Photo : Participants in a templestay program (Credit : Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism) 【 Photo: Participants in a templestay program (Credit: Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism) 】

A templestay is a wonderful way to rediscover oneself. The sound of temple bells resonates through the mountains, rendering peace in the hearts of temple visitors. A templestay provides sanctuary from city life, as well as time and space for meditation and healing. Read on to learn more about this popular traditional culture experience program.

Templestay Introduction

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.

Templestay Program

  • Photo : Templestay programs (Credit : Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism)
  • Photo : Templestay programs (Credit : Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism)
【 Photo: Templestay programs (Credit: Cultural Corps of 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 offering and tea ceremony rituals.

  • Photo : Mihwangsa Temple lit with lanterns (Credit : Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism) 【 Photo: Mihwangsa Temple lit with lanterns 】
    (Credit: Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism)
  • Photo : Lotus Lantern Festival at Tongdosa Temple【 Photo: Lotus Lantern Festival at Tongdosa Temple 】

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, eighth day of the fourth month on 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
Traditional Charm & Excitement Meet at the Lotus Lantern Festival

Temples Offering Regular Templestay Programs for Foreign Nationals

Please visit the Templestay website for information and reservations.

  • Templestay Website: www.templestay.com (Korean, English)
  • Major temples offering a templestay program
Major temples offering a Templestay program
Region Temple
Seoul Myogaksa Temple
42, Pyeongchang 8-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Website: www.myogaksa.net (Korean, English)
Geumseonsa Temple         
137, Bibong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Website: www.geumsunsa.org (Korean only)
Bongeunsa Temple
531, Bongeunsa-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Website: www.bongeunsa.org (Korean only)
International Seon Center
167, Mokdongdong-ro, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul
Website: seoncenter.com (Korean, English)
Central Region Jeondeungsa Temple
37-41, Jeondeungsa-ro, Gilsang-myeon, Ganghwa-gun, Incheon
Website: jeondeungsa.org (Korean only)
Yongjusa Temple 
136, Yongju-ro, Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi-do
Website: www.yongjoosa.or.kr (Korean only)
Woljeongsa Temple
374-8, Odaesan-ro, Jinbu-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
Website: woljeongsa.org (Korean, English)
Southern Region Donghwasa Temple
1, Donghwasa 1-gil, Dong-gu, Daegu
Website: www.donghwasa.net (Korean only)
Geumsansa Temple
1, Moak 15-gil, Geumsan-myeon, Gimje-si, Jeollabuk-do
Website: www.geumsansa.org (Korean only)
Seonunsa Temple                                                                             
250, Seonunsa-ro, Asan-myeon, Gochang-gun, Jeollabuk-do
Website: www.seonunsa.org (Korean, English)
Mihwangsa Temple           
164, Mihwangsa-gil, Songji-myeon, Haenam-gun, Jeollanam-do
Website: www.mihwangsa.com (Korean, English)
Golgulsa Temple  
101-5, Gireum-ro, Yangbuk-myeon, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Website: www.golgulsa.com (Korean, English, Japanese)
Haeinsa Temple
122, Haeinsa-gil, Gaya-myeon, Hapcheon-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do
Website: www.haeinsa.or.kr (Korean only)
Jikjisa Temple
95, Jikjisa-gil, Daehang-myeon, Gimcheon-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Website: www.jikjisa.or.kr (Korean only)
Beomeosa Temple
250, Beomeosa-ro, Geumjeong-gu, Busan
Website: www.beomeo.kr (Korean, English)
Yakchunsa Temple
293-28, Eeodo-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Website: www.yakchunsa.org (Korean, English, Chinese)

How to Participate

The Templestay Center is located across from Jogyesa Temple in Seoul. The center provides comprehensive information on templestay programs and the 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.

More info
  • 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)
  • Directions
    Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 2. Walk approx. 5min.
    Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6. Walk approx. 5min.
  • Templestay inquiries: +82-2-2031-2000 (Korean, English)
  • 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

This page was last updated on October 11, 2017, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here.