Tozan is a pilgrimage to Taisekiji, the Head Temple of Nichiren Shoshu at Mt. Fuji in Japan. During the lifetime of the True Buddha, Nichiren Daishonin, believers would travel to visit the Daishonin, present offerings and receive his guidance. Today, believers from all over the world come to visit the Head Temple Taisekiji, where they can receive guidance from the High Priest and chant to the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary, the original and true object of worship that the True Buddha inscribed himself as the very entity of his enlightened life.
The Dai-Gohonzon has been solemnly protected at Taisekiji for more than 750 years. Before his passing into nirvana, the Daishonin transferred the entirety of his own enlightenment as the True Buddha to Second High Priest Nikko Shonin alone and appointed him as his successor. This has continued in an unbroken line of succession down to the present 68th High Priest Nichinyo Shonin. Therefore, since we aren't alive during the Daishonin's lifetime, we make the pilgrimage to Taisekiji, yearning to see the Dai-Gohonzon and the High Priest.
If we think of the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary as the fundamental root, then all other Gohonzons are branches and leaves. The Gohonzons enshrined at our local temple and in our homes that we chant to everyday were all transcribed by the High Priest from the Dai-Gohonzon of the High Sanctuary. The great benefits arising from them come from the power emanating from the Dai-Gohonzon, the original source.
Therefore, Tozan is an essential practice in Buddhism and is the basis of daily Gongyo, shakubuku, visits to your local branch temple, and other aspects of practice. If you would like to learn more about Tozan, please contact the temple for more information.
The person-in-charge will be responsible for the gathering of their Tozan members, their leadership and the following of rules. Meal distribution, bedding and clean up will be the responsibility of the overseas members.
In case of an emergency in which your family needs to reach you, please have them contact Myoshinji temple at (510) 222-8372
Generally, April weather in Japan is much like the one in West Coast. Daytime temperature is 63-68 F and nighttime temperature is 41-48 F. However, it can get very cold at the Head Temple please keep yourselves warm. Please bring warm clothes such as a coat and sweater, especially for the Ushitora Gongyo.
The hotel fee with breakfast is paid. Making phone calls, room service and using a mini bar in your room will be charged to your room individually. Generally, green tea in your room is complimentary. No tips necessary to hotel staff.
Since shops and restaurants at the rest stop and around the Head Temple are cash only, you may need to have yen for food and shopping. Having dinner at the hotel will cost about 2000~3000 yen.
Please exchange money before coming to the Head Temple. The Head Temple is not able make any change or exchange currency, and there is no currency exchange in the local area. There will be enough time to exchange money at Narita airport when we arrive in Japan.
Hotel and shops in the airport will accept a credit card. However, we strongly recommend that you contact your credit company before leaving in the U. S. and inquire about any limitations on your card for overseas purchases or cash withdrawals.
If you need to contact a person in the U. S., please make international calls during staying at the hotel or the airport. There are a few public phones in the Head Temple and most of them are domestic calls only.
Time Difference: Japan is 16 hours ahead of US PDT (Pacific Daylight Saving Time)
US PDT time 6:00 am = 10:00 pm Japan time
If you would like to send a card to your family and friends from Japan, there is a post office at the airport. The postage for a card to the U. S. is around $1.50 (90-110 yen).
Those who prefer vegetarian food may want to bring some of your own food. Meals at Head Temple are not vegetarian food. Restaurants on the temple ground can provide some vegetarian food such as vegetable stir-fry, tofu and noodles.
Please bring proper clothes for attending Gokaihi ceremonies and the general meeting.
For men, dress shirt w/ tie, long slacks, jackets (suit or sport coat – sweaters are acceptable) and dress shoes. Shorts, tee shirts and sandals are prohibited
For women, dresses should be of length below or at the knee. Arms and shoulders must be covered. Sleeveless or off-the-shoulder fashion is prohibited unless a sweater or jacket is worn over them.
Jeans and casual clothes are acceptable for free time and staying at lodging temple.
Wear stockings or socks at all times while at the Head Temple.
You are allowed to use a Gongyo stool (zaisu). The height of the stool should be approximately 8 inches (20 centimeters). If you are using a stool, you must bring a small towel to place between the stool and the tatami mat so as not to damage the surface of the tatami.