Temple stays are the latest travel trend in countries like Korea and Japan, where tourists can live life as a monastic, if only for one night. But at least one priest isn’t happy about the uptick in picky non-adherents.
Over the summer, Shingon priest Daniel Kimura got into some hot water after virtually lashing out at tourists who left less than glowing reviews of their stay at Japan’s 1,100-year old Sekishoin shukubo (temple lodging), where he manages guest services.
“Yeah, it’s Japanese monastic cuisine you uneducated f***,” Kimura responded to one booking.com review that described his temple’s fare as “quite unlike any food I’ve ever tasted.”
This outburst, along with Kimura’s other colorful responses to criticism about the accommodations (at $140 per night), went viral after a reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press tweeted screenshots. (His responses containing expletives have since been deleted.)
Kimura, who was born in the United States and is a Japanese citizen, sort-of apologized in an interview with the Guardian, promising to tone down the intensity of his counter-reviews in the future. But he still expressed annoyance at “arrogant” tourists who make no efforts to say hello or exchange basic pleasantries in Japanese. (In defense of templestay travelers, we should point out that the Sekishoin shukubo’s booking.com page says: “We speak your language!”)