Japanese temples turn to tourists to survive

 

While many popular spots around the world worry about overtourism, some Japanese temples are looking for more visitors as a way to survive. With a declining Buddhist population, renting out lodgings helps keep temples open.

A project set up by the Nippon Foundation and a number of Kyoto temples, for instance, have organized a campaign aimed at getting wealthy foreign tourists to stay, learn about Japanese culture, and take part in activities, including chanting sutras and tea ceremonies that are normally not available to the public.

The Japan Tourism Agency says that at some lodgings, including those on Mt. Koya, eighty percent of those staying over were from Western countries; similar numbers are seen elsewhere. Japan Today recently listed numbers of lodgings and their specialties around the country; there are about 300 in Japan.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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