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Mt. Koya

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Shrine of Kongobuji, Mt.Koya

About Mt. Koya

Mt. Koya or Koya-san is located in the northeastern part of Wakayama and is in Koya-Ryujin Quasi-National Park. Together with two other locations on the Kii Peninsula (Yoshino and Omine, and Kumano Sanzan), Mount Koya is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the group “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range”.
It is most conveniently accessed from Osaka or Kyoto.

  • Buddhist temples
  • Stay at a temple to experience the special vegetarian food, and maybe meditation too


On the peak of Mt. Koya, surrounded by mountains, is Kongobu-ji Temple, the head temple of Koya-san Shingon (Esoteric) Japanese Buddhism. Founded by Kobo Taishi, it has a 1200-year-long history. There are more than 120 temples in this area, making Mount Koya a major centre of Buddhism in the country.


Other buildings and structures of interest are the 25-metre high Dai-mon Gate, the main entrance to the temple and and an Important Cultural Property; the temple structure complex, National Treasure, and the Danjo-garan complex. The Koyazan-Reiho-kan Treasure House exhibits important Buddhist artifacts.
The lodging facilities provided by the temple for pilgrims are also available for general visitors. The food served is shojin-ryori – literally “monks’ food” – special vegetarian food using only vegetables, cereals and seaweed and avoiding meat and fish.
Some of the temples offer a chance to experience zazen, a kind of Zen Buddhist training.

Practical information:

  • From Osaka Shin-Imamiya Station to Gokurakubashi Station by train and cablecar to Mount Koya (1h50)

Mt.Koya on our Google map

Our packages including Mt. Koya


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