Shōganji Zen Retreat

Experience authentic Zen temple life in rural Japan

Arrival Day at the Retreat…

A Short Checklist:

  • From within Japan dial: 097 575 2150 (retreat) 090 9496 0648 (Jiho’s personal cellphone).
  • Call us from the payphone in the parking lot outside Kōzaki station when you arrive. (Or from a cellphone if you have one that works in Japan.)
  • Checkin time: anytime between 9:00 – 21:00.  Some exceptions apply. See detailed explanation below.
  • We do our best to pick up all our guests from Kōzaki station, but it’s not always possible. We will tell if we are able to pick you up when you call us from Kōzaki station, not before. We cannot tell you definitely until the day you arrive. If its not possible, its just a short taxi ride, so please don’t worry too much about knowing in advance. Someone will be there to receive you either way.
  • Again call 097 575 2150 (retreat) 090 9496 0648 (Jiho’s personal cellphone).


Detailed Explanation:

1. CHECK-IN: It’s essential that you organize your travel around our very liberal check-in time: 9:00 -21:00. If you encounter some unusual delay arriving at the retreat before 21:00, please call AND email to let us know. In exceptional circumstances, and IF YOU LET US KNOW YOU WILL BE LATE, we can receive you as late as 23:00 (11pm).(Please do not call or arrive after 23:00 (11pm) as everyone will be sleeping. You will need to make alternative lodging arrangements in this case and arrive at the retreat the following day.)

2. We prefer to come and pick you up at Kōzaki station. You will need to call Jiho (097 575 2150, cell: 090 9496 0648) from the phone booth in the parking lot outside Kōzaki train station when you arrive OR from Oita station when you know precisely what time your train arrives at Kōzaki.  Note that Oita station has very few public phone booths and you will probably have to ask someone to locate one. (A note on using a Japanese public phone: Use 10 or 50 Yen coins to make the call.  If the phone emits a series of continuous beeps during your call you need to add more coins. )

3. Taking a Taxi from Kozaki station to the retreat: Occasionally, we may ask you to take a taxi from Kōzaki to the retreat upon your arrival. This will cost you about $15USD. This would only happen if retreat staff are unavailable to come and get you. You should only take a taxi to the retreat if you have just called us and have been advised to take a taxi (or if you are already checked in and know your way around the retreat). If you are a new arrival, please do not show up unannounced. There may be no one at the retreat to receive you and there is no public telephone near the retreat itself.

4. Please try to inform us in advance of approximately what time you will be arriving at Kōzaki station. We do not need the exact time, rather we need to know the approximate time of day you will arrive so that we can be sure someone will be readily available to come and pick you up at Kōzaki station quickly and with a minimum of wait time.

5.  If you cannot reach Jiho by phone on your scheduled arrival day (very unlikely), we recommend that you be patient and stay at either Kōzaki or Oita station.   Please do not show up at the retreat unannounced. There may be no one at the retreat to receive you and there is no public telephone near the retreat itself.  Jiho may be at a different location waiting for your call or temporarily unable to answer if he is performing some professional duty.

6.  Please feel free to contact me, the site administrator, Pierre Black (, for any assistance before as well as during your stay. I can help you optimize your travel plans to and within Japan, answer any questions or concerns you may have about planning your stay, and even sort out any communication issues during your stay in the unlikely event that this would occur.  No question or problem is too small. Unfortunately, however, I cannot be instantly available at all times. Also, I am often in a completely different timezone, maybe on the other side of the world! I usually follow up on all communication within 24 hours.  If not, please do not hesitate to send another email, or try my alternate email address (  If I still do not respond within 24 hours, there is probably a good reason for it.  I will do my best!  I am here to make this trip a wonderful experience for you and do my best to be attentive and responsive to your needs.  I want you to have the best possible experience in this very special place.

7. By booking a stay at Shōganji Zen Retreat and choosing to stay at Shōganji Zen Retreat you agree to and consent to the Zen Retreat Waiver of Liability.

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