Explore and Practice Zen at Kyoto's Zen Buddhist Temple

(158 reviews)
Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan
40 mins

About the tour

This is by a local insider who practices Zen and its meditation. Get a crash course on Zen Buddhism and meditation in a 700-year-old Zen temple in Kyoto. Your guide, Ken will take you through this beautiful space and tell you about the traditions behind Zen Buddhism, a no-frills philosophy that focuses on meditation, mindfulness, and personal experience. Learn about the history, the architecture, and the practice of Buddhist temples. At the end of the session you'll have the chance to put your newfound knowledge to use in a short meditation with Ken, leaving you refreshed for the rest of your day. 0-10min: Intro of Ken and Buddhism 10-20min: The history and the architecture of Buddhist temple 20-30min: The philosophy of Zen Buddhism 30-40min: How to do Zen meditation and three-minute meditation session

Meet your local guide


Founder of local tour agency, "Ken's Tours Kyoto", which is located in the eastern Kyoto. Have guided over 3000 clients just for 3 years since 2016 and earned 1100 of 5 stars on Airbnb and TripAdvisor. 99% of clients gave full score review. Have been ranked and awarded as a guide in the Japan's top 30 on TripAdvisor. Also working as a local fixer in Kyoto for shooting pv, movie, TV drama. Ken speaks of the history and culture of Kyoto with a passion that would make you think he’s a lifelong resident of Japan’s historical former capital city. But the self-described country boy has followed a road with more than a few interesting twists and turns via Canada and America as he has made his way from Fukushima prefecture, where he was born and raised, to Kyoto.

Kentaro has been guiding since Dec 2016

What to expect

Get ready for something special. We're travelling to Kyoto with no passport, no plane ticket and no luggage. And yet you'll experience all the sights, sounds and stories with just your laptop, favorite snack and an amazing guide.

The tour will last about 40 mins and will be live-streamed by your guide directly from Kyoto. Forget about slideshows or pre-recorded videos, this is a live broadcast and anything can happen!

While on the tour you’ll be able to see a full screen video of your guide and their surroundings, interact with them and other travellers through the live chat, see where you are in the world on a map and show your appreciation with a tip.

Why are they tip-supported?

We are running these tours on a tip-supported basis to make them as accessible as possible. They are free to book and join, but you have the option to tip the guide during the tour.

Leaving a tip will help support the guides and allow us to offer tours in more places around the world. If you aren't able to leave a tip, then it would be great if you can share the tour with friends and family to spread the word.

See a tour in action

How to join

Reserve your spot by selecting a time to book. Once done, you’ll be able to see your reservations on your Trips page and we’ll send you an email confirmation with a link to join the tour.

For the best viewing experience, please join on a computer using Google Chrome.

Reviews from travellers

Liliana K.

27 February 2021

The best way to start your day!

Douglas M.

26 February 2021

I personally had difficulty in 'comprehending' some of what he was saying. Interesting information about the history of the site but didn't seem to flow for me, sorry.

Marcelene A.

26 February 2021

The guide showed us an extraordinary beautiful temple and provided excellent explanations. Unfortunately it was 2 AM my time and I was unable to stay awake throughout the tour, kept falling asleep so I did not get the benefit if seeing and hearing the whole tour.

Bren C.

26 February 2021

Once again a lovely start to the morning with Ken and his introduction to zen meditation and Buddhism.

Rose R.

26 February 2021

Ken did a great job of guiding us around the Zen Buddhist temple and providing a snapshot of Zen Buddhism and about the history and architecture of the temple itself. Can't wait to see it with the Maple trees in blossom. Thank you! Rose

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