Ceremonies at Ekoin Temple, Koyasan Japan

There were two ceremonies that guests could participate in during our stay at Ekoin Temple in Koyasan, Japan.


My favorite was the 6:30am morning chant called Otsutome where the Buddhist monks chanted sutras. Drums, cymbals, and beads took the background to the Monks harmonized voices.


After the chanting was complete, and our respect paid to Buddha we hustled to the next morning Otsutome, the fire ceremony.


I was front and center for this one as the back rows were already filled.  But I had the best view.

There was a drummer and a monk performing the ceremony with chanting and building the fire. It was pretty intricate and he was really fast.

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Soon the fire was full grown. Guests were able to write “prayers” on wooden sticks in memory of others and for health and well-being. The monk burned those sticks during the ceremony.

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It was a very cool experience.

Guests were also able to practice Ajikan Meditation- a form of Singon meditation. My foot feel asleep in the first 5 minutes so I was not in the correct position. They gave us directions in English since the monk leading it only spoke Japanese. I was still suffering from jet lag at this point so my 30 minute quasi-meditation session did help clear some cobwebs.

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4 Responses

  1. Chaitali says:

    So cool that you had the opportunity to see the ceremonies. Are they available to all tourists in general or was this something that needed to be arranged in advance?

  2. This sounds like such an amazing experience during your trip to Japan, and such a great way to get immersed in the culture! My husband visited Japan for work in February, and he loved it so much and is already talking about going back!

  3. Lauren says:

    It’s so awesome that outsiders are allowed to watch the ceremonies! What a cool experience! And I totally feel you with the meditating.. I’ve tried a few times and I just can’t seem to get the hang of it. Some part of my body always ends up falling asleep …

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