Tokozenji Temple

Calm Your Mind with a Tokozenji Zen Experience

While you may be familiar with the word Zen, the best way to start a path to understanding this branch of Buddhism is to experience it for yourself. And this can be done right in Yokohoma, Tokyo’s neighbor city.

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Learn about the fundamentals of Zen Buddhism at Tokozenji in Yokohama.

Learn about the fundamentals of Zen Buddhism at Tokozenji in Yokohama.

Zen Buddhism came to Japan from China in the 12th century, brought by scholar-monk Myoan Eisai, who traveled to China in 1168. Zen practitioners strive for enlightenment through training, which includes zazen (seated meditation) and other mindfulness activities. Buddhism, whether overtly or subtly, is a cornerstone of Japanese culture and permeates much of life. And one place you can learn more about Buddhism is at Tokozenji, one of the oldest Zen Rinzai sect temples in Japan, established around the year 1200. Located in Yokohama, the temple originally stood in adjacent Kamakura but was moved to its present location in the 1400s. Dedicated to Yakushi Nyorai, the Medicine Buddha, the temple is a place to heal and pray for health.

The presiding abbot and head abbot of the temple have both lived and studied abroad, and are welcoming to international visitors. Tokozenji offers bilingual English and Japanese zazen sessions, where visitors can learn the basics of sitting meditation and can partake of green tea and sweets after the session. Practicing zazen helps to center the mind and calm the body, and the sessions are led by the temple’s abbots.

The temple offers a variety of seatings, from a monthly open-to-all session held mainly in Japanese with basic English explanation to a smaller group session held in English (requires reservation). And for those who wish to visit Japan but can’t, Abbot Daigo Ozawa is offering sessions via Zoom with explanations in English. The sessions are free but donations can be made voluntarily. For those who want to take it a step further, the temple also offers experiences in shakyo, the practice of copying the sutras in Japanese calligraphy.

Tokozenji Temple

Tokozenji Temple

Take a moment to find peace and reflect on your eye-opening time in Japan by visiting Tokozenji in Yokohama, just an hour outside of Tokyo.


Tel: +81 45-781-0271
Web Form: https://www.tokozenji.or.jp/contact-en


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