Steve Jobs once considered becoming a monk here, and the training hall still remains.
One famous story recounts that the young Steve Jobs once considered becoming a monk at Eiheiji. At this monastic temple, monks still undergo this solemn training. Founded in 1244 by the Zen monk Dogen, this historic temple was named the "premier training hall in the Soto sect" by the Emperor during the Muromachi era. Surrounded by giant cedar trees, some in excess of 500 years old, the site comprises about 330,000 square meters, with about 200 monks engaged in rigorous training here.
The great space of the Sanshokaku Pavilion, surrounded by blossoming flowers and birds.
On average, 6,000 to 7,000 people visit Eiheiji Temple daily at its peak. One reason for this is to view the ceiling of the Sanshokaku Pavilion, located along the temple’s approach. As often seen in Japanese temples, the Pavilion features a “coffered ceiling” built as a grid of beams, in which flowers and birds are drawn to precision in each square. 144 famous painters were brought together here in 1930 to paint a total of 230 pictures. The artworks, which extend as far as the ceiling, cause onlookers to involuntarily stop and look in fascination.
Experience life as a monk on a single-night or three-night stay!
What does this monastic training involve? If you want to know more, why not participate in a training experience, either for a one-night two-day stay or a three-night four-day stay? You can get a feel for the training by enjoying Buddhist vegetarian food made by the monks themselves and learning the basic gestures, such as praying hands, as well as zazen seated meditation.
Although it isn’t a simple tourist experience, it might be just the best way to learn the teachings of Buddhism. Eiheiji is a large-scale temple with a variety of sights, so even if you don't stay overnight it’s worth taking your time and having a leisurely look around.
- 5-15 Shihi, Eiheiji-cho, Yoshida-gun, Fukui-ken
- 0776-63-3102 (but call 0776-63-4361 if applying for overnight stay)
- Last admission
- 5 P.M. (May to October) or 4:30 P.M. (November to April)
- Closing time
- 5:30 P.M. (May to October) or 5 P.M. (November to April)
*Opening time is around 8 A.M, but this may vary slightly depending on the day.
- No regular days of closure
*Overnight stays or worship may not be available at certain times, due to scheduled events. Please contact us for more information.
- 500 yen
- Komatsu Airport is a 1-hour flight from Haneda Airport. Fukui Station is about 1 hour by shuttle bus from Komatsu Airport. Eiheiji Temple is 30 minutes by shuttle bus from Fukui Station.