Horakuan hosts a variety of events during our open season (April-December).

We also offer the opportunity to experience the quiet and peace of nature in the mountains through our retreats, individual stays, and our Zen Practice Residency.

In addition, confidential counseling sessions are available for those who wish to discuss their spiritual path or a life challenge.

Please click the links below for specific details about our programs and events. To confirm exact dates, please refer to the calendar and feel free to contact us for any individual arrangements.


Horakuan holds regular open zazen sessions. No experience is necessary.

First time zazen participants, please come 20 minutes early for meditation instruction. Instruction is available in English, Japanese, and German.

Evening Zazen 

Every Wednesday
April – August. 19:00 – 21:00,
Sept. – March 18:30 – 20:30

Two 30-minute meditation sessions (with a brief break in between), followed by sutra chanting, tea, and an informal chat.


Morning Zazen 

 May – October, once a Month • 6:00 – 8:00  Check calendar

Outdoor walking meditation, followed by 30 minutes of sitting meditation and sutra chanting. Please join us for okayu (rice porridge), tea, and an informal chat.

Meditation with Sound

Sound can have a profound and immediate effect on your subconscious. When combined with mediation, they can help you to achieve a deeper meditative state than when you are in silence. This program is sometimes run together with the Meditation Walking. The program can be run inside or outside and will use Tibetan bells or other to aid with the Meditation.

Meditation In Nature

This program is run outside and so is dependant on the weather. Normally meeting at Horakuan, we will either set out hiking from the temple or drive to another location before hiking away from built up areas. We will stop in various tranquil locations to carry out breathing exercises, meditations or creative activities – such as mandala drawing – allowing our minds to be influenced by the natural world around us.

Good, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

Meditative Walking

Behind Horakuan is a purpose built meditation path in our garden. Meditative walking focuses on aligning our breathing with our steps as we reconnect with the natural world. This program is carried out barefoot to allow us to become grounded and connected with the earth and is often combined with other programs – such as Meditation with Sound. It is advised that you bring a small foot towel with you.

Sutra Tracing

2nd Friday of the Month
9:00 – 10:00
Please bring your own brush-pen (fudepen)

Copying a sutra is a form of meditation, done in the same mind as zazen.  Participants may copy sutra text (written in Japanese kanji) or trace images of various Buddhist figures (Shabutsu).

Text, images, and materials are provided.

Zen & Creative Arts

In many traditions art has always been an integral part of spiritual practice. Creativity is simply to allow the spirit to fly free where it wants to go, give it life, let it play and direct you back towards remembering your sacred self – it is the vehicle and the essential language of giving meaning to that which connects us all.

The Zen arts are examples of meditation in action, and they are practiced to bring about the same kind of results as zazen or sitting meditation. The total attention, precision, and discipline required for true creativity to blossom though one’s own craft requires fully inhabiting the present moment, free of self and other, past and future, in a non-conceptual state of wakefulness.

Japanese Tea Ceremony

The ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha (powdered green tea) interweaves the principles of harmony (with people and nature), respect (for others), purity (of heart and mind), and tranquility. Quiet your mind while appreciating the grace, peacefulness, and hospitality of a Japanese tea ceremony.

Yoga Workshop

This program is not run very often, as the yoga instructor has to be booked especially for the program. Yoga workshops are normally organised to run with a weekend or overnight program, with the Yoga workshop making up a part of the morning’s programs. Please keep an eye on the website where we will announce the next Yoga Workshop.

Spiritual Study

This is an ongoing program, and interested participants are welcome to join the discussion at any time. No prior participation or knowledge is necessary.

Guidance and Counseling

If you have questions about Zen Buddhism, your spiritual path, or a life challenge you are facing, please feel free to contact us to schedule an individual meeting. All conversations are confidential.

Pilgrimage Walks

Spring Cherry Blossom Pilgrimage Walk • April 
Spend the day visiting various Buddhist shrines and temples, while enjoying Japan’s beautiful cherry blossoms. The exact route and date will be announced.

Autumn Foliage Pilgrimage Walk • October
Spend the day visiting various Buddhist shrines and temples, while enjoying Japan’s beautiful Autumn foliage. The exact route and date will be announced.

Raibutsu-e Ceremony

Raibutsu-e is the main ceremony held at Horakuan in spring. During the ceremony, we worship the Buddha through chanting (everyone is invited to join). A short section of a Buddhist text will be read and interpreted. The ceremony begins and ends with contemplative music. Please join us after for a light potluck lunch.

Spring Raibutsu-e •  10:30-12:00, check calendar