While traveling in Japan I stumbled upon the ‘Zenko-ji temple inn’. This is a traditional Japanese Buddhist temple in Hida-Takayama converted into a peaceful hostel.
Coming from the bright neon lights of Tokyo and the big (big!) parties there, a temple stay in Takayama was a welcome break. The Zenko-Ji Temple Inn is a non-profit religious organization. They let you stay in the room for free, but appreciate (or suggest) a small donation (around 3000Y). The beautiful, but simple guestrooms have tatami mats on the floor and traditional futon bedding. The Zenko-Ji temple has a kitchen, fast wi-fi and a beautiful Japanese garden. Most rooms have shared facilities. Zenko-Ji is centrally located and it’s easy to explore Takayama and surroundings. I would highly recommend a temple stay in this non-profit hostel to all that visit Japan.
Room rates: About 3000 Yen for a private room and 2500 Yen for a dorm room