5-15 Shihi, Eiheiji-chō, Yoshida-gun, Fukui-ken 910-1228, Japan
Eihei-ji TempleAbout 10 miles from Fukui City, at the center of the prefecture, Eihei-ji Temple is a palpably spiritual place nestled amid 82 acres of mountains, moss, and shady cedars. “The Temple of Eternal Peace” was established in 1244 by the great Zen master Dogen—founder of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism. To this day, it is a thriving, active monastery with more than 70 buildings, impressive Buddhist iconography, and roughly 200 practicing monks. Take a stroll along the tranquil grounds and watch as monks sweep the temple, educate visitors, and go about their lives in strict ascetic practice. You can also participate in zazen meditation, and overnight stays are offered if you apply in advance.