Kongobuji (, Kongōbuji) 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.

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.

Getting there and around

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


8:30 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)


No closing days


500 yen (Kongobuji only)
2500 yen (combination ticket that includes admission to other sights on Koyasan)


Good (audio guide available at the Koyasan Tourist Information Center for 500 yen)

Hotels around Mount Koya

Top rated on Mount Koya
    • Koyasan Guest House Tommy
      Located 500 metres from Kongobu-ji Temple, Koyasan Guest House Tommy in Koyasan provides rooms with air conditioning and free WiFi. This 1-star guest house offers luggage storage space. The guest house features family rooms. At the guest house, each room comes with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. Guest rooms will provide guests with a fridge. Nyonindo is 1.4 km from Koyasan Guest House Tommy. The nearest airport is Kansai International Airport, 40 km from the accommodation.
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    • Koyasan Shukubo Fudoin
      Located in Koyasan, within 800 metres of Kongobu-ji Temple and 1.7 km of Nyonindo, Koyasan Shukubo Fudoin provides accommodation with a garden and as well as free private parking for guests who drive. This 3-star ryokan offers luggage storage space. The ryokan features family rooms. At the ryokan, each room comes with a wardrobe and a TV. Guests at Koyasan Shukubo Fudoin can enjoy a vegetarian breakfast. The nearest airport is Kansai International Airport, 41 km from the accommodation.
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    • Shukubo Koya-san Eko-in Temple
      A 1000 year-old Buddhist temple, Shukubo Koya-san Eko-in offers Japanese-style accommodation, a beautiful garden and free WiFi. Guests are free to attend Buddhist morning services, the Goma fire ritual and meditation. Rooms feature tatami-mat flooring, comfortable futon bedding and paper sliding screens. They are fitted with an LCD TV and a safe. Bathroom facilities are shared, and the public baths are open 16:00-22:00 and 06:00-09:00 daily. Shukubo Temple is close to other ancient Buddhist buildings such as Kongobu-ji Temple, which is a 10-minute walk. The Ichi-no-Hashi entrance to the ancient Okuno-In Temple is a 3-minute walk away. Guests can experience group meditation, and they can write Buddhist texts with a brush and ink on scrolls at their room. They can also go hiking in the scenic surroundings of Koya-san Eko-in. The temple has a lounge with a PC corner. Meals are served at the guest room at scheduled times and feature Buddhist vegetarian cuisine, and gluten-free meals can be requested at an additional fee. Groups of 4 or more persons dine at the Japanese-style dining room, where chairs can be provided upon advance request.
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    • Jokiin
      Located in Koyasan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jokiin offers free private parking. All rooms include a flat-screen TV. Certain rooms have a seating area where you can relax. Rooms have a shared bathroom. Jokiin features free WiFi throughout the property. There is luggage storage space at the property. Guests can participate in the morning prayers upon request. The property is a minute's walk from Kongobu-ji Temple. The temple building is also situated nearby.
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    • Kumagaiji
      A Buddhist temple lodging accommodation, Kumagaiji lies amid mountains in the sacred Koyasan area. It features classic Japanese architecture and a tranquil atmosphere, adjoining a temple built in 837. The property serves traditional vegetarian meals. Featuring minimalist lines and a serene beauty, rooms come with a tatami (woven-straw) floor and traditional futon bedding. A TV and a low table are provided. Bathroom and toilet are shared with other guests. Certain rooms feature garden views. Kumagaiji offers free WiFi in all rooms. A limited number of free tablet rental is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Luggage can be stored at the property at no extra charge. Guests can participate in Buddhist liturgy sessions and Homa rituals in the morning, free of charge. Activities such as Sutra copying and the tracing of Buddhist images are offered at an additional charge. Healthy vegetarian meals are served in the dining room for dinner and breakfast. The property is a 2-minute walk from bus stop Karukayado-mae, which is a 15-minute bus ride from the Koyasan Cablecar Station. The famous Kongobu-ji Temple is a 12-minute walk away.
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    • Sojiin
      Located at the heart of Mount Koya, Sojiin offers Japanese-style accommodations in a Buddhist temple. Vegan meals are served for dinner and breakfast. Sakai is 42 km from Soji. The nearest airport is Kansai International Airport, 40 km from the property.
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    • Yochi-in
      Located in the sacred Mount Koya area, Yochi-in is a historic temple and an accommodation for visitors. Just to the left of entering sanmon gate, there is a stone garden created by the famous Mirei Shigemori and designated a natural monument by the Japanese government. Guests can experience temple activities such as meditation, sutra copying and tracing of Buddhist deities at an additional charge, if reserved in advance. Guests can also participate in morning prayers, which do not require reservation. All rooms at Yochi-in are Japanese-style and feature tatami (woven-straw) floors. Traditional futon bedding, a TV, fan and heater are provided. Bathroom and toilet are shared with other guests. The spacious public baths feature a hot tub. On-site luggage storage is available. Guests with reservations that include a meal can enjoy delicately prepared homemade vegetarian meals featuring seasonal dishes. Convenience stores are located within a 3-minute walking distance from the property. It is a 10-minute walk from the famous Kongobuji Temple. Guests can visit the Buddhist temple, Danjogaran, just a 3-minute walk away.
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    • Koyasan Saizenin
      Located in the sacred Koyasan area, Saizenin offers simple accommodation surrounded by mountains and many temples. Originally developed as a lodging for the templesf pilgrims, it conducts Buddhist services every morning that guests can attend. Nankai Koyasan Train Station is a 15-minute drive away. Fitted with tatami (woven-straw) flooring and traditional futon bedding, each room comes with a flat-screen TV and a seating area. A safety deposit box is also provided. The Koyasan Saizenin features luggage storage and free parking. Kansai International Airport is 40 km away. Nankai Namba Train Station in Osaka is a 2-hour train ride from the proprety. Healthy vegetarian meals are served in the guest room or in the dining room for dinner and breakfast.
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    • Koyasan Zofukuin
      Open from 2017 and located in Mount Koya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Zoufukuin offers a traditional Japanese-style accommodation housed within a Buddhist temple. Guests can reach Zoufukuin in 10 minutes by bus from Koyasan Station to Reihokanmae Bus Stop. Koyasan Reihokan Museum is a minute's walk from Zoufukuin, while Kongobuji is a 5-minute walk away. Koyasan Daishikyokai is a 2-minute walk away and Koyasan University is 5 minutes away on foot. Kansai International Airport is 40 km from the property. All rooms are Japanese-style rooms and include bathrobes. The bathroom is shared. Guests with a meal plan will be provided with local traditional Buddhist vegetarian cuisine. There is a convenience store within a 3-minute walk from the property.
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    • Henjosonin
      Situated in Koyasan, within less than 1 km of Kongobu-ji Temple and a 20-minute walk of Nyonindo, Henjosonin features accommodation with a garden and as well as free private parking for guests who drive. Boasting family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace. The rooms at the guest house are fitted with a seating area and a flat-screen TV. An Asian breakfast is available each morning at Henjosonin. The nearest airport is Kansai International Airport, 40 km from the accommodation.
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