There are several locations where you can meditate with the monks for free.
Shrines and Kami are an integral part of Japan’s state religion Shinto. The Japanese Emperor, the Tenno, is the head of that religion.
Shrines are called Taisha in Japanese, while Buddhist Temples are always ending with a -Ji meaning tempel. This is how you can easily differentiate shrines and temples when you read their names.
Red Stamp Book – 御朱印帳 – Goshuinchou
A diary style book that can be purchased at every Temple. Monks will then place a red stamp and a beautiful calligraphy message in it for a small fee at each temple you visit. The best souvenir from Japan.
Paper (Washi Paper)
There is several spots in Japan that practice the ancient art of Japanese Paper making.
There are endless variations of the volcanic hot spring fed bath houses. Once you have been to one, especially during the cold months, I promise you this will be the part most missed when you leave Japan.
The concept might seem strange to foreigners, but the hotels are everything else than shady. Besides being the retreat for couples from the tight constraints of Japanese society, it’s also a cheap opportunity for the traveler to have a shower and nap in a real bed.
In Kyoto thers is a lot of agencies that rent out historical Japanes clothing to tourists. You can walk the streets as geisha or samurai. It normally costs around 3000,- yen (30 EUR) a day.
Most Onsen provide you with a yukata, the traditional Kimono, men and women wear in the hot springs. You are allowed to wear those on the street too in Osen towns to walk from one Onsen to the next.