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Some temples in Japan, especially in popular pilgrimage destinations, offer temple lodgings (hV, shukubō) to visiting pilgrims and tourists. Temple lodgings offer an excellent chance to get a taste of the simple, traditional lifestyle of Buddhist monks.

Koyasan is one of the best places in Japan to experience a night at a temple, with more than 50 temples in town serving as shukubo. Unlike in other parts of Japan, the temples on Koyasan are accustomed to foreign guests and can be reserved relatively easily through Japanese Guest Houses, Japanican or by email or fax via the tourist association. The typical cost for a stay is between 9,000 and 15,000 yen per person and night, including dinner and breakfast. Most temples accept cash only.

Temple lodgings typically offer simple, private, traditional Japanese rooms with tatami floors, sliding doors (fusuma) and shared toilets and sinks. Bedding is provided in form of futons that are spread on the tatami floor during the night. During winter gas heaters provide warmth.

Try to arrive at the temple no later than 17:00, as dinner is usually served relatively early around 17:30 or 18:00. Dinner and breakfast feature vegetarian monks' cuisine (shojin ryori) with specialties such as konnyaku (devils tongue jelly), yuba (tofu skin) and koyadofu (freeze dried tofu).

Guests are also invited to participate in morning prayers which typically start around 6:00am, last for about 30-45 minutes and are followed by breakfast around 7:00. Some temples also hold a meditation session in the late afternoon. During your stay you may also view the temple's cultural treasures, halls and garden, as well as enjoy its communal, gender-separated baths.

Getting there and around

Temple lodgings are spread across the entire town of Koyasan.

How to get to and around Koyasan

Hotels around Mount Koya

Top rated on Mount Koya
Budget:
    • Guest House Suzumeno Kakurembo
      Budget-friendly
      Set in Koyasan and within 37 km of Tama Museum, Guest House Suzumeno Kakurembo features a restaurant, non-smoking rooms, and free WiFi. This 2-star guest house offers luggage storage space. Itakiso Shrine is 44 km from the guest house and Jodo-ji Temple is 44 km away. Guests at the guest house will be able to enjoy activities in and around Koyasan, like hiking. Kishi Station is 37 km from Guest House Suzumeno Kakurembo, while Matsushita Park is 44 km away. The nearest airport is Kansai International Airport, 60 km from the accommodation.
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    • Koyasan Guest House Tommy
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring 1-star accommodation, Koyasan Guest House Tommy is located in Koyasan, 38 km from Tama Museum and 38 km from Kishi Station. The 1-star guest house has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and free WiFi. The property is non-smoking and is situated 45 km from Matsushita Park. At the guest house, rooms are fitted with a desk and a flat-screen TV. At Koyasan Guest House Tommy each room comes with bed linen and towels. The accommodation offers a ? la carte or American breakfast. Itakiso Shrine is 45 km from Koyasan Guest House Tommy, while Jodo-ji Temple is 45 km away. The nearest airport is Kansai International Airport, 61 km from the guest house.
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    • Koyasan Syukubo Ekoin Temple
      Mid-range
      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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    • Koyasan Shukubo Fudoin
      Mid-range
      Located in Koyasan, within 39 km of Tama Museum and 39 km of Kishi Station, 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 includes a wardrobe. Each room comes with air conditioning, a safety deposit box and a flat-screen TV, and certain rooms at Koyasan Shukubo Fudoin have a balcony. At the accommodation all rooms have bed linen and towels. Guests at Koyasan Shukubo Fudoin can enjoy a vegetarian breakfast. Matsushita Park is 45 km from the ryokan, while Itakiso Shrine is 45 km away. The nearest airport is Kansai International Airport, 62 km from Koyasan Shukubo Fudoin.
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    • Sojiin
      Luxury
      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
      Budget-friendly
      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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    • Jokiin
      Mid-range
      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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    • Koyasan Saizenin
      Mid-range
      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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