©Nara Ikaruga Tourism Waikaru
Become a Buddhist Monk for a Day
Experience the Buddhist lifestyle firsthand in a temple with over 1,000 years of history
Gyokuzoin temple is a hidden gem tucked away in the hills of Nara Prefecture. Located in Kongo-Ikoma-Kisen Quasi-National Park, this Buddhist sanctuary offers breathtaking views of Mt. Shigi and its seasonal colors.
Gyokuzoin was founded over 1,000 years ago and features impressive Japanese Buddhist architecture including a magnificent main hall, all set within verdant, beautifully manicured grounds. Among its highlights is the Great Jizo, a 14.5-meter-tall statue of the guardian bodhisattva.
Visitors with an interest in Buddhist tradition can participate in Goma purification prayer rituals, sutra copying, tracing of Buddhist images, and zazen meditation. Shukubo overnight stays are also available. Guests stay in one of Gyokuzoin’s traditional Japanese-style guest rooms and enjoy shojin ryori, a Buddhist vegetarian meal, in a tranquil setting. Mornings offer breathtaking views of the serene landscape outside the window, which can only add to the sense of mindfulness beyond the cares of the material world.
Shigisan Gyokuzoin Temple
2280 Shigisan, Heguri-cho, Ikoma-gun, Nara-ken