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Temple Spots in Wakayama Area

  • Mt. Koya
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan
    Mt. Koya is sacred ground in Japanese Buddhism that was first utilized by the famed monk Kukai in the Heian period. The entirety of Mt. Koya is regarded as a single temple—the Kongobu-ji Temple—and the mountain is dotted with temples in 117 locations. A veritable mountain-top mecca 900 meters above sea level, over 30 percent of the population of people living on the mountain are priests. Of particular note is the Danjogaran, a temple first built when Kukai opened his main dojo for his esoteric Shingon teachings. The temple grounds contain 19 buildings, including the Konpon Daito tower and gorgeous main sanctuary.
  • Seiganto-ji Temple
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    4.5
    261 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunnachikatsurachou Nachisan 8
    A Tendai sect Buddhist temple which is the first station on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. Once a great Shugendo Shinto-Buddhist temple dedicated to Nachi Falls, it was divided into the Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine and Seiganto-ji Temple with the official order separating Buddhism and Shintoism in the country. The temple has long been a holy place in the Kumano faith, which seeks self-enlightenment through the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage. The temple’s main object of worship, a figure of Cintamanicakra, is said to have been found at the basin of Nachi Falls and enshrined here by Ragyo, a priest who came to Japan from India during the reign of Emperor Nintoku (313-399). The vermillion three-tier pagoda behind the main temple nave harmonizes with the falls and creates a beautiful (and popular) photo spot.

    I didnt venture in, but was all around it trying see best vantage point to incorporate it, the pagoda and falls into a good photo.

  • Okunoin Temple
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    5.0
    1232 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan
    "One of the Two Great Holy Sites of Mt. Koyasan, this land is where Kukai (Kobo Daishi) died while meditating. There is also a mausoleum where Kukai is said to still be meditating today. On the two-kilometer approach path that connects to the mausoleum features cedar trees which are 700 years old, as well as over 200,000 gravestones and memorial monuments of royalty to commoners. The toro lantern tower in front of the mausoleum is a must-see. At the front on the inside, the Kishin lanterns devoted by Kishin shonin and the Shirakawa lanterns devoted by the Emperor Shirakawa have remained burning for over 1000 years as an ""unquenched flame."" The area ahead of the Gobyo bridge closest to the mausoleum is holy land, so taking photographs is prohibited."

    This cemetery is an impressive area to be. Different times, various experiences. During early morning the path to the Tororo temple to join the chanting of the monks (5-7am) or during day time to...

  • Torodo (Lantern Hall)
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    4.5
    40 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 550
    "One of the Two Great Holy Sites of Mt. Koyasan, it was originally built as a hall of worship as a chapel of the mausoleum, and is located in front of the Gobyo (mausoleum) at ""Okuno-in"" where Kukai (Kobo Daishi) died while meditating. Inside, over 20,000 toro lanterns offered by worshipers hang bundled closely together. At the front on the inside, the Kishin lanterns devoted by Kishin shonin and the Shirakawa lanterns devoted by the Emperor Shirakawa have remained burning for over 1000 years as an ""unquenched flame."" In particular, the prayer lamp said to have been devoted by a girl called Oteru who sold her own hair for the Bodhi of her parents is also called ""the lantern of a poor girl."""

    This temple is just in front of the mausoleum of Kobe Daishi Kukai ( the founder of Shogun Buddhism in Japan. It is a place of peace and inspiration, particularly during the morning chanting of the...

  • Kongobuji Temple
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    4.5
    489 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 132
    "The main temple of the Koyasan Shingon sect, this temple is the core of Mt. Koyasan, holy land of the Shingon Esoteric Buddhism founded by Kukai (Kobo Daishi). This place is functioned as temple office for the whole of Mt. Koyasan. The best features include the lacquer paintings of the Kano school and the Unkoku school in the main hall which has a characteristic cypress-thatched roof, and the ""Banryutei"" which is one of the largest stone gardens in the country. In this stone garden, the cloud sea is represented by white pebbles, while two dragons, male and female, are depicted protecting the inner shrine."

    Kongobu-ji temple is the center of the Shogun Buddhist community. There are many temples and subtemples and there is an interesting (huge) Zen Garden. Staff is highly accomodating to visitors.

  • Danjo Garan Temple
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    4.5
    361 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 152
    Together with the Okunoin, one of the two most sacred sites on holy Mt. Koya. It is also the first site where the famed monk Kukai began building in order to erect his main dojo for his esoteric Shingon teachings. The temple is comprised of 19 buildings, including the Konpon Daito tower, the symbol of the temple; the main temple hall, and Goeido hall. The main temple hall, located in the center of the grounds, is the central temple nave of Mt. Koya and almost all of the most important ceremonies on the mountain are conducted here. The temple’s principle object of worship is a figure of Bhaisajyaguru; this statue is a hidden image and is not displayed to the general public.

    Koyasan Danjo Garan is a sacred area with many temples and supporting buildings where Kobo Daishi Kukai started to establish Koyasan as a religious center. Most temples were constructed from 819 on.

  • Negoro-ji Temple Daito Great Tower
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Iwadeshi Negoro 2286 head temple Negoro-ji in
    Located on the grounds of the Negoro-ji Temple, a Shingi Shingon Buddhist temple established by Mt. Koya priest Kakuban, this 36-meter-tall tower is one of the largest such two tier wooden pagoda towers in Japan. Designed to represent the doctrines of Shingon Buddhism, the tower was completed in 1547. Thanks to Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the tower escaped the fires of the Conquest of Kii Province, but the building still bears the marks of bullets fired from matchlock rifles. A designated National Treasure—visitors can also view the inside of the tower.
  • Obaku-shu Gokokuzan Tokoji  Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture hongu Yunomine 113
    A Tendai Buddhist temple located in the Yunomine Onsen area. The temple’s principle object of worship, the three-meter-tall Yunomine Healing Buddha, is said to be mineral deposits from the surrounding hot spring waters which accumulated and took the shape of a Buddha. Some 1,800 years ago, it is said that the famed priest Ragyo discovered the hot spring waters welling forth from a hole in the chest of Bhaisajyaguru, the Healing Buddha. Each year, the Eight Day Festival of Bhaisajyaguru is held on January 8. During the festival, hot spring water is offered in prayer for the prosperity of Yunomine Onsen and the fulfillment of the wishes of worshipers.
  • Dojo-ji Temple
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    4.5
    5 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Hidakagunhidakagawachou Kanemaki 1738
    Located in Kanemaki, Hidakagawa Town, this Buddhist temple was founded in 701 and is the oldest in Wakayama. The temple’s principal object of worship, a thousand-armed figure of Kannon, is over 1,300 years old and one of the oldest in Japan. This and two other designated National Treasures are housed in the temple’s treasure hall, as well as 11 Important Cultural Properties, and four prefecturally-designated Cultural Properties, all of which are viewable by visitors year-round.

    道成寺の本堂は、南北朝時代に建て替えられた二代目のお堂です。 国の重要文化財に指定されています。 堂内には秘仏の千手観音像(重文)が祀られていて、三十三年に一度、春三十三日間だけ御開帳が行われます。 堂々とした佇まいで、桜に彩られて綺麗でした。

  • Karukayado
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    3.5
    51 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 479
    This building is en route to the inner sanctum of Mt. Koya of Koya Town. It is famous for the legend of Karukaya Doshin and his son Ishidomaru. The legend of the Karukaya, who subjected Ishidomaru to strict training without knowing he was his real son, has been the subject of many kabuki and joruri plays.

    This temple is dedicated to the 12th CE story of a young boy in search of his father who became priest in Koyasan. The story is painted on many big paintings. No further explanation is given. The...

  • Kongoho-ji Gokoku-in (Kimiidera Temple)
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Kimidera 1201
    This temple in Kimiidera Temple, Wakayama, was originally founded in 770 AD by Ikou shounin, a travelling priest from China. The two-story pagoda, bell tower, and tower gate on the grounds have been designated Important Cultural Properties of Japan. There are also 500 cherry trees planted on the grounds that are known for being early bloomers. One of the cherry blossom trees planted before the main hall of the temple is used as one of the specimen trees to determine the cherry blossom season.
  • Nyonindo
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    4.0
    61 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 709
    This is a “sanrojo” (prayer space) near Fudozakaguchi, one of the seven gates of Mt. Koya. It used to house women who would visit the mountain to pray before 1872, when women weren’t allowed on the mountain. There used to be similar facilities at all the gates, but this is currently the only one that remains.

    Koyasan used to be a male only place and women were allowed only up to this temple near the entrance to the mountain. Of course that is no longer the case but this temple is a worthwhile place to...

  • Kokoku-ji Temple
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    4.5
    15 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Hidakagunyurachou Monzen 801
    Originally founded as a Shingon-sect temple called Saihouji temple in 1227 this temple in Yura Town, Hidaka County, Wakayama, is now a Rinzai-sect Buddhist temple affiliated with the Myojin-ji school. It converted to a Zen Buddhist temple in 1258 before later becoming a famous temple in the Rinzai-sect. The area is famous as being the birthplace of Kinzanji-miso, soy-sauce, and the shakuhachi bamboo flute. While the temple treasure is kept secret, it is home to other Important Cultural Properties of Japan including a masterpiece seated statue and a silk painting of Master Kokushi, both from the Kamakura period. The Tengu Festival held every January on the Coming of Age Day and the Fire Festival held August 15th always draw large numbers of visitors.

    It is an authentic temple which is surrounded by mysterious and sacred forest. It is established by about 800 years ago to pray for Minamotono Sanetomo, the Japanese Shogun, who was assassinated by...

  • Kozanji Temple
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    4.0
    9 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Inarichou 392
    This ancient temple that overlooks downtown Tanabe is of the Omuro School of the Shingon Sect and is said to be founded be saint Kobodaishi (Kukai). Famous for the Sakura blossoms, many visitors come to worship and enjoy the annual Kozanji Temple Spring Festival. On the grounds is a rare, even for Japan, two-story pagoda honoring Prince Shotoku (known as Uenomiya Taishi), and also a shell mound unearthed from the prehistoric early Jomon period. On the coastal side, are the graves of the biologist, Kumagusu Minakata said to be the father of mycology, and the founder of the self-defense art, Aikido, Ueshiba Morihei.

    有名なお寺というわけではないですけど、庭園はとてもきれいでよかったです。静かな場所ですので、ゆっくりと庭園をみれることができたので気分よくなりました。こういう所が増えればいいのに。

  • Kokawa-dera Temple
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    4.0
    61 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Kinokawashi Kokawa 2787
    This temple is located in Kokawa, Kinokawa City. It is the third pilgrimage site of the “Saikoku Sanjusansho” pilgrimage that takes visitors to various holy sites associated with Kannon. It was constructed at the end of the Nara period in 770 by Otomo no Kujiko. The main temple building was rebuilt in 1720, and it features a very rare design that combines a single-roof worship hall with a double-roof main hall, making it an Important Cultural Property.

    With a morning free in Wakayama, I decided to head to Kokawadera Temple after being recommended by some local Japanese friends. Its a 40 minute drive out of central Wakayama (or 30mins by train to...

  • Kongo Sanmai-in
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    4.5
    45 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 425
    Hojo Masako ordered Kongo Sanmai-in to be built while in mourning for her husband, Minamoto no Yoritomo, and her son, Sanetomo. It is the site of numerous historical Cultural Properties of Japan and the temple is one of the core causes of Mt. Koya being registered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors will be overpowered by the lingering atmosphere of the Kamakura-period that resides in this place. It is five-minutes by cable car from the Nankai Railway Gokurakubashi Station.

    While it’s not necessarily in the itineraries of many of travel to Kansai for the first time, Koyasan is definitely worth a trip away from the giant tourist crowds at Osaka and Wakayama upon a repeat...

  • Jison-in Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkudoyamachou Jisonin 832
    Mirukudo Hall of Jison-in Temple was registered as a part of the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range in 2004, and it was made a Nationally Designated Important Cultural Property in 1965. In addition, the main statue of Mirokubosatsu is a representative work of the Heian period and was designated a National Treasure in 1963. There are also about 100 Jizo statues, and earthen wall that was designated a Prefectural Cultural Property, and more. It’s about a 20-minute walk from Kudoyama Station.
  • Ichiganji Temple
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    4.5
    4 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Nakahechichounishidani 575
    The name Ichiganji means “temple of one request,” and it is dedicated to the bodhisattva Jizo, who is said to grant the requests of those who ask at least once. Since the Buddhist priest who enshrined the statue of Jizo was fond of mustard and sake, people who have a request to make should bring offerings of mustard and sake. The temple’s major festival is held on the last Sunday in February. Votive sake is given to the people in attendance, and at mochi rice cakes are thrown at the end of the ceremony.

    田辺市の山奥にあるお寺です。 一つだけ願いが叶うと言われています。年一回、お願いをしにいっています。なかなか叶いません笑

  • Negoro-ji Temple
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    4.0
    6 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Iwadeshi Negoro 2286
    Negoro-ji is a complex of temples in Negoro, Iwade City. It is the head temple of the Shingi Shingon sect founded over 900 years ago. The large wooden pagoda within the complex has been designated a national treasure and is the only large wooden stupa to have been designated as such. Visitors are welcome to enter inside and look around. The temple is also a famous spot for cherry blossom viewing.

    御朱印を戴きに寺務所に行き、存在を知りました。凝っていなく自然な趣きがよかったです。大きくないので、簡単に見学できます。

  • Konpon Daito
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 152
    This pagoda was erected to serve as a symbol of a Shingon Esoteric Buddhism Konpon Dojo training center. Located on a stage on the grounds of the Kongobu-ji Temple, work on the pagoda began when the great monk Kukai first founded the temple on Mt. Koya and was completed around 887. The pagoda was rebuilt in 1937 to commemorate the 1,100th anniversary of the passing of Kukai. 50 meters tall, the two-story pagoda consists of four sides and 16 bays. Of particular note is the interior structure of the pagoda itself, which is designed as a three-dimensional mandala. The mandala consists of a statue of Dainichi-Nyorai, the principal object of worship, surrounded by the four Buddhas of the Diamond Realm. The 16 internal pillars are decorated with images of 16 Bodhisattvas, while the four walls and corners are decorated with images of the Eight Patriarchs.

Wakayama Main Areas

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Wakayama prefecture unites pilgrims, food lovers, and culture buffs in a tranquil corner of Japan at the base of the Kii Peninsula. The setting for many a Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail, Wakayama invites those in search of spirituality from one side of the prefecture to the other, from the 100-plus Buddhist temples of the sacred Mount Koya in the west to the inspiring temples of the Kumano Sanzan set among breathtaking nature in the east. Once the grueling hike is complete, make a beeline for Wakayama city to savor some of the country’s most delicious ramen noodles.

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