Updated: May 12, 2018
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Mount Koya For a Spiritual Experience in Wakayama, Japan

Wakayama

Mount Koya is a beautiful region in Wakayama prefecture, that is accessible easily from Kyoto or Osaka. For those who are spiritually inclined, this is a wonderful place to visit. You can even stay overnight to experience the life of a monk. You can find below reservation information as well.

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Mount Koya

In Wakayama Prefecture, you can experience an unforgettable spiritual experience. Up in the mountains, surrounded by over 100 temples, you can lose yourself in the beauty of the area, and hopefully find yourself too.
You can stay at one of the Buddhist temples and experience the life of a monk for a short while.
Mount Koya is home to Shingon Buddhism, a sect founded in the 9th century. Shingon believes that wisdom can be developped through special rituals.

Temples

The most important temples at Koya san are Kongobuji, the main temple of Shingon Buddhism, and Okonuin, the area of Kobo Daishi's tomb.

If you are looking for a very different experience, you can stay a night at a temple (shukubo) in order to experience the life of a monk. You can taste vegetarian monk cuisine (shojin ryori), attend morning prayers and meditate.

Accomodation

In order to make reservations, you can click on the link below. You can make a reservation online directly with the Mount Koya Shukubo (temple lodging) Association.
You have to reserve 7 days in advance, and you cannot reserve for a group of 10 or more through the site.
You can either make a reservation by email or fax.

Directions

From Osaka: It is very easily accessible with the Nankai Railways from Osaka's Namba or Shin-Imamiya stations. You can take the Nankai Koya line until Gokurakubashi terminal station (the direct trains takes 80 minutes, 1650 YEN; the express takes 100 minutes, 870 YEN).
Once at Gokurakubashi, you can take the cable car which will take you up Mount Koya (about 5 minutes, 390 YEN). After that, you can take a bus to the town center. Please note that it is not allowed to walk on the road which leads to the town center.


From Kyoto: From Kyoto, you simply have to take the JR special rapid train from Kyoto to Osaka station (about 30 minutes). You then change to the KR Osaka Loop Line to Shin-Imamiya station (15 minutes). From there, you simply have to follow the directions mentioned above (from Osaka).
Lili Wanderlust
I love traveling and discovering new cuisines. Japan has a panoply of local dishes to try. I also love yoga, coffee, reading, and cycling.

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