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.

Temple stay Takayama
My room during my temple stay in Takayama. Of course, I slept on the floor! Copyright Bunch of Backpackers
The outside of the Temple Inn in Takayama



About Zenko-Ji

Room rates: About 3000 Yen for a private room and 2500 Yen for a dorm room
Location: Takayama
Website: http://takayamahostelzenkoji.com/

Book your Japan hotel through Hostelworld.com or Booking.com

Recommended additional Japan reading: 

Staying at a female capsule hotel in Japan
How much does your trip in Japan cost? 
Freaky, geeky Japan: 11 Quirky things to do in Japan
11x ‘Do As The Japanese Do’ for Travelers


  1. Hey, just wondering where you paid the ‘recommended donatio’ of 3000 yen? I can’t find that anywhere on the website you’ve listed. The cheapest room is over 25,000 per night. Are you sure you haven’t linked to the wrong place? I’d like to stay at a temple this week but not for $250.



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