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Meditate in the Water at an Art-Enhanced Temple


Discover your inner zen and express your creative side at  Shimanto River in Kochi


A visit to Kochi Prefecture on the island of Shikoku would not be complete without the Iwamoto-ji Temple experience offered by Shimanto. The 37th temple of the pilgrimage route of 88 temples across Shikoku, Iwamoto-ji is unique for its artistic flair. When it was refurbished in 1978, 575 paintings donated by artists were placed onto the ceiling. The art features both traditional Japanese religious themes, such as images of nature and Buddha, as well as international pop culture icons including Marilyn Monroe.




Iwamoto-ji’s full name is Fujiisan Gochiin Iwamoto-ji, and it  offers a variety of uniquely Japanese experiences. The temple is close to the Shimanto River, so Zen meditation while sitting in the water is definitely something to try for those visiting in spring or summer. Change into samue, traditional work clothes, and through Zen meditation in the water of the gently flowing river, you can ease your mind and feel the healing power of nature. An English-speaking priest who previously lived in the United States will guide you through the meditation.

After Zen meditation, warm up in the temple bath—or even take a break in the sauna. Your spiritual guide will then teach you how to copy some sutras in English or with traditional Chinese characters, so you can combine spirituality with a touch of the temple’s artistic style.

Whether you are on the 88-temple pilgrimage or not, this is a unique spot where you can rejuvenate your mind and body with a fantastic mix of spirituality and pop culture.

Access: From Tokyo Haneda Airport, fly to Kochi Ryoma Airport (about 1 hour and 25 minutes); take the Airport Limousine Bus to Kochi Station (about 25 minutes); take the Dosan Line local train to Kubokawa Station (about 1 hour); the temple is a 10-minute walk from the station.






3-13 Shigekushi-machi, Shimanto-cho, Takaoka-gun, Kochi-ken


Approx. 6 hours or more




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