Sign in for a personalized experience.
Japan Guide Homepage
Travel
Living
Forum
Restaurants
Shopping
Jobs
Friends
News
-
Essentials
-
Sightseeing
-
Accommodation
-
Transportation
-
Restaurants
-
Shopping
-
Budget Travel
-
Questions

Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai - Koyasan
Pilgrimage Trails
# 7   of 8 most visited
sights in Mount Koya

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

Daimon Gate

As a popular pilgrimage destination for centuries, Koyasan has been connected to the outside world by a network of pilgrimage trails. While most visitors enter the mountain by cablecar these days, many of the pilgrimage trails still exist and remain in use by hikers who prefer the traditional approach.

The original main approach to Koyasan is along the Koyasan Choishi Michi trail, which begins at Kudoyama Station on the Nankai Koya Line. The trail is marked by stone signposts (choishi) which stand every few hundred meters along the path so that pilgrims can find their way. The markers are numbered (in kanji) in descending order with number one at Koyasan and are formed to represent the five Buddhist elements: earth, water, fire, air and void.

The entire Choishi Michi trail is about 23.5 kilometers long and takes around seven hours to hike. The trip may be shortened by two hours and four hours respectively by starting from the alternate trailheads at Kami-Kosawa or Kii-Hosokawa Stations. The hiking trail ends at the Daimon Gate, a two story tall, crimson gate that marks the traditional entrance to Koyasan, but the markers continue on to the Garan.

Stone trail marker along the Koyasan Choishi Michi trail

A less historic approach, the Fudozaka Trail, leads to Koyasan from Gokurakubashi Station, the lower station of the Koyasan Cablecar. The steep, paved trail is 2.5 kilometers long and takes about an hour to ascend. Considerably less to descend. The trail ends at the Fudozaka-guchi Nyonindo temple hall.

The Fudozaka-guchi Nyonindo is the only surviving of a total of seven Nyonindo (lit. "woman halls") built around Koyasan's perimeter. The halls used to cater to female visitors who were banned from entering the temple town before 1872. A trail, called the Women Pilgrims Course, leads around the perimeter of Koyasan from the Fudozaka-guchi Nyonindo past the ruins of the other Nyonindo to the entrance of Okunoin. It is about seven kilometers long and takes about 2.5 hours to hike.

A more challenging pilgrimage trail is the Kohechi Trail, part of the Kumano Kodo trail network, which connects Koyasan to the sacred shrines of Kumano. Be aware that it is a long and remote mountainous route that takes nearly a week to hike and requires proper planning and equipment to undertake.

Fudozaka-guchi Nyonindo

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
Daimon Gate stands at the western end of the town of Koyasan, about a 10-15 minute walk or short bus ride from the town center. Nyonindo is a 15-20 minute walk or five minute bus ride from the town center in direction of the cablecar station.

How to get to and around Koyasan

Hours and Fees
Daimon Gate
Hours:Always open
Closed:No closing days
Admission:Free

Nyonindo Hall
Hours:8:30 to 17:00
Closed:No closing days
Admission:200 yen

Advertisement

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 Pilgrimage Trails:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  interesting  
User Rating (by 31 users):
89/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 782):
67.  AnimeJapan (Tokyo)   90/100
68.  Sanja Matsuri (Tokyo)   89/100
69.  Gion Matsuri (Kyoto)   89/100
70.  War Memorials (Okinawa Island)   89/100
71.  Ishigaki Island (Yaeyama Islands)   89/100
72.  Pilgrimage Trails (Mount Koya)   89/100
73.  Hasedera Temple (Asuka)   89/100
74.  Kubota Museum (Fuji Five Lakes)   89/100
75.  Keta Taisha Shrine (Noto Peninsula)   89/100
76.  Kokedera (Kyoto)   89/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 913):
546.  Higashiyama Onsen (Aizu)   69
547.  Ouchijuku (Aizu)   69
548.  Sado Gold Mine (Sado Island)   68
549.  Narai (Kiso Valley)   68
550.  Iozan (Akan National Park)   68
551.  Pilgrimage Trails (Mount Koya)   68
552.  Uji Tea (Uji)   68
553.  Katori Shrine (Narita)   68
554.  Kosanji Temple (Onomichi)   67
555.  Porotokotan (Noboribetsu)   67

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 Walking Guide (Koyasan Tourist Association)
Walking guide with detailed maps.

Japanese Links
Koyasan Walking Guide (Koyasan Tourist Association)
Walking guide with detailed maps.

Online Reservations
Hotel
 
Car
 
Flight
 
Bus

(check-in)

Related Pages

Most Recent Autumn Color Report
September 19
Tokachidake
more reports...

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

Related Questions
1 way ticket from Nanka Namba to Koyasan
 7 reactions, last updated 7 days ago
Koguchi lodging
 1 reaction, last updated 12 days ago
Kansai Airport-Koyasan and confused...
 3 reactions, last updated 17 days ago
Temple Lodging in Koyasan
 13 reactions, last updated 17 days ago
How do I get from Uno to Koyasan
 2 reactions, last updated 33 days ago
Koyasan first night in Japan
 3 reactions, last updated 46 days ago
Mt Koya to Tokyo
 4 reactions, last updated 57 days ago
Nankai tickets
 0 reactions, last updated 61 days ago
Mount koyosan
 3 reactions, last updated 77 days ago
Shojoshin-In temple in Koyasan
 1 reaction, last updated 107 days ago
How to go from Kansai airport to Mount...
 2 reactions, last updated 125 days ago
Traveling to Koya-San in the afternoon
 1 reaction, last updated 126 days ago
Tokyo to Koyasan, Koyasan to Kii Tanabe
 3 reactions, last updated 127 days ago
Koyasan bus with luggage?
 2 reactions, last updated 128 days ago
Koyasan via Shin-imamiya (instead of...
 2 reactions, last updated 130 days ago
Kyoto to Mt Koya - 1 day trip
 1 reaction, last updated 152 days ago
About Koyasan World Heritage Ticket
 2 reactions, last updated 152 days ago
Kansai thru pass for Koyasan
 1 reaction, last updated 158 days ago
Choosing shukubo stay
 0 reactions, last updated 170 days ago
Koyasan pilgrim route
 2 reactions, last updated 175 days ago

Travel
Living
Japan A-Z
Community
Sightseeing
Accommodation
Transportation
Shopping
Essentials
Regions
Prefectures
Cities
Working
Studying
Living Cost
Apartments
Arts and Crafts
Entertainment
History
Religion
Etiquette
Food
Language
Tradition
Question Forum
Classifieds
Trip Reports
Member Area
Sightseeing Guide
Hokkaido
Sapporo
Otaru
Hakodate
Noboribetsu
Niseko
Furano
Daisetsuzan
Shiretoko
more...
Tohoku
Sendai
Matsushima
Hiraizumi
Hachimantai
Hirosaki
Lake Towada
Dewa Sanzan
Aizu
more...
Kanto
Tokyo
Yokohama
Kamakura
Hakone
Nikko
Kawagoe
Kusatsu
Narita
more...
Chubu
Nagoya
Mount Fuji
Izu Peninsula
Matsumoto
Kiso Valley
Takayama
Shirakawa-go
Kanazawa
more...
Kansai
Kyoto
Osaka
Nara
Kobe
Himeji
Mount Koya
Kumano
Ise Shima
more...
Chugoku
Hiroshima
Miyajima
Okayama
Kurashiki
Tottori
Matsue
Iwakuni
Hagi
more...
Shikoku
Takamatsu
Kotohira
Naoshima
Matsuyama
Kochi
Tokushima
Naruto
Iya Valley
more...
Kyushu
Fukuoka
Nagasaki
Kumamoto
Mount Aso
Beppu
Kagoshima
Kirishima
Yakushima
more...
Okinawa
Honto
Kume
Miyako
Yaeyama
Copyright © 1996-2014 japan-guide.com All rights reserved - Last Page Update: August 27, 2012
home - site map - privacy policy - terms of use - contact - employment - Lɂ‚ - advertising