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Japan

Discover Buddhism in Japan

Japanese society is heavily influenced by Buddhism. There are several different schools of Buddhism in Japan, including Pure Land Buddhism, Nichiren Buddhism, Shingon Buddhism and Zen. The majority of the population practice some form of Buddhism, often in combination with Shinto practices.

The country itself is littered with shrines, temples and statues – all set against a backdrop of serene natural beauty. Our pilgrimages take you to some of the cultural highlights of Japan including historical Kyoto, and scenic Nara, the first permanent capital of Japan and home to some of Japan’s oldest and largest Buddhist temples and statues.

Mt. Koyasan is another significant pilgrimage site and is home to an active monastic centre founded twelve centuries ago. It is also the headquarters of the Shingon Buddhist sect. Situated on a small plain at the top of Mt. Koya, the monastery is a deeply spiritual complex of temples, halls and pagodas. Surrounded by a thick forest of massive cedars, it is a serene place for reflection and contemplation.

We also walk the ancient pilgrimage trail of Kumano Kodo at the most stunning time of year, with the autumn leaves in full colour. Along the way there are plenty of shrines and pilgrimage monuments to discover. The culmination of the pilgrimage trail is Kumano Nachi Taisha, an iconic Shinto shrine and part of the UNESCO-designated World Heritage Sacred Sites.

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