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The World Class ZEN Road


In the Hokuriku region, there are important temples including the head temple of Soto sect and Rinzai sect which have a long history. These are the sects that systematized the well-known “Zen culture” and Zen thought has become a global philosophy due to its extremely stoic nature and simple, deep thought. Apple founder Steve Jobs, one of the architects of today’s IT society, is famous for his deep devotion to Zen, and for Western Europeans, especially intellectuals, Zen is one of the foundational ideas shaping the Oriental lifestyle they revere and incorporate into their lives. In order to contribute to the planning and development of travel products that incorporate the “home” of Zen (Buddhism itself was introduced from China, but Zen culture is a uniquely Japanese form of development), we have organized the content below as an effort to bring to light the environment in which Japan is explored, to create a route, and to encourage the planning and development of travel products that incorporate it.

The following directions have been determined for the project, which has been examining and verifying the contents in the flow of “resource survey”,”resource organizing”,”target audience (advisor hearings from a foreigner’s perspective)” and “monitoring tour”.


1We hypothesized that it would be effective to build three types of travel products, “beginner”,”intermediate” and “advanced” tour programs according to the participants’ prior knowledge of Zen. This in itself was verified as a program.

However, for the “intermediate” and “advanced” programs, there is a hotel-class inn that can accommodate lodgers and accepts lodgers, but in effect, the only place where the “intermediate” and “advanced” programs are held is Sojiji-soin Temple (Eiheiji has a hotel-class inn that is managed by an outside contractor, and programs for lodgers such as hands-on experiences and English explanations are available, but this is outside the scope of this collaboration and the program is complete).


2.On the other hand, there are the following program locations for the “beginner” program implementation, and the implementation programs are diverse as a whole, and they are generally active in accepting tourists. The resources were confirmed to be rich.

 ・Daianzenji (Buddhist tales, zazen)   ・Gotanjoji (Buddhist tales, zazen)

 ・Sojiji-soin (Buddhist tales, zazen, vegetarian cuisine dinner)   ・SeirinjiZazen, sutra

 ・Kokutaiji (Zazen*Accept group*, tea serving*Depends on number of people*)


3.D.T. Suzuki Museum (Kanazawa City), which is popular among foreigners, cannot provide a special program (It can guide you to events held by the museum, but it does not always do so). The museum is also located near Kenrokuen Garden, which is a popular private meditation facility for those who want to stop by during a private walk. Consideration must be given to group tours (e.g. walking in individual free time).


4.In order to prevent the “beginner” program in Zen from becoming only a zazen experience, consideration should be given to the variations in the program. As a practical tour form, a Zen experience as an excursion to the tourist city of Kanazawa may be easier to sell (e.g. 2 days 1 night excursion from Kanazawa).


5.As a conclusion to the above, we have compiled a list of programs for the three levels of tours: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.




Number of people, time, etc.



Hall visit

Zazen experience

Vegetarian cuisine

Buddhist tales and sermons


20 to 30 people

Zazen experience (around 45 mins.)

・      Reservation required

・      It is difficult to experience vegetarian cuisine in a small place with 20 to 30 people

・      It is unclear how far Buddhist tales and sermon can be interpreted

・      It is unclear whether tourists are able to rewrite Sutra (It is unclear tourists are able to rewrite even one character)


Hall visit

Zazen experience

Vegetarian cuisine

Buddhist tales and sermons


Stay overnight

10 people

2 days 1 night

※    Learn how to value things (plan)

・      Reservation required

・      Needs further examination whether vegetarian cuisine is able to be held or not


Zen meditation

3 to 4 people

3 days 2 night

Zen meditation is the same level as itinerant priest

Learn to follow rules such as how to hold a bowl (plan)

・       Reservation required


Take a look at the article written based on these designated tour program here.