Dokuonji is a temple that was constructed nearly 400 years ago and holds a rich history. Regardless of nationality or religion, anyone is welcome to join monthly meditation and Sutra writings at Dokuonji. Once a year, Dokuonji hosts a temple worship session in mid-January during the Oppama Seven Gods pilgrimage. The host monk speaks English and welcomes visitors from abroad. Dokuonji is an excellent place for learning about the Buddhist religion and promotes a merger of Japanese culture and Buddhism.
When we visited this temple, we were able to talk with the host monk, Soin Satoshi Fujio. This was our second time meeting him. The first time we met, we took zazen meditation classes at the Kenchoji Temple in Kamakura. He is fluent in English, which makes it very easy to learn about zazen.
When we spoke, I asked him why he is fluent in English. It is very rare to meet a monk who can speak English fluently. He told us he has worked in New York, Singapore and Thailand as a banker. Eventually, he decided to take over his father’s job as a monk. At that time, he quit his job as a banker and entered the monastery.
I believe that he is the best person I have met to learn about Buddhism from. Also, his English is helpful and he has an incredible aura. We think you will know what we are talking once you meet him too.
We recommend to visit the Dokuonji Temple and also to talk with Soin Fujio (he may be busy so check his schedule in advance). He holds Zazen meditation classes at this temple monthly, every first Saturday from 19:00-20:30, and Sutra Writing Classes monthly, every third Saturday from 19:00-20:30. We recommend checking the date in advance. In addition, he holds Zazen meditation class and “Class on Buddhism” according to individual or group request.