Everything But Nirvana: The Authentic Leadership Journey of a Japanese Buddhist, Shoukei MATSUMOTO

Temple Cafe @ Komyoji

Kamiyacho Open Terrace at Komyoji Temple is packed during lunch time (12:00-13:00).

I am sure you will relax and enjoy at my temple. In 2005, we opened a brand new project, "Kamiyacho Open Terrace" at Komyoji. Before the project, though we had been welcoming people at the temple, the number of visitors was not so much.

But I really loved the ambience at Komyoji and wanted to let people know and visit it. And I finally came up with an idea by chance. When I walked around the temple, I found that there are so many cafe shops around and all cafes are packed with no exception.

"Oh, this cafe is very much packed, while my temple is empty. Why? My temple's space is much more comfortable, peaceful and relaxing, isn't it? Hmmm, I guess the difference comes from people's notion for temple and cafe. In these days, most people do have a behavioural pattern in their mind regarding how to enjoy at a cafe. But unfortunately, they don't have an idea about how to enjoy at a temple.


So we tried to modify a part of temple's site so that the place looks like an open cafe. We arranged tables and chairs.


And if you make a reservation beforehand, you will get "Omotenashi" or welcoming service such as offering tea or coffee, and sweets made by a Buddhist priest (not me!). In addition, if you like, you can ask us any question or concern in your life. The master at Kamiyacho Open Terrace will kindly hear you.

By the way, I recently noticed that many of cafes were closed around my temple. Starbucks, Tully's coffee etc. I am wondering our Open Terrace's prosperity might force them to close their cafe shops. We have been unintentionally competing with cafe industry. Excuse me!


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>>Profile Born in 1979 in Hokkaido, after the graduation from The University of Tokyo, Keisuke Matsumoto has worked in Komyoji Temple Tokyo for 7 years. As a head of Young Buddhist Association of Komyoji Temple, he launched new initiatives like Temple Cafe Project and Twilight Music Festival. After studying MBA in India, he is teaching "Temple Management" in Japan.