fax: 81-771-86-0765
Tradition:Vipassana Meditation Retreats in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin as taught by S.N. Goenka.

Dhammakaya International Meditation Center (Tokyo)
2-59-20-201 Kaneko Bld., Shimo, Kita-Ku
Tokyo 115 Japan
Tel: +81-3-39036571 To 72
Fax: +81-3-39036573
Web site:
Founder: Luang Phor Sodh
Tradition: Thai Meditation Organisation

Do Ngak Sung Juk Centre
1004 1-8-2 Saiwaicho
Mihamaku, Chiba-shi, ZC 261
Tel/Fax: (43) 246 1266
Tradition: Tibetan Buddhism - Foundation For the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT).

Dogen Sangha (Ida Ryogokudo Zazen Dojo)
5-11-20 Minami Yawata
Ichikawa City Chiba Prefecture, Japan 272
Tel: +81-473-79-1596, Fax: +81-473-78-6232
Web site:
Zen Buddhist group based in Tokyo and following the teachings of Master Dogen, who established the Soto sect in the 13th century, offers an opportunity to practice Zazen and study Buddhism under the guidance of Master Gudo Wafu Nishijima.
Our Zazen Dojo, situated near Ichikawa City, a 30 minute train ride from central Tokyo, has accommodation for up to 11 people in individual rooms. The Dojo also houses a large Zazen Hall and Lecture Hall, a library, and a communal kitchen and dining room. Zazen practice is four times a day: at 5:30 - 6:15 a.m., 10:00 - 10:45 a.m., 3:00 - 3:45 p.m. and 8:30 - 9:00 p.m. Residents pay a fee of 2,000 yen per day for the first month, and then 40,000 yen per month thereafter. The fee covers accomodation, the use of cooking and washing facilities, and the cost of food. Residents are requested to practice Zazen at least two times each day, and participate in the chores needed to keep the Dojo running smoothly.

Honganji International Center
Higashi-naka-suji Rokujo-sagaru,
Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan 600-8341
Supervisor: Rev. Hayashi Yasuaki
Tel: (+ 81 75) 371 5547, Fax: (+ 81 75) 371 4070
Tradition: Jodo-Shinshu Honganji-ha (Pure Land Buddhism)
The center hosts the International Department of Nishi-Honganji. It also publishes translations - mainly in English - from Shinshu Scriptures.

International Zen Dojo
611 Tsurushima, Uenoharacho
Kita Tsura-gun, Yamanashi-ken 409-01.
Tel: (05546) 2-3198
Teacher: Rev. Kanemaru Roshi
This is a small Rinzai country temple, little more than an hour's train journey from Tokyo. The resident teacher, Kanemaru Roshi stresses that his temple is not a hotel. He describes his training as kibishii - strict. Students must get up early for zazen, and he uses the keisaka stick regularly to stimulate concentration. They will also be expected to study and put in a lot of work in the fields and gardens around the temple.
Note that some foreigners have just turned up at the temple without advance notice. Therefore you must contact the Kanemaru Roshi several days in advance. Beginners are welcome, with the proviso that a week of zazen for someone with no experience can be physically demanding.
How to get there: A twenty-minute walk from Uenohara station on the Chuo line.

Japan Vipassana Centre
c/- 92 Ginkakuji-cho, Sakyo-ku
Kyoto 606, Japan.
Tel/Fax: [81] (075) 752-3685
Meditation System: Vipassana meditation in the S.N.Goenka tradition.

Kaioji Temple
642 Katsuura, Nachi Katsuuracho
Higashi Muro-gun
Tel: (07355) 2-0839
This is one of the few temples in Japan where foreigners are made welcome at any time for Zen instruction. It is a small Rinzai temple with a relaxed atmosphere. The priest in charge, Sosen Takeuchi, speaks a little English. He has also prepared an English language pamphlet with basic Zen instruction. Kaioji is suitable for those with little or no Zen experience. The temple is registered as a youth hostel.
The temple boasts its own small zendo, and regular sesshins are held there:
These are scheduled for February 10-15, April 1-8, June 1-7, August 1-7, October 7-12, December 1-8, and December 31-January 1st.
Three of these: April, August and the end of the year sesshin are for women only.
How to get there: A ten-minute walk from Katsuura station.

Kyoto Kokusai Zendo (International Zen Centre Kyoto)
c/o Tokoji Rinzai Zentempel, Hozumi Gensho Roshi
621-0027 Kyoto-fu, Kameoka-shi, Sogabe-cho, Inukai
Sogabe-cho, Inukai
Phone and fax: from abroad: ++81-771-23-1784
in Japan: (Tokoji) 0771-23-1784
Web site:
The International Zen Centre Kyoto is situated in Inukai, a rather rural municipality surrounded by rice fields and mountains, which belongs to Kameoka, a western suburb of Kyoto. Two temples, Tokoji (Zendo, Hondo) and Jotokuji (Hondo), and a guest house are open to visitors from Japan and from all over the world. The temple is under the direction of Muishitsu Rotaishi (Hozumi Gensho Roshi).
Terms and Conditions: You may register by phone, fax, or in writing (English or German). We need to know your name, address, date of arrival and proposed length of stay. Please, wait for confirmation before arriving! Minors (under 18) need the written consent of their parents or legal guardians. Participants should arrive before 4 p.m. (Exceptions need to be discussed in advance.) Please bring along comfortable clothes in muted colours suitable for Zazen. You further need personal items like pyjama, towels, toilet things, etc. Only vegetarian food is on offer (traditional temple food). Daily routine is handled flexibly depending on the occasion.

Kyoto Meditation Centre
Residence: Okura A407, Mibu, Fuchida-cho 12,
Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto T604, Japan
Tel: 81-75-821-5507
Tibetan tradition: Kagyu-Nyingma Linaege
Teachings: Meditation, Buddhist / Shambhala discussion groups, social dinners thrice monthly.

San'un Zendo
2-16-5 Komachi
Kamakura-shi, Kangawa-ken 248.
Tel: (0467) 23-2010
San'un Zendo is not a temple but a zendo, (meditation hall) under the direction of Koun Yamada Roshi, who has many foreign disciples and who sometime lectures overseas. He is a layman as are most of his students. Training is strict, with regular attendance expected. Practice is a mixture of Rinzai and Soto methods, with zazen done facing the wall, but with koan, or Zen riddles, employed and a certain emphasis on satori, as in Rinzai. Nightly zazen is organised while zazenkai are held on the second and fourth weekends of the month.
The San'un Zendo is closely associated with the Diamond Sangha in Hawaii, which is headed by Robert Aitken Roshi.
For further information: contact Kan'un Miyazaki Roshi.

Seitaian Zen Hermitage
Gentaku Kita-machi 35, Kita-ku
Kyoto, Japan 603
Tel/Fax: (075)491-2579
Abbot: Rev. Takamine Doyu
This small Zen temple located in the northern part of Kyoto holds bi-monthly zazen gatherings (usually the 2nd and 4th Saturdays) for all who would like to sit with a small group (no previous experience necessary, no money needed).
For more information in English, contact:
Rev. Daitsu Tom Wright, Awata Horiike-cho 373-27, Higashiyama-ku
Kyoto, Japan 605-0038. Tel/Fax: (075)752-0421
Contact address: Tom Wright, Awata Horiike-cho 373-27, Higashiyama-ku
Kyoto, Japan 605-0038. Tel/Fax: (075)752-0421

Sayagyi U Ba Khin Memorial Trust
Komatsuri-Cho 923
Kishiwada-Shi, Osaka-Fu, 596 Japan
Tel: +81 724 45 0057,
Fax: +81 724 45 0057 or +81 722 97 3201
Visit the Web site for more information:
Tradition: Theravada/Vipassana meditation
Teachers: Mother Sayama and Saya U Chit Tin
Retreats: Vipassana Meditation Courses.

Tendai Lotus Teachings
468-0069 Aichi-Ken, Nagoya-shi
Tenpaku-Ku, Omoteyama 2-2102
Yagoto Lodge A205
Contact: Jion Prosser
Web site:
Gateway for Tendai Teachings and translator for the Tendai monthly newspaper, the Jiho.

Toshoji International Zen Center
4-5-18 Yutaka-cho, Shinagawa-ku
Tokyo 142-0042 Japan.
Tel: 81 (0) 3-3781-4235, Fax: 81 (0) 3-3781-6168
Abbot: Rev. Deguchi Tetsujyo
Web site:
You should telephone first to arrange your stay.
Toshoji offers regular early morning zazen (meditation). It also offers rooms for people who wish to experience life in a Zen temple. Consequently, many foreigners have stayed there. It must be stressed that Toshoji is not a hotel, so your primary purpose for seeking to stay there must be to practice zazen. The temple's ten small guest rooms are quite bare, and in general you are expected to supply your own bedding. Toshoji is a new temple, built after the war, and largely resembles the houses, shops and offices between which it finds itself squeezed.
How to get there: A five-minutes walk from Togoshi Koen station on the Oimachi line.


Buddhistische Retreats in Asien und weltweit

© Werner Liegl 2003