Food Culture

Eiheiji, The Chief Temple of Soto

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Food Culture
Dogen Zenji, the founder of Eiheiji, placed vital importance on meals through which we take in nature’s lives and without which our lives will perish. He therefore regarded the preparation of meals as one of the integral elements of daily religious training besides zazen and dokkyo. Sesame provides good proteins for priests, and has been used in a range of vegetarian diet. Above all, gomadofu is considered as a symbol of hospitality because it involves strenuous work and long hours to make gomadofu, starting from grinding sesames. Thus, gomadofu has become one of the most typical vegetarian dishes.

Taste Nurtured in a Temple Village

Eiheiji, the chief temple of Soto, was established about 750 years ago in the Period of Kamakura by the revered Zen priest, Dogen. Shichido-garan, the seven integral features o f religious training, Sanmon (the main gate), Butsudo, Hatto, Sodo, Daiku-in, Yokushitu (bathrooms), and Tosu, and other seventy-plus buildings stand serenely surrounded by tall cedar trees older than 700 years, in the vast stretch of area covering 330,000 square meters. The place is known for the strict religious precepts, where priests in training spend day after day practicing zazen and dokkyo. In the tense atmosphere of zen practicing in Eiheiji, priests in training eat gomadofu as the important source of  rotein. For over 750 years, the area has developed as a temple town. Its history, culture, and local specialties have developed along with Eiheiji, and Dansuke Gomadofu is one of those specialties created in the temple town.

About Eiheiji

5-15, Shii, Eiheiji-town, Fukui-pref. General Office TEL : 0776-63-3102 Admission From 5:00 am to 16:30 pm (depends on season) *throughout the year For accommodation (to stay overnight in the temple to experience religious practice) 8,000 JY/night (with two meals) For Zen practice (to engage in religious practice from 4: 00 am through 21:00 pm, just like other priest-trainees) From the duration of 3 nights/4 days up to 6 nights/ 7 days For details and reservations, call General Office.

How to Enjoy Eiheiji

Dansuke Gomadofu is deeply connected with Eiheiji. Here are some of the spots we recommend. We hope you will have a great time in Eiheiji.
Recommended spots to see in Eiheiji

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