Once you've had your fill of neon-lit streets and karaoke bars, Japan's tranquil temples offer the chance to slow down, switch-off and immerse yourself in the quieter side of Japanese life. And, offering the opportunity to stay at a 600-year-old Buddhist temple in a remote corner of Kyushu, Shōganji Zen Retreat gives travellers just this.
Hosted by Rinzai monk Jiho Kongo, Shōganji Zen Retreat opened its doors in 2004 and has quickly become recognised as one of Japan's best Buddhist retreats. Inviting visitors to experience authentic temple life in the heart of rural Japan, guests at Shōganji will experience a sense of escapism from the off, venturing to a remote fishing village on Japan's southernmost island of Kyushu.
A stay at Shōganji is a minimum of 5 nights, and guests can expect a daily schedule kicking off at 5:30am, incorporating morning zanzen meditation, yoga, Japanese calligraphy, samu (temple service), freshly prepared meals and dedicated quiet time.