Hasedera Temple Morning Rites and Yakuzen Breakfast
Hasedera is among the most revered of Japan’s Buddhist temples. For over a thousand years worshippers have come to pray for peace and happiness, and seek the mercy of the enshrined deity, Kannon, the bodhisattva of compassion. Each day at the temple begins with sacred rites, sutra chanting, and offerings to Kannon. The temple welcomes visitors from across the globe to experience these morning rituals regardless of their faith or beliefs.
As the sun rises over Hasedera’s serene, mountain-enclosed temple precincts, you are invited to join the priests in the Main Hall. Immerse yourself in the enchanting tones of the priests reciting their sutras, and observe them conducting their sacred morning rites. Afterward, a priest will guide you into the back of the hall to see the Juichimen Kannon, an eleven-faced statue of Kannon measuring more than 10 meters, carved in the sixteenth century from camphor. This effigy is off-limits to the public except on special occasions in spring and fall, but participants may see it up close and touch the feet.
Hasedera Temple was founded in 686. The current Main Hall dates from 1650 and is a National Treasure. The Juichimen Kannon is one of the largest wooden statues in the country and designated an Important Cultural Property of Japan. Hasedera’s scenic grounds are beautiful year-round and harmoniously reflect the changing seasons.
Following the experience at the temple, pay a special visit to enjoy a unique breakfast. After 30+ years in Europe, expert Kyoko Oonishi has now continued teaching yaku-zen medicinal cooking in Japan for a decade as “Yamato Yakuzen.” Packed with ancient Japanese wisdom of dietetic therapy, she proposes alimentation through daily connection with nature to invigorate the body and boost one’s immune system, to enjoy life.