One of a kind Buddhist pilgrimage through mystical Japan

A meticulously custom-curated journey, blending the wisdom of Tibetan master Geshe Tenzin Zopa with diverse Japanese traditions Zen, Shingon, Shinto, and the unique fusion of Shegendo. Never settle for the ordinary, join us and Go Beyond!

Your Spiritual Guide

Geshe Tenzin Zopa

On our annual pilgrimages, we are honored to host renowned Tibetan Buddhist master Geshe Tenzin Zopa, featured in the documentary Unmistaken Child, responsible for the Tsum Valley Rachen Nunnery, the living embodiment of the teachings of wise compassion, and inspiration to a wide following around the world.




Spend three nights immersed in Zen Buddhism led by local masters in the ancient temples of Kyoto.


Overnight in Nara to explore the roots of Buddhism in Japan, and exquisite Imperial architecture.


Culminate the journey with a five-day retreat at Mount Koya exploring tantric Shingon Buddhism.


Hike the UNESCO Kumano Kodo trail through enchanted forests exploring Shugendo mysticism.


Main Tour

Kyoto & Koyasan

Oct. 24-Nov. 3, 2024 (11 days) Max 25 pilgrims


  • Welcome to Osaka:¬†Upon arrival rest at your ultra-modern¬†hotel in Osaka, then meet and greet fellow pilgrims and guides during a sumptuous welcome dinner featuring world-class Japanese cuisine.
  • Zen Immersion in Kyoto: Experience the serene ambiance of Kyoto, where you'll stay in bespoke, centuries-old¬†temple guest houses. Engage in morning meditations, explore ancient temples, and receive¬†teachings from Geshe Zopa and multiple local Zen masters.
  • Historical Exploration in Nara: Discover the rich history of Nara, the former capital of Japan, and a vital site for Buddhism's establishment. Meet a scholar and delve into service projects embodying love and compassion.
  • Retreat to Mount Koya: Journey to the sacred mountain of Koyasan, the epicenter of Japanese Shingon¬†Buddhism. Meet monks and nuns, immerse in daily meditations, fire ceremonies, and tantric teachings from twin traditions.
  • Excursion to Hidden Shrines: Explore a hidden mountain shrine, participate in nature rituals, and unwind in healing hot springs nestled in the forest.
  • Departure with Blessings: Conclude your journey with a heart full of inspiration and gratitude, having received wisdom from Geshe-la and esteemed, local keepers of¬†Japan's spiritual wisdom.


Arrive and gather in the ultra-modern city of Osaka, and then embark back in time for an immersion in Zen Buddhism in Japan's ancient heritage hub of Kyoto. Transition through Nara's rich history before reaching the summit of Mount Koya for a unique blend of Tibetan Vajrayana and Japanese Shingon traditions. Conclude by savoring profound insights and blessings from esteemed masters, and return home enriched by Japan's spirituality.



Go Beyond the ordinary, and experience the hand-selected, very rare temple guest houses called shukubo we have planned across the tour. Live as Japanese pilgrims do in shared, traditional rooms, sleeping on futons and tatami mats, surrounded by bespoke art accents, and contributing to an atmosphere of harmony. 


Daishin-in Shukubo, Kyoto

Savor the simplicity and tranquility of the Daishin-in shukubo, a hidden gem nestled within the Miyonshin-ji complex, Kyoto's largest Zen temple. Immerse yourself in the timeless charm of this traditional, 15th-century guest house, featuring original wood structures, delicate privacy screens, bespoke art accents, an iconic rock garden, and an epic shrine room.  Up to eighteen pilgrims will stay here in nine double rooms, sleep on futon mattresses, share a communal dining hall and washrooms, help maintain the harmony of the premises, as well as enjoy instant onsite access to our morning meditation and evening lecture discussion. The Daishin-in shukubo provides an authentic taste of Japanese hospitality. 



Shishinkaku Shukubo, Kyoto

Discover old-world charm at the Shishinkaku shukubo, a small, stunning guest house nestled in the Ryuhon-ji temple complex, affiliated with Nichiren Buddhism. Dating back to the 14th century, one of the temple houses has been thoughtfully converted into four adjoined, modern micro apartments where eight pilgrims will share four double rooms each with an ensuite bathroom, sleep on raised western-style beds, enjoy a cozy living area equipped with microwave and kettle, and full access to the temple courtyard surrounded by trees in full blossom and the chant of monks during morning service. This location is ideal for those who prefer a little more privacy, but please note there is a ten-minute shuttle service each morning and evening to and from the Daishin-in for our group activities. The Shishinkaku shekubo offers a blend of timeless beauty and modern comfort.



Sekishoin Shukubo, Mount Koya

There are 52 temple guest houses nestled in the enclave atop sacred Mount Koya, essentially a spiritual village. Each shukubo boasts its own unique history, style, and distinctive features. Our group will sample two different shukubo during our five-night retreat.  For the final three nights, we'll stay at the stately Sekishoin, an over 1000-year-old temple featuring historic artworks and ancestral treasures including an eleven-face Kannon, goddess of compassion, and a world-renowned rock garden. Pilgrims will enjoy Japanese-style double rooms, with futon mattresses, private baths, a dramatic shrine room for morning meditation and prayers, and dine on the house specialty, sumptuous shojin-ryori vegetarian meals. Sekishoin offers us instant access to the entire Koya village, where we'll walk on foot to the various temples, shrines, and natural landmarks, ensuring a most memorable conclusion to our main tour.


Extension Tour

Kumano Kodo Trail

November 3-6, 2024 (4 days) Max 15 pilgrims








  • Hidden Treasures Await: Join our exclusive four-day extension and discover the lesser-known trails of the ancient UNESCO-designated Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route in the enchanting Kii Peninsula.¬†

  • Savor Natural Beauty: Embark on a journey through hidden forested shrines and secluded mountain trails, immerse in Shinto nature reverence, unwind in pristine mountain hot springs, and rejuvenate body and soul surrounded by¬†stunning autumn foliage.

  • Unveiling Mystical Shugendo: Encounter the fascinating Japanese spiritual tradition of Shegendo with local tantric master Kosho Tateishi, experiencing fire rituals, mountain meditation, and optional waterfall bathing meditation.

  • Journey to Nachi: Explore the ultimate destination of the Kumano-Kodo, Nachi, where we'll visit the majestic Nachi waterfall and gain unprecedented¬†access to a national treasure, an ancient initiation hall¬†used by Kumano monks for death and rebirth rituals.

  • Limited Availability: This rare opportunity is limited to 15 pilgrims, capable of hiking¬†nature trails 3-4 hours per day, sometimes at an incline, ensuring an intimate and cohesive group experience as we "walk and talk" with Geshe Zopa. Along the way, we'll stay in guest houses in shared rooms with access to onsen, thermal baths, to rejuvenate¬†our bodies from our hike.

Tour Costs


Main Tour Kyoto & Koya


All inclusive package

  • Ten nights¬†double occupancy
  • Local guides, teachers, guest speakers
  • All meals¬†
  • Local transport, and airport transfer
  • Entrance fees and activities
  • Inquire with Sejiva about single occupancy availability upon registration

Extension Kumano Kodo


Limited to 15 pilgrims

  • Three nights double¬†occupancy
  • Local guides, teachers, guest speakers
  • All meals
  • Local transport, and airport transfer
  • Entrance fees and¬†activities
  • Inquire with Sejiva about single occupancy availability upon registration

Ready to Register?

Please complete our short Pilgrimage Registration Form so we can ensure this journey and you are a suitable match. Priority is given to senior students of the Gradual Path and Geshe Tenzin Zopa. If you're accepted, we'll connect you directly via email introduction to our tour operator Sejiva who will assist you with onboarding and payments, including pre- and post-travel arrangements for your journey to Japan. If you are waitlisted due to demand we will do our best to include you on our next tour.

Registration Form

More Pilgrimage Details

Here's all you need to know before registering for this journey.

Have More Question?

A pilgrimage is a huge commitment of time, energy, and resources. We understand what a big decision this can be. Please take the time to read all the information we have provided. If you have any remaining questions or concerns then don't hesitate to contact us.