Takayama Zenkoji Temple in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, has opened its main hall and lodgings for use by local residents, after receiving few reservations for stays since April amid the spread of COVID-19.

Local people are encouraged to visit the Buddhist temple and use the rooms for reading or teleworking between 7:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., as electricity and internet access will be provided. They can also experience shakyō (transcribing sutras by hand) or meditation, as well as receiving counseling by priests.

“We hope the temple will be used as a place to find peace of mind,” said Kaiji Yamamoto, 48, a priest and manager at the temple.