Zen in Tokyo: Buddhist Temple Tour, Vegetarian Meal & Tea

Organized by Sakie Okazaki
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Experience Details
Experience Location
3 hours
Number of Guests
2 - 6 guests
Wheelchair Accessible, Family-friendly
Vegan, Vegetarian
Experience Zen vegetarian cuisine (shojin ryori) at the peaceful Sankoin Buddhist temple in western Tokyo, where you can deepen your understanding of Japanese Zen culture.


Immerse yourself in a peaceful Buddhist temple in western Tokyo: learn about Zen Buddhism, tour the gardens and and enjoy matcha green tea with a Japanese confectionery and traditional shojin ryori
Enjoy a six-course seasonal meal including a rice dish, soup, and a pickled dish crafted by a chef specializing in the takeno gosho ryu school of Zen vegetarian cuisine
Sip on a bowl of matcha green tea paired with a sweet monaka (a traditional Japanese confectionery consisting of two crispy mochi wafers sandwiched between sweet bean paste) made by the chef
Deepen your understanding of Zen history and culture, and learn the etiquette, manners and customs when visiting a Buddhist temple in Japan from your expert host
For each guest that attends this experience, byFood will donate
10 meals

Experience Details

While Tokyo is a bustling, modern metropolis, it's still home to a treasure trove of ancient traditions. For instance, in the verdant neighborhood of Koganei in the western part of the city, you can take refuge in Sankoin, a historical Buddhist temple with lush green gardens where you can experience a peaceful oasis of Zen culture with all five senses. Guided by a local host who is well-versed in the history of this temple, you will learn about the history, manners, and etiquette of Zen culture while touring the grounds and strolling through its gardens. You will then step into the temple's dining room, offering a calming view of the lush greenery outside, where you will enjoy a bowl of matcha green tea with a traditional Japanese confectionery before savoring delightful Zen vegetarian cuisine (shojin ryori). The six-course meal, made by a chef specializing in a school of vegetarian Zen cuisine called takeno gosho ryu, is meant to showcase fresh seasonal offerings with harmony and creativity. Takeno gosho ryu is a traditional cuisine that has been enjoyed by nuns of imperial lineage from Kyoto for over 600 years. Today, these unique dishes, naturally free of animal products and pungent or intense flavors, can be enjoyed at Sankoin. Each course, from the soup to the pickled dish, is a testament to Zen cuisine's delicate balance. As you savor each bite, you will also learn about Zen Buddhism's principles, enriching your mind and spirit. Experience flow: -Meet your guide at Musashi-Koganei Station -Your guide will explain the manners and etiquette to be observed at the temple -Walk to Sankoin Temple (15 minutes) -Stroll the temple gardens -Enjoy matcha green tea with Japanese confectionery (monaka) -Indulge in a six-course meal with seasonal dishes, soup, a bowl of rice, and a pickle dish -Learn about Zen Buddhism and the history of the Sankoin temple, and deepen your understanding of Zen vegetarian cuisine -Conclude the tour at Sankoin Temple


A six-course Zen vegetarian cuisine (shojin ryori) meal with seasonal dishes, soup, rice, and pickles
Matcha green tea and a Japanese sweet confectionery (monaka) before the course meal
An English-speaking guide


Japanese sake (available for purchase onsite in cash)
Green tea during the course meal (available for an additional fee)

Meeting Point and Meeting Time

Meet your host at Musashi-Koganei Station. More detailed information and a Google Maps link will be provided upon booking.


Please note that there are mosquitos in the bamboo forest in the garden, so wearing mosquito repellent is recommended.
The host can arrange a taxi from Musashi-Koganei Station to the temple, to be paid by the guest. Please inquire upon booking.
This is a dining experience at a temple, and guests are asked to be respectful of Zen practices. Please observe the temple etiquette and Japanese food manners as explained by your guide.
During the meal, water will be served for free and green tea is available for an additional price.
Smoking is prohibited.

Cancellation Policy

Cancel your booking at least 2 days before the experience start time to receive a full refund minus a 3.2% transaction fee.
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Experience Location

Over 14 million residents call Tokyo home. Functioning as Japan's economic and cultural center, it's no surprise the metropolis often appears at the top of travelers' bucket lists. Here, you can find everything from traditional tea houses to futuristic skyscrapers.
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Select at least 2 guests
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Select at least 2 guests
(13 - 99)
(6 - 12)
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Earliest available date: August 1, 2024
¥ 18,000
per guest
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Please note that the time is in Japan Standard Time.
Free cancellation (2 days notice)
For each guest that attends this experience, byFood will donate
10 meals