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Cherished Temples and Shrines
Instructor(s): Roshi Joan Halifax, PhD * Sensei Kaz Tanahashi * Mayumi Oda and
Mitsue Nagase.

Japan: Pilgrimage to Cherished Temples and Shrines

April 10-24, 2015

We are very pleased to send you information about this very rich temple pilgrimage
in Japan, April, 2015. We will not only visit sacred sites - temples, shrines, forests
and mountains, but also will meet local people who are active spiritual practitioners
and special friends who are engaging in cultural preservation, environmental
conservation, as well as fine artists, craft people, and special priests. The trip will
be lead by Roshi Joan Halifax, Sensei Kazuaki Tanahashi, and Mayumi Oda. Each
will take turns introducing the rich cultural heritage of traditional Japan, as well as
giving teachings and facilitating council and meditation.

April 10th We meet at Nanzenji Kaikan in Kyoto, which is located in front of the
historic and magnificent mountain gate of Nanzenji temple. The temple is one of the
headquarters of the Rinzai School Japanese Zen. You can arrive anytime
after 3pm. At 7pm, please gather for a communal vegetarian dinner to meet Roshi
Joan Halifax, Sensei Kazuaki Tanahashi, Mayumi Oda and everyone joining the

April 11th After breakfast, we will have the first council as a group. Then we will
visit Nanzenji temple compound together. Afternoon is free time; you may want to
rest or stroll The Philospher's Walk and Ginkakuji Temple, which is an icon of
Japanese "wabi sabi " aesthetic, and other temples along the way. Nanzenji Kaikan

where many of the historical temples are in walking distance. We then gather together and head to Eiheiji Temple in Fukui Province. we will head to Nara. We will visit Kurama Temple. Wake up time is 3:50am. Once we enter the temple. we have a free morning until 11am. then join whole community of monks for service in the Buddha located in the Higashiyama district . First we sit Zazen. April 14th We will continue following the Eiheiji Temple's schedule. You might also want to consider joining communal zazenkai which is offered at sub-temples of Nanzenji every day and night. who is active in the conservation of the natural environment and precious water in Northern Kyoto area. April 12th After breakfast. A map and orientation of Nara will be given. Dharma talk or discussion. we will follow the temple guests' schedule . the art historian Hiro-san and renowned artist Tsujimoto-san. A tour of the temple compound will be given by resident monks. We will have a chance to have an open conversation with Abbot of Shimyo-In temple. An introduction of Kyoto and the historical background of this ancient city will be given by Sensei Kaz. Zazen. we will visit Kifune Shrine and Simyo-In temple. which is an ancient temple associated with the worship of nature spirits and known for Tengu. supper (medicine bowl). We will be able to be a part of a practice unchanged for over 760 years. Eiheiji is one of the main temples in the Soto Zen School. Shimyo-In temple has a strong connection to the Kamo River (the main river and water source which runs through Kyoto from North to South). After lunch (one's own). Lunch and dinner is on your own. Following our time at Kurama Temple. It is also a birthplace for Reiki practice. You will have some free time to explore the temple on your own. Upon arriving in Nara. and you are free to visit .bath. founded by Dogen in 1244. we gather and take a chartered bus to the Kitayama (Northern) district of Kyoto. It is also known that the beautiful temple has Japan's oldest Fudomyō'ō statue. April 15th After breakfast. a creature known in Japanese mythology. We will also meet two dear friends who live in Nara. Dinner is on your own. we gather together for a check-in. April 13th After breakfast. we will have a light supper together and rest.

We will also visit Ishibutai. After visiting various other temples. and Takamatsuzuka Tomb with an intricate frescoed mural. a place that accepts women practitioners. opened by legendary monk Kūkai or Kōboō daishi. and there will be an introduction and teaching by Mayumi Oda. but it is famous for its five- storied pagoda and amazing collection of Buddha and Bodhisattva statues. Its tower was destroyed. and Todaiji museum to name a few. Lunch is on your own. when Mt. a famous cherry tree. April 20th We will visit Kongobuji temple and Okunoin together. Nara offers many fine museums. April 17th We will start our day at Nigatsudo. Koya. There are many myths around Kukai. Dinner is on your own. There you will see the oldest great Buddha statue (Asuka Daibutsu ) in Japan. in full bloom. and make our way to Mt. We will visit Asuka temple built in 588. April 19th After breakfast. The afternoon is free to visit museums and temples. Lunch will be served at a local temple. Koya is one of the most powerful Buddhist practice places in Japan. and we will have the chance to submerge ourselves in this old culture of Japan. Many temples in this compound are dedicated to Kannon. and Mt. Koya. We are hoping to see Matabee. Both of these places are historic sites. We will dedicate chanting of the Heart Sutra as well as Enmeijuku Kannongyo at Nigatsudo. After arriving to Mt. a sacred mountain. The afternoon is free to explore deeper into Mt. we gather together for council. such as Nara National Museum. Kofukuji National Museum. Murō temple is referred to as Nyonin Koya. We will get together again in late afternoon for special welcoming tea ceremony at Hiro-san's. we will depart from Uda. We will visit Mr. April 16th We will get on a chartered bus to visit the oldest capital of Japan: Asuka. we will head south. Mayumi will lead the group on a pilgrimage mountain hike up Benten san. Lunch and dinner are on your own. We will be staying at one of temple compound called Nan'In. we will arrive at Uda. After lunch. Koya . Yoshimoto's studio to learn his fine craft of making Japanese style scroll mounting. and established in 819. Fine Shojin Ryori will be served. Koya did not allow women to come practice. to Murō. a mysterious structure constructed with a giant stone.the temples and museums at your ownpace. April 18th After breakfast. an old and artistic town. It was Japan's capital from mid-6th century till the early 8th century.

First. We will visit Isawano Miya. At 5pm we gather together at the hotel lobby and walk a few blocks for our final council and group dinner. April 24th After breakfast. arriving at the hotel around 17:30. After breakfast. and village shops. We will gather together again for a special dinner. another sacred city. the Sun goddess. galleries. covered by mountain cherry trees in full bloom. and Ise's history. Dinner is on your own. . If you have specific interests. After dinner near Geku. We will have lunch next to Okage Yokochō. We will spend a day and a half with him in Ise. $500 represents DEPOSIT only. who is an expert in Shinto beliefs. Japanese mythology. we will visit Gekū. Matsumoto-san has many stories to share. On the way. the "pure land of the rice field. we will make our way back home. April 21st After breakfast. Ise's Grand Shrine is dedicated to Amaterasu Ōmikami. we will meet Matsumoto-san. a part of Ise's Grand Shrine. The Ryokan (Japanese inn) where we are going to stay harvests natural salt that is dedicated to the shrine. we will head to Futamigaura. it is said to have some 800 million deities. we will take a chartered bus to visit Ise. the old merchant streets that are popular with people who visit Isle Grand Shrine. we should be able to see magical Yoshino Mountain.and its extraordinary graveyard. April 23rd You will have a free day in Kyoto to visit temples. please let us know as well. You can arrange an airport shuttle to fly out from KIX or ITM (both are airports in Osaka ) or take a taxi to Kyoto station. temple compounds. After we arrive at Ise. We then head to Kyoto by train. and for shopping. Click here to complete required forms for this pilgrimage. April 22nd We rise early to watch sunrise over the sacred rocks in the ocean." Then we visit Naigū. Feel free to contact registrar@upaya. we will learn how they harvest and produce this or call Roberta Koska at 505-986-8518 ext. another part of Ise Grand Shrine. 12 with any questions. then take a train to your destination. shrines. museums. Shinto is the root religion in Japan.

Sample Schedule You may want to look at the sample schedule from our guide for participants. .