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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai
Koyasan (Mount Koya) 
# 39   of 179 destinations
in our travel guide

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Okunoin

Mount Koya (高野山, Kōyasan) is the center of Shingon Buddhism, an important Buddhist sect which was introduced to Japan in 805 by Kobo Daishi (also known as Kukai), one of Japan's most significant religious figures. A small, secluded temple town has developed around the sect's headquarters that Kobo Daishi built on Koyasan's wooded mountaintop. It is also the site of Kobo Daishi's mausoleum and the start and end point of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage.

Kobo Daishi began construction on the original Garan temple complex in 826 after wandering the country for years in search of a suitable place to center his religion. Since then over one hundred temples have sprung up along the streets of Koyasan. The most important among them are Kongobuji, the head temple of Shingon Buddhism, and Okunoin, the site of Kobo Daishi's mausoleum.

Koyasan is also one of the best places to experience an overnight stay at a temple lodging (shukubo) where you can get a taste of a monk's lifestyle, eating vegetarian monk's cuisine (shojin ryori) and attending the morning prayers. Around fifty temples offer this service to both pilgrims and visitors.

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Attractions
 1  Temple Lodging
Overnight at a Buddhist temple.
User rating: 95/100 (186 votes)
Visited by: 293 users
 2  Okunoin Temple
Temple where Kobo Daishi is enshrined.
User rating: 93/100 (222 votes)
Visited by: 371 users
 3  Kongobuji Temple
Head monastery of the Shingon sect.
User rating: 82/100 (188 votes)
Visited by: 339 users
 4  Garan
Koyasan's central temple complex.
User rating: 81/100 (133 votes)
Visited by: 238 users
 5  Reihokan Museum
Displays many of Koyasan's cultural treasures.
User rating: 76/100 (26 votes)
Visited by: 60 users
 6  Pilgrimage Trails
Hiking and walking trails to and around Koyasan.
User rating: 89/100 (35 votes)
Visited by: 77 users
 7  Daishi Kyokai
Center offering Buddhist activities and lectures.
User rating: 80/100 (60 votes)
Visited by: 128 users
 8  Tokugawa Mausoleum
Koyasan mausoleum of the Tokugawa family.
User rating: 78/100 (64 votes)
Visited by: 124 users
 

Access and Orientation
Access and Orientation
How to get to and around Koyasan.

Koyasan World Heritage Ticket
A special ticket for visiting Koyasan.

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Hotels and Ryokan

Tours and Packages
Mt. Koya Tours
Tours and packages for Mt. Koya, including convenient guided tours and a package with lodging at popular temple Fukuchi-in.

User Ratings
Ratings for Mount Koya:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  best of the best  
User Rating (by 373 users):
93/100
  highly recommended

Best rated destinations (out of 167):
3.  Yakushima   96/100
4.  Miyajima   96/100
5.  Tokyo   95/100
6.  Mount Fuji   95/100
7.  Ogasawara Islands   95/100
8.  Mount Koya   93/100
9.  Okinawa Island   93/100
10.  Alpine Route   93/100
11.  Shirakawa-go   93/100
12.  Kamikochi   91/100
Most visited destinations (out of 179):
34.  Izu Peninsula   869
35.  Aso   837
36.  Kawagoe   730
37.  Kurashiki   721
38.  Dazaifu   699
39.  Mount Koya   695
40.  Karuizawa   687
41.  Matsushima   659
42.  Furano   658
43.  Shirakawa-go   620

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

English Links
Koyasan Tourist Association
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Koyasan Tourist Association
Official website.

Online Reservations
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Related Pages

News and Reports
November 8, 2012
Koyasan Autumn Color Report
by schauwecker
Koyasan Autumn Color Report
November 16, 2010

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