advertisement

For a different kind of experience, consider staying at this Buddhist temple, established in 1590 and serving as a sub-temple of Myoshinji Temple, Kyoto's biggest temple complex and located in west Kyoto. Although the Japanese-style rooms are rather basic and are located in a nondescript building (with the great name of "Cave of Enlightened Dragon"), perks include a communal kitchen, the 18th-century temple, beautiful gardens, free use of bicycles, free coffee and tea, and 90-minute Zen meditation classes led in English most mornings. Head priest Rev. Taka Kawakami presides over the classes, which include suggestions on how to incorporate Zen Buddhism into your daily life, followed by two 15-minute meditation sessons and a tour of the temple, its gardens, and art treasures. No meals are served, but there are plenty of restaurants nearby. And in case you're interested, the temple also offers Buddhist weddings in English, regardless of sexual orientation. Note that no credit cards are accepted.