What is Naikan Therapy?

Naikan Therapy is one of several therapies born in Japan.

It is a way of self-discovery and self-renewal by asking yourself three questions for seven days straight from 5am-9pm in a small space enclosed by a folding screen.

It is a meditative method created by a man named Ishin Yoshimoto about 60 years ago.

The word “Naikan” means “looking inside/within”.
By looking inside of yourself, you can acquire “self-understanding” and “self-improvement”, which can inspire you, or offer solutions and answers for the problems you suffer.

The Naikan Therapy practice is now applied in mental and health treatments.

For some people, such as nurses, doctors, students, teachers, businessmen, homemakers, entrepreneurs, governors, lawyers, professors, etc., it appears to be a spiritual practice for people seeking a better “me”.

For others, who suffer from troubles with people/relations such as marital/family conflicts, school truancy, delinquency, etc. or from illness, Naikan is a kind of psychotherapy.


How to practice?

It is the act of sitting in a small space separated by a folding screen in a comfortable position.

Devote yourself to self-examination on the following three themes:

* what you have received from a particular person in your life
* what you have returned to that person
* troubles, worries and difficulties you’ve caused that person in relation to significant people in your life:
starting with your mother, father, spouse, siblings and continuing on to others.

Divide these relationships into 3-5 years in chronological order, put yourself in their shoes, and try to recollect concrete facts as clearly as you can.

A Naikan counselor visits you and gives a short interview every one or two hours for three to five minutes, and asks you what you have examined.

This process is repeated eight or nine times a day.

You should answer the concrete facts and feelings you remembered about one person such as:

“When I was in the fourth grade, I asked my mother to get me a popular game as my birthday present. We were poor at that time, but she took me to a toy shop by bus with my little sister, and she bought me the game, which cost her 100 dollars. With that money, she’d have been able to buy enough bread for a week. I took it for granted that she would buy me a present, and I soon got board of the game. That is something I should have apologize for. I don’t think I returned anything to her for those times.”

Concrete, clear memories should be retrieved to put yourself in their shoes.

At the beginning of some days, you may not be able to remember many things or want to return home.

It is always the case that clients get a picture of the therapy on the fifth or sixth day.


How much?

70,000JP yen for 7-day therapy(including stay, meals, and tax)
3,000JP yen for heating from Nov.-Apr.
2,000JP yen for sheets, towels, and a pillow cover (for rental).

Start 3pm on Sunday, and end 12pm on Saturday

Comfortable clothes for sitting in a certain position all day should be needed.
Your health insurance card for when you need to see doctors during therapy, just in case.
We have shampoo, conditioner, soap, and a hair drier.
Anything other stuff you need to spend seven nights here should be brought with you.

Our meals are Japanese style foods. If you need to request your individual menu, tell us your preference when applying.

After your 7-day Naikan session, you can request cleanse yourself at one of the local hot springs.

*7-day session is now not available, but 1 day workshop is held for experience.  Please contact us ahead.

Contact details

Interviewer: Akiko Tanaka (090-8948-4979)
Address: 163 Matsushiro, Matsushiromachi, Nagano-city, Nagano  Japan   P.C.381-1231
Email: info@matsushiro-naikan.com