Templestay, a Journey to Self-Discovery
The sound of temple bells resonates through the mountains, rendering peace in the hearts of temple visitors. A templestay provides sanctuary from the hussle of city life, as well as time and space for meditation and healing. Read on to learn more about this popular traditional culture experience program.
What is Templestay?
Templestay is a unique opportunity to experience Korean Buddhism, its daily lifestyle, rituals and spirituality. It generally entails staying at a Buddhist temple and engaging in daily monastic activities. Today, templestays remain one of the most popular programs among locals and foreigners for experiencing Korean Buddhism.
Generally, a templestay program includes a Buddhist service, seon meditation, the 108 prostrations, and communal work. Some programs also educate participants on monastic meal offerings and tea ceremonies.
- 【 Photo: Mihwangsa Temple lit with lanterns
(Credit: Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism) 】
- 【 Photo: Lotus Lantern Festival 】
Another common program is lotus lantern making, a form of Buddhist art; the lotus is the symbol of a light shining brightly in the dark world. Lanterns are hung on Buddha’s Birthday, April 8 of the lunar calendar at all the temples and throughout cities across Korea. During the month of Buddha's birthday, a variety of events such as the Lotus Lantern Festival are held throughout the nation, attracting many tourists from near and far.
* Related column
Enjoy 2016 Lotus Lantern Festival!
Temples Offering Regular Templestay Programs for Foreign Nationals
Please visit the following website for more information: templestay.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, French, German, Spanish)
Reservation website (Korean, English)
Location: Jongno-gu, Seoul
Website: www.myogaksa.net (Korean, English)
Location: Jongno-gu, Seoul
Website: www.geumsunsa.org (Korean only)
Location: Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Website: www.bongeunsa.org (Korean only)
Templestay website: temple.bongeunsa.org (English)
|International Seon Center
Location: Yangcheon-gu, Seoul
Website: seoncenter.com (Korean, English)
|Central Region||Jeondeungsa Temple
Website: jeondeungsa.org (Korean only)
Location: Hwaseong, Gyeonggi-do
Website: www.yongjoosa.or.kr (Korean only)
Location: Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do
Website: woljeongsa.org (Korean, English)
|Southern Region||Donghwasa Temple
Website: donghwasa.templestay.com (Korean only)
Location: Gimje, Jeollabuk-do
Website: geumsansa.com (Korean, English)
Location: Gochang, Jeollabuk-do
Website: www.seonunsa.org (Korean, English)
Location: Haenam, Jeollanam-do
Website: www.mihwangsa.com (Korean, English)
Location: Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Website: www.golgulsa.com (Korean only)
Location: Hapcheon, Gyeongsangnam-do
Website: www.haeinsa.or.kr (Korean only)
Location: Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Website: www.jikjisa.or.kr (Korean, English, Japanese)
Website: www.beomeo.kr (Korean, English)
Website: www.yakchunsa.org (Korean, English, Chinese)
How to Participate
The Templestay Information Center is located across from Jogyesa Temple in Seoul. The center provides comprehensive information on Templestay and temples that offer templestay programs. The center also provides language assistance in English and reservation services. For those who cannot visit the center in person, reservations can be made through the website.
- Address: 56, Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
- Operating hours: PR Center 09:00-19:00 (Closed on public holidays)
- Website: www.templestay.com (Korean, English)
* Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 2. Walk approx. 5min.
* Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6. Walk approx. 5min.
- Inquiries: +82-2-2031-2000 (Korean, English)
- 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)