Meditate over the Water at an Artistic Temple
Connect to your inner Zen and express your creative side at Kochi’s Shimanto River
A visit to Kochi Prefecture on Shikoku Island would not be complete without an experience at Iwamotoji Temple offered by SHIMANTO. Featured as the 37th temple of the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage sacred sites, Iwamotoji Temple is unique for its artistic flair. Its iconic ceiling integrated a variety of artwork upon its reconstruction in 1978. The creative designs feature both traditional Japanese religious themes, such as nature and Buddha images, as well as international pop culture icons, such as Marilyn Monroe.
Iwamotoji Temple, of which the full name is Fujiisan Gochiin Iwamotoji, also offers a variety of uniquely Japanese experiences. As it is in close proximity to the Shimanto River, a Zen meditation activity sitting in water is not to miss if you visit in the spring or summer. Change into samue work clothes and by doing Zen meditation in the water of the gently flowing river, you can put your mind at ease and feel the healing power of nature. The English-speaking priest, who previously lived in the United States, will guide your meditation.
After your Zen meditation, you can warm up your body at the temple bath (or even take a break in the sauna later). Your spiritual guide will then teach you how to copy some sutras in English or with the traditional Chinese characters, so you can combine spirituality with the temple’s iconic artistic flair.
Whether you are on the pilgrimage or not, this will be a unique spot to rejuvenate your mind and body with a fantastic mix of sacred and pop culture.
Access : From Haneda Airport, fly to Kochi Airport, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Take the bus to Kochi Station, about 30 minutes. Then take the train to Kubokawa Station, about 1 hour.
approx. 240 min. or more