Shakyo (Sutra Copying) at Shourinji Temple, Kyoto tours & activities, fun things to do in Kyoto | VELTRA

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Shakyo (Sutra Copying) at Shourinji Temple


Copy the Heart Sutra at Shourinji

While in Kyoto, take a moment to calm your mind through the practice of shakyo at Shourinji Temple. Open to beginners, no Japanese knowledge required.

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  • Bishamonten Shourinji Temple
  • Halls and garden view inside Shourinji Temple
  • Buddhist altar of Bishamonten
Copying sutras is considered a form of 'writing meditation', to align the body and mind with the sutras the practitioner writes out. It is considered a meritorious practice, dating back to the times before the printing press, when the only way to pass on knowledge was by hand-copying.

Trace over the characters within the quiet tatami halls and garden-facing porches of the temple, guided by the monks of Shourinji.

Shourinji Temple was built in 1550, and the Heian-era statue of Bishamonten which graces the altar was originally found hidden in the ceiling of Tofukuji Temple.
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This activity is not available to book at this time.
Schedule & Location
  • Schedule
  • Check-in
    Time & Location
  • Check-out
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Starting time: 08:00 - 16:20 (Show details)
  • 07:50 Arrive at Shourinji Temple
  • Explanation of shakyo
  • Read the Heart Sutra
  • Cleanse mind and body with incense
  • Shakyo
    You will trace over the characters, so no previous knowledge of Japanese characters is required.
  • Tea and sweets
  • Conclusion of shakyo
Additional Note(s)
    • All the writing tools will be provided by the temple, so you do not need to bring your own.
    • The shakyo session should take approximately an hour, but this is only an estimation. The session may be slightly longer or shorter.
    • While the monks can speak some English, they are not fluent.
Activity provider
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Payment/Cancellation policy
Payment type
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Cancellation Policy
  • Any cancellations made after 1 hours prior to the activity start time will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount.


(4.30/5.00) 4.30 / 5
(10 reviews)

Pick-up Not available


As I have been studying Japanese and also love Kanji I wanted to try this,experience. It was a very peaceful and relaxing experience, concentrating on the Shakyo to carefully copy it, while being in t...more
It was a rather awkward experience sadly. I speak basic Japanese、slowly learning but the communicati...more