2023 Hawaii Soto Mission Buddhist Study Tour

ATTENTION: Please contact Rev. Shuji Komagata at 808-224-2584 or 7676shuji@gmail.com  if you have any questions. 

2023 Hawaii Soto Mission Buddhist Study Tour

Dates: Friday, May 26, 2023 to Friday, June 2, 2023

Destinations: Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area

Tour cost: $1,600 (airfare not included)


You are invited to join the 2023 Hawaii Soto Mission Buddhist Study Tour.  The tour begins at Los Angeles Zenshuji Soto Mission’s centennial celebration (also commemorating 100 years of Soto Zen Buddhism in North America) and will explore the richness and diversity of Buddhism in California.  Coordinated by the Hawaii Soto Mission Bishop’s Office and sponsored in part by the Hawaii Soto Mission Association, the 2023 Hawaii Soto Mission Buddhist Study Tour will visit eleven Buddhist temples and Zen Centers in Los Angeles and the Bay Area over the course of a week.  Additional activities include museum visits, sightseeing, wine tasting, shopping, and eating delicious food California is famous for. 

Currently, there are only 15 slots open for this trip. 

Additional tour seats may be added.

Don’t delay.  Register today!


$1,600 per person.  Tour costs include ground transportation, hotel accommodations at the Miyako Hotel Los Angeles (2 nights) and the Handlery Union Square Hotel (5 nights), 2 lunches, 4 dinners, monetary offerings at 10 temples and Zen Centers, and wine tour.  (Price based on double occupancy.)  A $200 non-refundable deposit is due by January 15, 2023.  The balance of $1,400 is due by January 31, 2023. 


Tour cost does NOT include air transportation.  You are responsible for booking your own airplane tickets.  However, if you need assistance in booking your flights, please contact Rev. Shuji.  He will be happy to help book the flights for you.  The flights chosen for the tour itinerary are listed below.  If you decide to fly on a different flight/airlines, please contact Rev. Shuji to arrange when and where you can join the tour group.

Friday, May 26*                 Honolulu (HNL) – Los Angeles (LAX): Hawaiian Airlines, Fl 10; 7:50a – 4:40p

Sunday, May 28                 Los Angeles (LAX) – Oakland (OAK): Southwest Airlines, Fl 704; 6:30p – 7:45p

Friday, June 2                     San Francisco (SFO) – Honolulu (HNL): Hawaiian Airlines, Fl 11; 8:55a – 11:25a

*Same day flights are available from the neighbor islands to HNL.


Registration is now open through January 15, 2023.



Step 1: go to www.sotomission.com/registration to register online.  Rev. Shuji will contact you via phone call that your registration was received and accepted.

Step 2: Once you have received confirmation from Rev. Shuji, you may book your flights.  If you need assistance, please contact Rev. Shuji.

Step 3: Send in your $200 non-refundable tour deposit.  Deadline: January 15, 2023.

Mailing address: Soto Mission of Hawaii, 1708 Nuuanu Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96817. 

Please make check payable to: Hawaii Soto-Shu Head Office.

Step 4: Send in your tour payment balance of $1,400.  Deadline: January 31, 2023.

Mailing address: Soto Mission of Hawaii, 1708 Nuuanu Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96817. 

Please make check payable to: Hawaii Soto-Shu Head Office.


  1. You may choose to fly on the airlines of your choice. However, it will be your responsibility to meet up with the rest of the group following the itinerary.    
  2. Discounts and refunds will not be issued for any deviations from the itinerary.  
  3. The last day to receive a full refund (excluding airfare) is April 1, 2023.
  4. The last day to receive 50% refund (excluding airfare) is April 24, 2023.
  5. The tour cost is based on hotel double occupancy.  If you would like to book a single occupancy room, please contact Rev. Shuji directly.
  6. Please be aware that aside from travel insurance you can obtain for your airline tickets, there is no travel insurance offered for this trip.
  7. Luggage: While in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, we will be traveling by minivan.  Due to limited space, you will be allowed one large suitcase, one hand carry-on, and one personal item (purse, handbag). 


Some of the temples and Zen centers may have active mask and COVID-19 vaccination requirements between 5/26/23 and 6/2/23.  Please be prepared to wear a facemask and attest to your up-to-date vaccination status.


Sat 5/27:

Zen Center of Los Angeles

Located in the heart of LA, ZCLA Buddha Essence Temple was founded in 1967 by Taizan Maezumi Roshi, and has provided the teachings and practice of Zen Buddhism to all who come and go through its temple gate.

Hsi Lai Temple

Situated in Hacienda Heights in the Los Angeles County, Hsi Lai Temple is one of the largest Buddhist temples in North America. The temple’s foundational ideology is Humanistic Buddhism which seeks to propagate Buddhist teachings through education, cultural outreach, community services, and spiritual practice. 

Japanese American National Museum

As the national repository of Japanese American history, JANM creates groundbreaking historical and arts exhibitions, educational public programs, award-winning documentaries, and innovative curriculum that illuminate the stories and the rich cultural heritage of people of Japanese ancestry in the United States. 

LA Zenshuji 100th Anniversary Banquet Dinner (Dinner included)

Join members and friends of Los Angeles Zenshuji, as they celebrate the 100th Anniversary of its historic temple.   

Sun 5/28:        

LA Zenshuji 100th Anniversary Celebration Service

Soto Zen Buddhism North America 100th Anniversary Celebration

Keizan Zenji Symposium (Tentative)

Luncheon (included)

Travel: LAX to OAK (Southwest Airlines Flight 704 6:30p – 7:45p)

Lodging: Handlery Union Square Hotel

The Handlery Union Square Hotel blends the timelessness and charm of early 20th century San Francisco with modern character and comfort to create a setting that few hotels can equal. Each of its 377 rooms and suites provides a warm, inviting oasis for business travelers, leisure guests, families, and couples.

Mon 5/29:

Fisherman’s Wharf and sightseeing in San Francisco or FREE DAY

Tue 5/30:

Muir Woods National Park

Walk among old growth coast redwoods, cooling their roots in the fresh water of Redwood Creek and lifting their crowns to reach the sun and fog. Federally protected as a National Monument since 1908, this primeval forest is both refuge and laboratory, revealing its relationship with the living landscape. 

Green Gulch Farm Zen Center

Founded in 1972, Green Gulch Farm Zen Center is a Soto Zen practice center located near Muir Beach that practices in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki. In addition to its Zen training program, the center also manages an organic farm and gardens.

Sonoma Mountain Zen Center (Lunch included)

Sonoma Mountain Zen Center is a Soto Zen practice center in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi.  The temple is dedicated to the act of Zazen, with its residents training in a monastic schedule and hosting events and retreats for a wider community of spiritual practice. The temple sits at the top of Sonoma Mountain, one hour north of San Francisco Bay Area, overlooking ancient oaks, redwood groves, and the Valley of the Moon.

Benziger Family Winery Tour and Wine Tasting (Tour included)

Benziger Family Winery focuses on three things: family, great wine, and healthy vineyards. For more than thirty years, they’ve farmed their ranch on Sonoma Mountain and searched Sonoma County for the most distinctive and expressive vineyards. Once found, Benziger tends these sites using certified Biodynamic, organic and sustainable farming methods. The result is a portfolio of authentic and memorable wines.

Golden Gate Bridge and Viewpoint

(Dinner included)

Wed 5/31:

San Francisco Zen Center (City Center)

San Francisco Zen Center was established in 1962 by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi and his American students. Suzuki Roshi is known to countless readers as the author of the modern spiritual classic, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.  The City Center, located in the vibrant heart of San Francisco, offers daily meditation, regular monastic retreats and practice periods, classes, lectures, and workshops.

San Francisco Sokoji Soto Mission

Through the efforts of Rev. Hosen Isobe and Japanese American volunteers, Soto Mission of San Francisco, Sokoji, was founded in 1934.  The temple reflects a Japanese architectural style, both in the interior and the exterior. Sokoji has continued to be a place for not only the Japanese American community but for all people of different backgrounds to practice their Soto Zen beliefs and Zazen (Zen meditation).

Soto Zen Buddhism International Center

The office of the Soto Zen Buddhism International Center is located at San Francisco Sokoji Soto Mission.  The International Center serves as a research and resource center for both Soto Zen Buddhism in North America and Japan.

Thu 6/1:

Berkeley Zen Center

Berkeley Zen Center is a Soto Zen Buddhist practice center located in Berkeley, California currently led by Hozan Alan Senauke. BZC was founded in 1967 by Sojun Mel Weitsman and Shunryu Suzuki as a satellite group for the San Francisco Zen Center.  Today, BZC houses a small group of residents who live on site. BZC has an active community and a full schedule of Zen service, student talks, dharma talks, and zazen.

Buddhist Churches of America Headquarter, Institute of Buddhist Studies, & Jodo Shin-Shu Center

The Jodo Shin-Shu Center is a Buddhist Church in Berkeley and is also the headquarters of Buddhist Churches of America (also known as the Honpa Hongwanji in Hawaii).  This religious center is also the home of the Institute of Buddhist Studies, an affiliated graduate school of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.

IKEA Shopping

Oakland Kojin-an (Soto Temple)

Kojin-an means “Good People Hermitage.” It’s a second home to many people committed to bringing the spirit of Zen practice into daily their lives.  This humble temple was built similarly to neighborhood and family temples all over Japan. It’s a lovely space to practice within in the company of friends.

Farewell Dinner at Yoshi’s (World Famous Restaurant and Jazz Club) (included)

Fri 6/2:

Travel Day: SFO to HNL (Hawaiian Airlines Flight 11 8:55a – 11:25a)