LUXURY TOURISM GOES ZEN

Japanese hospitality company Fujita Kanko has developed a new concept combining luxury accommodation and the world of Zen in Japan.

“Eiheiji Hakujukan” in Fukui Prefecture in the Hokuriku region of Japan is a temple lodging and upscale Japanese inn hybrid, situated in front of Eiheiji, one of the two head temples of the Soto School of Zen Buddhism. Founded in 1244 and buried deep in the mountains, over one hundred monks still maintain a monastic lifestyle and practice Zen at Eiheiji today.

Hakujukan was developed for visitors/guests to experience the world of Zen from the comfort of an upscale hotel. Its 18 rooms feature Japanese and western styles and are tastefully accentuated with local crafts and hi-tech gadgets, each accommodating up to four people with two beds and additional futons. Including breakfast and dinner, room rates start at 36,000 yen for two people and 56,000 yen for four people. Other facilities include a Japanese restaurant, large communal baths/outdoor baths, Zen garden, and multi-purpose room where guests can practice zazen meditation.

A unique feature of Hakujukan is its designated Zen concierge, certified by Eiheiji, who can guide guests on their visit to Eiheiji and lead them in Zen experiences. The restaurant serves “shojin ryori” (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine) in addition to other dishes. Hakujukan’s Japanese-style architecture was built with precious 700-year old Eiheiji cedar cut from the temple’s forest, adding another layer of traditional Japanese serenity.

“We are excited to add this unique facility to our portfolio,” said Yoshihiro IseFujita Kanko’s President & CEO. “The number of international visitors to Japan is increasing and their needs are diversifying. Many are looking for different experiences, including a taste of Zen.”

It takes about 30 minutes by Eiheiji Liner Bus to reach Eiheiji Hakujukan from JR Fukui station, which is approximately 3.5 hours from Tokyo station by train.