Most people today don’t get a lot of chances to escape the hustle and bustle of life. Time flies, and with one project always starting as soon as another one ends, it’s easy to feel like we’re stuck in a hamster wheel. Amidst such hectic everyday life, do you feel the need for some time to focus only on yourself? Let us introduce to you a place where you can go to heal – Templestay.
The Templestay program was launched in 2002 in time for the Korea/Japan FIFA World Cup, coming about from the question “what could we show visitors from out of the country?” The program’s popularity continued to grow through word of mouth, and in 2019, a total of 294,796 people enjoyed their Templestay.
Templestay allows visitors to experience the life of Buddhist practitioners, and it is available in all parts of the country! Also, each temple runs their original programs based on their regional and spiritual characteristics. Temple tours, meditation, tea ceremonies, Buddhist meals and other out-of-the-ordinary activities are sure to comfort your soul and help you find peace of mind. Are you interested?
Templestay at the Center of Korean Buddhism, ‘Jogyesa, Seoul’
Incheon Airport✈‘s first pick is Jogyesa, the heart of Korean Buddhism. As the chief temple of the largest denomination in Korean Buddhism, the Jogye Order, Jogyesa is where various rituals, events and Buddhist services are held. Located in the heart of Seoul City close to many major tourist sites such as Insa-dong and Gyeongbok-gung Palace, it’s a very popular destination for foreign visitors. 😊
Jogyesa is also very famous for its Lantern Festival✨ held each year in celebration of Buddha’s birthday. It’s definitely a spectacle you may want to check out!
You can stay at Jogyesa for Templestay for up to 3 nights with a reservation. Check-in is at 2:30pm, and Check-out is 11am. All Templestay visitors can take part in various activities such as meditation and Buddhist prayer, but participation is not mandatory, and visitors may enjoy their stay freely as well. If you want to feel what it’s like to be a part of the representative temple of Korean Buddhism, Jogyesa is the place to go! 👍🏻
Templestay Near Incheon Airport, ‘Jeondeungsa, Incheon’
Do you want to try being completely removed from life in the city? There’s a perfect place for you! ‘Jeondeungsa’ in Ganghwa-do near Incheon boasts of a 1,700-year-long history, and it is also home to a number of historic relics, including a Buddhist Temple Bell, and the Daeungbojeon (Main Buddha Hall).
The beautiful front gate of Jeondeungsa is a prime example of Joseon period architecture, and there’s also a wall engraved with the names of Korean warriors who prayed to Buddha during the 1866 French invasion of Korea. So it’s both a place to heal, AND a place of historical significance – two birds with one stone!
Jeondeungsa Templestay provides different programs for visitors who want different things. For example, there’s an experience-focused program for those who want to experience the lives of Korean Buddhist monks, and there’s also a rest-focused program for those who want to relax and recharge, so take your pick!😆
Templestay at a UNESCO Heritage Site, ‘Bulguksa, Gyeongsangbuk-do’
Last but not least, Incheon Airport✈ recommends Bulguksa, in Gyeongju City! Built during the Shilla Period when Gyeongju served as the capital, the temple is touted as the essence of Korean Buddhist culture. It is home to 7 National Treasures including Seokgatap and Dabotap pagodas, and it was listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1995.
Accommodation is not allowed within the grounds of the temple, as it is designated as a World Heritage Site, so Bulguksa Templestay is operated at the Bulguksa Templestay House located nearby. Many of the Templestay programs, however, do take place within Bulguksa temple grounds. It’s sure to be a meaningful experience for those who want to visit the historic city of Gyeongju!
‘Templestay Weeks for Foreigners’ offer various programs in English, and there are also temples that not only provide English but Chinese and Japanese programs as well! Visit Bulguksa surrounded by beautiful scenery🏞 for a therapeutic experience!
What did you think of Incheon Airport✈’s Templestay picks? It’ll be a chance not only to feel the beauty of slowness, but also to train your mental strength, AND gain a deep understanding of Korean Buddhism. If you plan to visit Korea, we highly recommend it! Incheon Airport✈ will be back with more fun and useful information!