Spots in Mt. Koya Area

  • Okunoin Temple
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    5.0
    1247 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."

    Okunoin Cemetery is really impressive, big, with history. We did the night visit and I thought that its not worth paying to have a guide. They explain you things, but nothing you cant know taking a...

  • Kongobuji Temple
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    4.5
    499 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."

    Kongōbu-ji temple is quite big, with a nice entrance. It has several halls and alleys. Its free and its one of Koyasans highlights. When we were there, it was a rainy and cloudy day so we couldnt...

  • Danjo Garan Temple
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    4.5
    369 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.

    The whole temple area is quite impressive, with lots of templs, halls.. and everything within the nature. If youre lucky, it wont be too crowded. In if youre even luckier, youll have a nice day...

  • Koyasan Reihokan Museum
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    4.5
    159 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 306
    This facility preserves and displays invaluable Buddhist imagery and paintings from temples on Mt. Koya, such as the Kongobu-ji temple, the head temple of Shingon Buddhism. Opened in 1921, the museum's collection currently includes some 28 thousand important works of art, including 21 National Treasures, 143 Important Cultural Properties, and 16 Wakayama Prefecturally Designated Cultural Properties. During the extremely popular Great Treasure Hall Exhibition in summer, the museum displays the Eight Great Youths, a sculpture designated a National Treasure that was carved by Unkei, the greatest Buddhist imagery maker of the Kamakura period.

    Koyasan recently celebrated it 1200th anniversary, and some of the treasures in this museum are that old, loaned from some of the 100 monasteries on this mountain. The museum is small and so displays...

  • 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.
  • Michinoeki (Roadside Station) Kaki no Sato Kudoyama
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    4.0
    69 Reviews
    Transportation
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkudoyamachou Nyugou 5-5
    A rest area located in Kudoyama Town, Ito County, Wakayama Prefecture which is a popular destination from which to explore the area and as a place to buy local souvenirs. The facility hosts the World Heritage Information Center, where you can learn about the World Heritage sites and history of Kudoyama, an area connected to Warring States period samurai Sanada Yukimura. There’s also an outdoor play area with large playground equipment and a market selling local agricultural and specialty products direct from area farmers. The rest area’s bakery and café has an eat-in space where you can enjoy fresh-baked bread, pastas, and other meals.

    Today was the first day of the 2017 Sanada Festival on the grounds of this facility. After opening ceremonies, they had a gun/rifle demonstration by townspeople dressed in the military uniforms of...

  • Niutsuhime Shrine
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    4.5
    59 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkatsuragichou Kamiamano 230
    You’ll find this shrine along Prefectural Route 4 in Kamiamano, Katsuragi Town. Niutsuhime’s child is enshrined here, and it is said that Takanomiko, enshrined in the second hall, transformed into a hunter and led Kobo Daishi to Mt. Koya, who then borrowed Niutsuhime’s holy land to erect a shrine atop the mountain and teach the secrets of Shingon esoteric Buddhism. It is customary to worship here before ascending Mt. Koya.

    This is the obligatory stop for the travels up the Mt Koya. You pray and appease the local mountain deity. There are old cedar trees, and of course the bridge. The temple design is regular shinto.

  • Kumagaiji Temple
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    4.5
    95 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Ito-gun Koyacho Koyasan 501
    This temple was established on the wishes of Prince Kazurawara, the third son of Emperor Kanmu. Although located in Koyasan, the headquarters of Shingon Buddhism, the temple is counted as one the unnumbered temples of the 25 Sacred Sites of Honen Shonin, the founder of Pure Land Buddhism. The temple, which currently serves as lodgings for temple visitors, is adjacent to the Ichinohashi-guchi bus stop that leads to Koyasan Okunoin Temple. The name of the temple comes from the Heian period soldier Kumagai Naozane, who appears in the Tale of the Heike. The temple is where Kumagai performed a memorial service for the young warrior Taira-no-Atsumori, who he slew in single combat. Notable monks such as Honen and Shinran, the founder of Jodo Shinshu (True Pure Land Buddhism) have also stayed at the temple. Honen, Shinran, and Naozane each carved statues of their images reflected in the surface of the temple's well during their visits. Each of these statues was enshrined in the temple's Enkodo Hall.

    Kumagaiji is a temple where you can stay. You sleep in a very spacious Ryokan-style room. Bathrooms and onsen are shared, but very clean. You share your dinner and breakfast with the rest of the...

  • Hamadaya
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    4.0
    97 Reviews
    Shopping
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 444
    This famous sesame tofu restaurant on Mt. Koya, Koya Town, Ito County, Wakayama, has continued for five generations since the Meiji period. It has appeared in travel magazines and TV programs. Sesame tofu is made simply by taking the core of white sesame, and adding kuzu (arrowroot) and water, giving it a thick and slightly oily clear taste. You can take-out or eat-in and try their wasabi soy sauce or wasanbon sugar. The shop closes when it sells out.

    Had lunch in this restaurant. Very good traditional vegetarian food, better than what was offered in Kongo Samnaiin. But it is an expensive lunch even by Japaneese standards.

  • Kudoyama Sanada Museum
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    4.0
    54 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkudoyamachou Kudoyama 1452-4
    A museum located in Kudoyama, Ito County, Wakayama Prefecture which opened in 2016 and which is dedicated to presenting the history of the Warring States period samurai Sanada Masayuki, his son Sanada Yukimura, and grandson Sanada Daisuke. Informational panels and videos present the life of Yukimura during his time in Kudoyama, the area where he spent the majority of his life. The museum also displays paintings and calligraphy by the three men as well as a folding screen which depicts Yukimura fighting in the summer campaign of the Siege of Osaka. In addition to a standing exhibition, the museum also holds special exhibitions irregularly.

    A nice arrangements of displays, mostly of information and illustrations on the wall with some artifacts from the past. No English brochure available but they had many of the wall displays with...

  • Torodo (Lantern Hall)
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    4.5
    43 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."""

    Center of the cemetery and the domicile of Kukais spirit. Large hall lit up by Japanese lanterns. Before entering, you smack some of the incense powder on your hands and bow. Nice but you are not...

  • Katsuragi Onsen Happuno-yu
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    4.0
    31 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkatsuragichou Saya 702
    Katsuragi Onsen Happuno-yu is a hot spring resort in Sano, Katsuragi Town, Ito County. Visitors can bathe in the precious hot spring which has a high salt content as a result from its old seawater source known as fossil salt water. In the restaurant they serve Japanese style meals, rice bowls, noodles, individual dishes and desserts, etc. Banquet packages with hot spring bath included are also available. There are a wide range of facilities on offer including the Mongolian style sauna which visitors can use on arrival.

    We were not sure what to expect but were pleased to find top notch service and a high quality food and Onsen experience. The rooms were a bit drab, but sparkling clean and comfortable. There are no...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Miedo
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    4.0
    43 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Ito-gun Koyacho Koyasan 152
    "The Miedo is a 15.1-meter-depth by 15.1-meter-wide building with a hogyozukuri-style pent roof. An image of Kobo Daishi's ten great disciples is hung in the hall's outer sanctum. The hall, which is located behind Kongobuji Temple's Kondo Hall, was originally built to enshrine Kobo Daishi's personal Buddha statue. After his death, however, an image of him painted by Shinnyo Shinno, one of Kobo Daishi's ten principle disciples, was enshrined in the hall. This is the origin of the name of the hall, which means ""image hall."" The Miedo is considered to be the most sacred place in Koyasan, so regular visitors are not normally able to view the image. However, the outer sanctuary is currently opened to the general public on March 21st in the lunar calendar every year during a ceremony held on the night before anniversary of the death of Kobo Daishi."

    Has burned down frequently, last re-built in 1848. Holds a ninth century portrait of Kobo Daishi, not accessible to the public. In fact, the only part of the building that can be visited in open only...

  • Roadside Station Kinokawa River Manyo no sato
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    3.5
    21 Reviews
    Transportation
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkatsuragichou Kubo 487-2
    This roadside station is approximately three minutes by car from JR Nishi-Kaseda Station. It's located on National Route 24 in the area where 15 of the poems in the eighth century Manyoshu collection were composed. Koyasan is to the west of the facility, and there are mountains to the north and south, too. The Kinokawa River is right nearby, making it a starting point for hiking, fishing for ayu sweet fish, and other leisure activities. The local favorite persimmon leaf sushi can be purchased as a souvenir from their shop, and it's also available as part of the meal sets at their restaurant.

    犬を連れていたので散歩にもってこいです。色とりどりのパンジーが咲き乱れていました。芝生にシートを引いて、家族連れがランチをしていました。目の前の紀ノ川の眺めもいいです。物産店で柿の葉寿司とサンドイッチを買って、我々もベンチの座ってランチタイムを過ごしました。春のぽかぽか陽気で気持ち良かったです。

  • Roadside Station Kushigaki no Sato
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    3.5
    12 Reviews
    Transportation
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkatsuragichou Taki 53-1
    Located along National Route 480, Kushigaki no Sato Roadside Station opened in 2017. Its primary mission is to serve as a community center for the local residents, and it offers a large rest area where visitors can eat and drink. In addition to specialties as dried persimmons, the roadside station deals in a wide variety of local food ingredients, which make suitable souvenirs of the area. Fukumimi Bakery, a branch of a bakery in Iwade City, sells varieties of bread that can be found nowhere else. There is also a restaurant where visitors can try Kishu Plum Udon, a variety of noodle with plums kneaded into the dough for noodles. The various shops at this roadside station are closed on different days.

    The Nabetani Tunnel newly opened to traffic, which has made the drive from Osaka to Mt. Koya easier, smoother, and faster. I found this roadside rest stop with a farmers market and a restaurant the...

  • Niu Kanshobu-jinja Shrine
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    3.5
    38 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkudoyamachou Jisonin 835
    This shrine is located in Jison-in in Kudoyama Town and was built in 816 by Kobo-Daishi (Kukai). Legend has it that he was guided to Mt. Koya by Kariba Myojin’s white and black dogs, and these dogs are now worshiped as divine messengers who guide the living. The area was designated a World Heritage Site in 2004 called the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.”

    I attended the Sanada Festival and happened to be in the area of the information center. This old temple is a short walk from the information center. The stairs are adjoining the Jison-in Temple...

  • Roadside Station Katsuragi Nishi
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    3.5
    16 Reviews
    Transportation
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkatsuragichou Kasedahigashi 1271-28
    This roadside station is about 15 minutes by car from Hashimoto Interchange and 20 minutes from Iwade Negoro Interchange. It's on National Route 24 and is the only parking area on the Keinawa Expressway. Katsuragi Town has a very temperate climate, perfect for producing chestnuts, peaches, and a variety of other fruit. Their shop sells seasonal produce grown by local farmers, as well as souvenirs such as walnut kurumi mochi sweets (a local favorite), fruit juice, and Wakayama ramen noodles. Their restaurant serves Wakayama ramen too, as well as persimmon leaf sushi.

    ここのICで降りる際に道の駅があったので立ち寄りました。清美など色々な種類のミカンを買いました。そしてソフトクリームも。ミルク感が濃かった。300円です。買い物は今ならキャッシュレスで5%還元でした。全部で2000円ちょい買い物しました。レストランも併設されていました。

  • Fuzen
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    4.0
    28 Reviews
    Shopping
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 712
    A long-standing namafu wheat gluten block specialty shop located in the Koyasan area in Koya Town, Ito County, Wakayama Prefecture which was founded in the Edo Bunsei period. Cherished since long ago as the only namafu shop in the Koyasan area, Fuzen supplies pilgrim’s lodging facilities in the area with traditional namafu, an essential part of Buddhist vegetarian cuisine. The sasa-maki anpu, sweet strained bean paste wrapped in namafu mixed with Japanese mugwort, is a popular souvenir for tourists visiting Koyasan. The chewy texture, elegant sweetness, and invigorating aroma of mugwort and bamboo grass make this famed sweet an irresistible treat.

    関西は生麩のお菓子多い気がします。 特に京都等も生麩有名ですし。 笹巻あんぷと言いよもぎ入の生麩でこしあんを包み熊笹で包んで有ります。 よもぎと笹の香りが清々しい。 生麩も柔らかく、 こしあんも甘過ぎず良いですね。

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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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