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Travel / Tourism Spots in Mt. Koya Area

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • Koyasan Reihokan Museum
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    4.5
    155 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    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.

    We bought the attractions pass from the tourist information center and this was included. Its a small museum but has a very nice displays of statues, books and paintings from monasteries...

  • Yochiin Temple
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    4.0
    107 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Ito-gun Koyacho Koyasan 293
    This lodging temple located next to Koyasan's Chumon gate offers accommodations to visitors. The temple was founded during the Kamakura period by Imperial Prince Kakuho, the fourth son of Emperor Shirakawa. The temple would be visited by Emperor Gosaga, who was so impressed by the sight of the cherry blossoms reflected on the garden pond that it would lead to the characters in the temple's name being changed. The temple's main hall is a rare example of surviving Kamakura period building. The temple serves shojin ryori (the traditional vegetarian cuisine of Japanese Buddhist monks) as well as alcoholic beverages such as Japanese sake and beer. The temple is also conveniently located next to sightseeing spots such as the Danjo Garan and the Reihokan Museum. Visitors can invigorate their mind and body at the temple's early-morning religious services before heading off to enjoy sightseeing in Koyasan.

    We arrived a little later than we should have... but the young moms who greeted us were charming and very hospitable. Our room was clean and the futons on the tatami floor were perfectly comfortable...

  • Koyasan Daishikyokai Temple sutra copying and precept instruction
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    4.0
    89 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 347
    Visitors to sacred Mt. Koya can engage in a variety of esoteric Shingon practices, such as copying sutras and being instructed in the precepts of Buddhism. Sutra copying can be conducted after learning how it is performed. First, participants rinse their mouths, after which they light incense and perform a ceremony before copying the Heart Sutra. Sutra copying costs 1,000 yen and may be dedicated to someone. Being instructed in the precepts requires a 500-yen entry fee. During the instruction in the sutras, visitors listen to the 10 Bodhisattva Precepts in a pitch dark temple hall. Both sutra copying and instruction in the precepts may be participated in with a same-day reservation.

    This is a big hall where many people can come together to worship the founder of Shogun Buddhism in Japan and of Koyasan,Kobo Daishi Kukai (774-834)

  • Michinoeki (Roadside Station) Kaki no Sato Kudoyama
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    4.0
    68 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    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
    57 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.

    Despite its relative remoteness definitely wirth a visit. Great landscape settings. The old bridge is actually open to the public and has some wooden pieces attached to help visitors retain their...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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
    41 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."

    Before he started his eternal meditation in 835, Kukai (774-835), or Kobo Daishi, used to use the building as a Buddhism training hall for himself. Before the entrance into the eternal meditation...

  • 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...

  • 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.
  • Kumagaiji Temple
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    4.5
    24 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.

    We stayed at Kumagaiji for one night and it was definitely one of the highlights of our trip to Japan. We were warmly welcomed and given all of the information that we needed. Our room was warm...

  • Roadside Station Kinokawa River Manyo no sato
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    3.5
    19 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    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.

    なかなか売っていないジャバラ製品が置いてあります。花粉の時期が終わってもジャバラ製品が残っていました。通販で買うより安いし、ここはジャバラの穴場かと。

  • Roadside Station Katsuragi Nishi
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    3.5
    15 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    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.

    京奈和自動車道を使用し和歌山へ行ってきました。 京奈和道は名のごとく、京都・奈良・和歌山を結ぶ有料道路ですが京都から奈良までが有料区間で奈良からは無料区間となっています。途中この「道の駅かつらぎ西」まではPA・SAがなく初めての休憩所です。なので、もちろん走ってのトイレ休憩です。「かつらぎ町商工会アンテナショップ」とのことで新鮮な野菜や果物など特に柿は大小沢山の種類を販売しています。また和歌山ラー...

  • Roadside Station Kushigaki no Sato
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    3.5
    11 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    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...

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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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