Today I visited Engaku-ji temple in Kamakura (see my blog article of May 20, 2012) for Zazen or zen meditation. Engaku-ji provides zen meditation introductory course (1 hour) for absolute beginners every Saturday from 13:20. No reservation is needed, but it is better to arrive early, as it often gets crowded and no late comers are admitted.
Although there are many places in Japan or elsewhere that provide zen meditation courses for beginners or experienced zen practitioners, I highly recommend Engaku-ji. This is because it is not only the zen meditation itself which brings a tranquility to your mind, but also the beautiful zen gardens and the old buildings of the temple which help you feel the unity with the nature, even with the universe.
One drawback of visiting this temple is that it still does not have an English webpage, or instructions on how to get started zen meditations written in English. Considering that many foreign tourists, notably from the US and Germany visit this temple, this is a bit strange. Although a map with explanations in English is available at the entrance of the temple, it is better to study this temple, zen, and/or how to mediate (Zazen) beforehand, by checking some website of zen practice. Note: Engaku-ji belongs to the Rinzai sect of Japan's zen buddhism, and their way of zazen is different from the Soto sect the followers of which include Steve Jobs.
Engaku-ji provides zen practice (Zazen) session for both beginners and non-beginners. For the schedule, visit the following website (in Japanese):
Posted on Saturday 26 May 2012