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:Free

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 35 users):
89/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 792):
68.  Matsuyama Castle (Bitchu-Takahashi)   90/100
69.  Nachi Taisha (Kumano)   90/100
70.  Ishigaki Island (Yaeyama Islands)   90/100
71.  Gion Matsuri (Kyoto)   89/100
72.  Mount Misen (Miyajima)   89/100
73.  Pilgrimage Trails (Mount Koya)   89/100
74.  AnimeJapan (Tokyo)   89/100
75.  Enkoji Temple (Kyoto)   89/100
76.  War Memorials (Okinawa Island)   89/100
77.  Hasedera Temple (Asuka)   89/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 925):
538.  Miho Museum (Koka)   76
539.  Usuzan Ropeway (Lake Toya)   76
540.  Government Ruins (Dazaifu)   76
541.  Kirishima Shrine (Kirishima)   74
542.  Ouchijuku (Aizu)   74
543.  Pilgrimage Trails (Mount Koya)   74
544.  Amano Iwato Shrine (Takachiho)   73
545.  Merchant District (Kakunodate)   73
546.  Mount Shirane (Kusatsu Onsen)   73
547.  Katori Shrine (Narita)   73

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

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

Related Questions
Paying on arrival at Koyasan
 3 reactions, last updated 4 days ago
Yes another temple stay question
 3 reactions, last updated 4 days ago
How to travel to three shrines from...
 1 reaction, last updated 5 days ago
Temple morning service at Hoonin
 3 reactions, last updated 7 days ago
Koyasan temple stay
 14 reactions, last updated 7 days ago
Best way to get to Koyasan from Kyoto
 1 reaction, last updated 23 days ago
Icoca for Koyasan travel - can be used?
 2 reactions, last updated 24 days ago
Kintetsu Rail Pass covers Koya-san ?
 1 reaction, last updated 28 days ago
Reserve a seat for Koya from Namba
 4 reactions, last updated 49 days ago
Is it worth to visit Mount Koya
 7 reactions, last updated 64 days ago
Driving from Osaka to Koyasan
 2 reactions, last updated 67 days ago
Koyasan to Nara?
 1 reaction, last updated 98 days ago
Koya Leaves
 1 reaction, last updated 98 days ago
Route 53 to Koyasan still closed?
 1 reaction, last updated 103 days ago
Advice on Okunoin in Koyasan
 3 reactions, last updated 118 days ago
Nankai koya line
 1 reaction, last updated 127 days ago
Lunch at Koyasan
 2 reactions, last updated 130 days ago
From Osaka to Mount Koya?
 1 reaction, last updated 132 days ago
1 way ticket from Nanka Namba to Koyasan
 7 reactions, last updated 139 days ago
Koguchi lodging
 1 reaction, last updated 144 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 © 1996-2015 japan-guide.com All rights reserved - Last Page Update: December 8, 2014
home - site map - privacy policy - terms of use - contact - employment - Lɂ‚ - advertising