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Eihei-ji Temple永平寺

Seven monasteries with vast precincts. Buddhist monks adhere to ancient rules and practice rigorous discipline even today.

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Seven monasteries with vast precincts. Buddhist monks adhere to ancient rules and practice rigorous discipline even today.

Eihei-ji Temple, located 16 kilometers to the southeast of Fukui City at the center of the prefecture, is the headquarters of the Soto-shu sect, with 15,000 branch temples nationwide. It was originally built by the Buddhist monk Dogen in the 13th century. At the end of the 16th century, however, the disciples of Ikko-shu, another Buddhist sect, attacked Eihei-ji and burned the entire premises. It was rebuilt in the 18th century and has remained the same ever since.
 
In the vast precincts, with an area of some 330,000 square meters, there are seven monastery buildings: San-mon, a temple gate building; Butsu-den, a sanctum where the monks pray for peace and harmony of the people; Ho-do where priests recite Buddhist scriptures, preach and host various religious rites; So-do, the monks' quarters where they practice discipline; a kitchen called Koin; and Tosu which houses the baths and lavatories. These monasteries are surrounded by over 70 Do-u halls connected by corridors. Even today, some 200 ascetic disciples and itinerant priests devote themselves in strict ascetic practice there.

There is a disciplinary hall where members of the general public may practice Zen meditation, and they are also allowed to stay at this hall and experience some of the ascetic disciplines of the monks.
 

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Directions

From Tokyo: 2h 20 min to Maibara Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line, and 1h 5 min from Maibara to Fukui Station by JR Hokuriku Line. 25 min from Fukui to Eihei-ji-guchi Station by Echizen Katsuyama-Eiheiji Line, and 10 min from the station to Eihei-ji by Keifuku Bus.

 

From Osaka: 1h 50 min to Fukui Station by JR Hokuriku Line.

 

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Fukui 福井県

Eihei-ji Temple 永平寺