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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai - Koyasan
Kongobuji Temple 
# 2   of 8 most visited
sights in Mount Koya

jump to:   access  -  admission  -  ratings  -  tours  -  links

Kongobuji was originally constructed in 1593 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi to commemorate the death of his mother. Later it was merged with a neighboring temple and reorganized into the head temple of Shingon Buddhism, the sect introduced to Japan by Kobo Daishi in 805 and headquartered on Koyasan.

After entering the building, taking off their shoes and paying the admission fee, visitors will first come across the Ohiroma Room which was used for important rituals and religious ceremonies. The room's gilded sliding doors (fusuma) are adorned with cranes painted by Kano Tanyu. Next to the Ohiroma Room are the Plum and Willow Rooms, named after the paintings on their sliding doors. Toyotomi Hidetsugu committed ritual suicide in the Willow Room as ordered by his uncle Hideyoshi.

Ohiroma Room

A long corridor then leads to a more recently added wing of the temple complex, where visitors are invited to enjoy some tea and a cookie in a large tatami hall. An adjacent building features rooms whose sliding doors (fusuma) are decorated by 20th century paintings of seasonal flowers and the story of Kobo Daishi, his journey to China and his founding of Koyasan. Behind the building is the Banryutei Rock Garden, the largest rock garden in Japan. Built in 1984, its large rocks from Shikoku, the birthplace of Kobo Daishi, represent a pair of dragons emerging from a sea of clouds.

Upon returning to Kongobuji's main building, visitors pass by the extravagant Jodannoma Audience Room which was used for receiving visiting dignitaries. The room's walls and sliding doors are gilded in gold and the ceilings feature carved flowers. The visit ends in Kongobuji's kitchen with its enormous hearth and kamado stoves large enough to feed up to 2000 people.

Banryutei Rock Garden

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
Kongobuji stands in Koyasan's town center, a five minute walk from the Senjuinbashi intersection and just a few steps from the Garan.

How to get to and around Koyasan

Hours and Fees
Hours:8:30 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)
Closed:No closing days
Admission:500 yen (Kongobuji only)
2000 yen (combination ticket that includes admission to other sights on Koyasan)
English:Good (audio guide available at the Koyasan Tourist Information Center for 500 yen)

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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 Kongobuji Temple:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 180 users):
82/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 782):
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301.  Imperial East Gardens (Tokyo)   82/100
302.  Chaya Districts (Kanazawa)   82/100
303.  Imperial Palace (Tokyo)   82/100
304.  Kongobuji Temple (Mount Koya)   82/100
305.  Matsuyama Castle (Matsuyama)   82/100
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228.  Open Air Museum (Hakone)   327
229.  Kongobuji Temple (Mount Koya)   325
230.  Aoba Castle (Sendai)   324
231.  Tokyo Game Show (Tokyo)   322
232.  Sanzenin Temple (Kyoto)   320
233.  Inuyama Castle (Inuyama)   316

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English Links
Koyasan Shingon Buddhism
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Koyasan Shingon Buddhism
Official website.

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