The origin story of Koyasan goes something like this. Rather, you can board any Koyasan-bound train from Nankai-Namba station to Gokurakubashi, where you’ll transfer to the Koyasan Cable Car. All of Koyasan's temple lodgings can be booked through the official Shukubo Koyasan website. Experience an overnight temple stay among Shingon buddhist monks. Often described as the most spiritual area of Japan, Mt Koya is home to an active monastic centre founded by Kobo Daishi, and is the headquarters of the Koyasan sect of Shingon Buddism. In the daytime, when the futons are not in use, people fold the futons and store them in closets. When it comes to the many choices you have for a Koyasan temple stay, Eko-in is far and away the most popular option. Like what you're reading? A shukubo is an accommodation facility that is part of a Japanese temple or shrine. Please enjoy your free time before dinner. Planning a trip to Japan, or just dreaming of one? Whatever the case may be, you're in the right place. Most of these lodgings are around popular pilgrimage areas like Kyoto, Mt. Shukubo, or temple stays, began centuries ago when pilgrims were taken in by temples for a night or two. I have visited Koyasan (Mount Koya) in the past but this was my first time to stay at one of Mt Koya’s temples. Koyasan - an overnight temple stay in the embodiment of nature Koyasan is dreamland in the mountains of Japan and a charming escape from the busy cities. Relax in the bath The shikibutons serve in the same manner as mattresses do for Western-style beds. Saizen-in is also arguably even more luxurious than Saizen-in—and you will definitely pay for it. Koya is located in Wakayama prefecture, in the southern part of Japan’s Kansai region, which is also home to Osaka and Kyoto. Suguru and I decided to pair our Koyasan temple stay with a hike up Koyasan, which was both easier than I expected (there are no extreme changes in elevation, nor poorly-manicured sections of trail) and much longer. Koya temple stay is magnificent, but it’s only the beginning of what to do in Wakayama. Let us book flights for you. Why Should You Do a Mount Koya Temple Stay? Please enjoy your staying in Koyasan. Depending on which train you board, the entire journey takes between 2-3 hours, though you should not that it’s not covered by the Japan Rail Pass. The temple is beautiful, and the two nights with traditional breakfast and diner were at a very reasonable price. Tranquility and the beautiful scenery of Japan, as well as abundant spiritual culture such as harmony and zen, lie within. In Buddhism, the taking of any sentient life is wrong, so only vegetarian meals are eaten. Assuming you hike, you’ll have to walk through the incredible Danjo Garan temple complex en route to whichever temple you’re staying at from Daimon. Then people get in between the sheet and the kakebuton and go to sleep. Kukai himself is said to be interred here, though that fact alone isn’t what makes the picturesque and atmospheric Koyasan cemetery worth visiting. Do not wear a bathing suit. Remove your clothes in the changing room (place your clothes/accessories in the basket) This makes sense, of course, when you consider that Kukai founded this place over 1,000 years ago! 3. Read Privacy Policy or view sitemap. After that, sheets are put on the shikibutons and kakebutons are put on top of the sheets. Doing a Mt. Koya doesn’t mean anything on its own—as you may find during your Mt Koya temple stay, it is the so-called “mountain name” of the Kongobu-ji temple that sits atop it. Stay at temple. Enter the bathing room Visitors to Koyasan can experience a unique form of temple lodging called a Shukubo. Wipe your body with a dry towel Put on your clothes In 1832, there were 1,812 temples in Koyasan. My name is Robert Schrader, and I'm a Japan travel expert with nearly a decade of experience under my belt. Temple stays at Koyasan. Japan Starts Here is information—and inspiration—for all your trips to Japan. Koyasan Shukubo Fudoin was a newer, shinier ryokan compared to my other temple stay. My name is Robert and I'm happy you're here! The nights were freezing outside, but their are very good litle heaters in the sleeping rooms and dining rooms (also traditional). That’s because, as I explain in this post (and on the #JapanTravelBan homepage), Japan’s external borders are closed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Commission a custom Japan itinerary! Koyasan literally means Koya (高野) Mountain (山). Doing a Temple Stay in Koyasan (Koyasan Shukubo) The opportunity to do a shukubo (temple stay) in a Mount Koya temple lodging is one of the main reasons travelers are attracted there. Please ask the facility. People also use blankets between their mattresses and quilts when it gets particularly cold. Recently however, Western-style beds and bedding have become popular in Japan, and younger people now tend to use Western-style beds and bedding rather than Japanese futons. Zenkoji (Nagano) PIXTA. After choosing Koyasan accommodation, I did very little research into how to do the Koyasan trek or what to do atop Mt. Wash your body first In addition, it is located near the bus stop and the temples. Koyasan temple stay Saizen-in shares many commonalities with Joki-in, although you’ll find it just north of Danjo Garan as opposed to just east of the temple complex. Fudo-in is in a similar location to Eko-in, but unlike that popular Koyasan accommodation stay, the simple (though recently renovated) rooms here don’t tend to attract throngs of group tourists. The only place to sit was in the (cold) veranda area, otherwise it was on floor cushions at a low table. It wasn’t until May 2018, in fact, that the opportunity finally came up. A huge con, however, is that this is where the vast majority of travelers on group tours stay. If you’re looking for a Koyasan monastery stay that’s closer to Danjo Garan than to the town of Koyasan itself, Joki-in is a worthy choice. Rivaling Mount Koya in high popularity with tourists from overseas are the … Koya (Besides Shukubo), Other Things to Do in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan’s Kansai region, which is also home to Osaka and Kyoto, 8 Amazing Japanese Foods That Aren’t Sushi, The Ultimate Guide to Cherry Blossoms in Japan, Pace yourself and stay the course—there’s only one small tea house to stop about 60% along the way, Buy a bear bell, but don’t worry too much about the threat of bears, Staying in the castle city (and prefectural capital) of Wakayama, Boating into the islands just offshore, like Engetsu-jima. Let’s just say that the monk who mans the check-in counter at Hongaku-in temple was not pleased when Suguru and I arrived after sunset. Nagara in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Miidera Temple (三井 … Temple lodging, or shukubo, is offered in over 50 temples around town and is quite popular among people who are doing the pilgrimage trails. Pour warm water on yourself to rinse away soap Still need help planning your Koyasan adventure? Asia - Koyasan Temple Stay - I am debating between Ichijoin or Ekoin Temples for a 2 night stay. Temples that provide lodging to guests are known as Shukubo. Return to the changing room Please call ahead to the Koyasan Shukubo Association between 8:30-11:00am to reserve a meal. Whether you hike to the top of Koyasan (more on that in literally 10 seconds) or take a quicker, more modern way there, you’re literally participating in a traditional that’s as old as Japan as we know it, and following in the footsteps of the man who founded Koyasan in the first place. Subscribe to email updates. It also happens to be one of the best places to arrange a temple stay. Whether or not you hike or do a temple stay, Koyasan is one of the most unforgettable destinations in Japan. I find that both of these two choices are ideal for older couples who want to fully escape the circus Koyasan can sometimes be in the era of social media (not unlike how Kukai wanted to escape Kyoto). *People with tattoos are generally not accepted in the baths. Robert created Japan Starts Here so the web would have a beautiful hub of Japan travel information and inspiration. I hope reading my stories of traveling to Mt. Furthermore, you can even visit Koyasan on a day trip from Osaka, if staying in a temple isn’t right for you. Next post: 8 Amazing Japanese Foods That Aren’t Sushi. While both offered the same broad features, this temple was aimed more at upscale visitors. We were lucky to have a room with our own bathroom facilities and toilet for our 2-nights stay. Rooms feature tatami-mat flooring, comfortable futon bedding and paper sliding screens. The room seemed a little larger than others we had peeked into. Koyasan is also one of the best places to experience an overnight stay at a temple lodging (shukubo) where you can get a taste of a monk's lifestyle, eating vegetarian monk's cuisine (shojin ryori) and attending the morning prayers. Beautiful building, rooms and gardens, the monks who work there were lovely and it was in a great location right beside the Okunoin's Cemetery. We stayed at Jimyo-in temple, filled with ryokan styled rooms, tatami mats on the floor and futons (traditional styled bed) that are assembled after dinner. Overnight Temple Stay in Koyasan with Guided Walk. I absolutely loved Koyasan - such a magical place. When it is too hot and sticky in the middle of summer, they cover themselves with thin sheets that are made of the same fabric that towels are. He also runs the popular website Leave Your Daily Hell. About Koyasan Koyasan is a basin running 2 km north-south and 4 km east-west, surrounded by 1000m-high mountains, and located in the Kansai region of Wakayama prefecture. My friend Suguru from Tokyo had committed to travel down to Wakayama prefecture with me for the weekend—and to hiking up Mt. Futons are mattresses and quilts that Japanese people traditionally use when they sleep. The price of a stay at Fudo-in also tends to be on the more affordable end—two travelers can stay here with dinner and breakfast for under ¥20,000, total, most nights of the year. Getting there and around From the well-manicured on-site garden to the upscale feel, this is definitely one of the best places to stay in Koyasan. Whether you're seeking information or inspiration, all your trips to Japan start here. Temple guests can enjoy one of Koyasan’s unique foods, Buddhist Vegetarian Cuisine (Shojin Ryori). Mitake in Tokyo, Zenkoji in Nagano and Koyasan in Wakayama. 10. It is one of the holy sites afforded to Kobo Daishi Kukai by the emperor as a place for eternal meditation in 816. The temples all vary, offering many unique experiences which help you get the most out of your trip. Facebook; Twitter; Whats App; Reddit; Email; BROOK SABIN . Mt. Likewise, at some point during your Koyasan temple stay, you’ll want to visit Okuno-in, which you can access by bus. Koya to explore attractions such as Danjo Garan temple complex and Okuno-in, where Kukai himself is buried. The best way to experience Mt Koyasan is to stay overnight at one of their many temples. Japanese people first spread out shikibutons when they get ready to sleep at night. Note that if you want to enjoy shukubo, Koyasan is worth the trek no matter where in Japan you’re coming from! This means that one room can be used as a bedroom, study, living room and so on at different times. Our stay in Koyasan was at the Shukubo Jokiin on half board (dinner and breakfast). Whether or not you take the very long hike up to the top, doing a Koyasan temple stay (also known as shukubo) is one of the most magical experiences you can have. *After bathing, relax and ensure you are hydrated. *You must bathe naked. On the other hand, prices are on the high side, with nightly rates of ¥30,000 (or more) far from uncommon. DAY 2 Mt Koya – Osaka When it comes to a Koyasan temple stay, there are at least a dozen temples offering a shukubo experience. 4. Welcome to Koyasan Jokiin. A large group of us arrived early in the morning at Namba Nankai train station in Osaka and picked up our Mount Koya “free service” pass which would allow us to get a special price on return train fare, free bus fare, and discounted entrance tickets to some of the major temples. The location of the temple is perfect, very close to a bus stop. 9. It took me many years after my first trip to Japan to do a Koyasan temple stay. Neon-bathed streets and Michelin-starred eats, Travel back in time to Japan's ancient capital, A world of Japanese street food starts here, Climb Japan's iconic peak, or just admire its beauty, Enjoy Japan’s seasons in the “Kyoto of the North”, Year-round adventure in Japan’s great, white north, Flowery castles, volcanic lakes and snow monsters, Discover Japan’s most underrated, unexplored island, Trek the trails of Japan’s ultimate hiking paradise, Tropical paradise a short flight from Tokyo. Summary; Including; Map; Accommodation; Gallery; Summary. Brook Sabin 05:00, Oct 06 2019. Futons are made of strong, tightly-woven cloth and cotton stuffing. All prices exclude international flights at the start/end of your trip. He’s one of Japan’s most significant religious figures and his mausoleum is close to the Henjosonin Temple. Morning Ceremony; Sutra Copying; Shojin Cuisine; 15:00 to 17:30 Arrival at Jokiin. Has anyone been to either and any feedback. Both look wonderful with good reviews. 1. A 1000 year-old Buddhist temple, Shukubo Koya-san Eko-in offers Japanese-style accommodation, a beautiful garden and free WiFi. Although I could’ve done without the aforementioned monk scolding Suguru and myself for arriving late, every other part of our experience here was fabulous, from our vegan sashimi dinner, to the simple on-site onsen, to the mystical morning prayers. I chose the traditional Japanese room (small, with paper screen walls). A Visit to the Okunoin Cemetary and an overnight Koyasan Temple Stay, are a must-do for many visitors to Japan, especially those seeking a spiritual experience and an insight into Japanese worship and culture. *Drinking alcohol and bathing is dangerous. How do I get to Koyasan? Let's stay at Japanese temples and shrines! What to Do Atop Mt. It is an incredible experience that gives you the opportunity to get to know the daily life of the monks and to watch over their everyday life for a day. Koyasan temple stay Saizen-in shares many commonalities with Joki-in, although you’ll find it just north of Danjo Garan as opposed to just east of the temple complex. and tips while you stay in Koyasan. 7. Staying in a shukubo Lunch at shukubo temples is available as well, though reservations are required. There are 52 temple lodging options, along the main street. Great hospitality is the backbone of the Koyasan area, with 52 temples opening their doors to travelers. 2. Around fifty temples offer this service to both pilgrims and visitors. Get out of the bath The Shojin Ryori served in Koyasan originates in China, and has been adapted to Japanese tastes and local ingredients by monks over the centuries. This makes the bedding more comfortable to sleep in and also removes mites. 5. People change their quilts and pillows when the seasons turn owing to the changes in temperature that come with the changes in seasons. Comfort levels, amenities and prices vary. One of these temples is Jofuku-in Temple which offers a comfortable experience for both solo and group travelers. 6. Some of my other favorite options include: Additionally, Koyasan temples aren’t the only ones to discover in Wakayama, whether you marvel at the Kumano Nachi Taisha “waterfall temple” or visit underrated Kongobu-ji, which is also home to a tranquil rock garden. The good news, if you’re already in Japan, is that most Koyasan shukubo are open, albeit with certain infection control protocols in place. People use the same mattresses throughout the year. Do not let it enter the bath. Although no Koyasan temple standing today physically existed all those years ago, the town of Koyasan has been continually inhabited since the time of Kukai. A set of Japanese bedding includes a mattress called a shikibuton, a sheet, a quilt called a kakebuton, and a pillow. They are fitted with an LCD TV and a safe. I read several comments about Mt. Koyasan temples offer Shojin Ryori (Buddhist vegetarian meals) to overnight guests. Originally meals for monks, today this cuisine has developed into something more elaborate to be served to guests at temples. Book an overnight stay at a temple. Need help arranging your Koyasan temple stay? Ryokans often run from $300-$500 a night and so we decided to visit Koyasan and stay in a temple to get that traditional inn experience, with a Japanese buddhist experience, rolled in for good measure. As far as temples in Koyasan overall, the numbers is approaching 100. Where to Stay Visitors to Koyasan can experience a unique form of temple lodging called a Shukubo. Miidera Temple (Shiga) Located on Mt. Koya while researching where bloggers complained about the temple stay … Guests are free to attend Buddhist morning services, the Goma fire ritual and meditation. Stay in Koyasan, Shukubo Jokiin As a result, a Koyasan stay is not simply an opportunity to sleep inside a real Buddhist temple, or an Instagram story that will make others gasp in awe. Sleeping in a Koyasan temple is fabulous, but it’s not the only game in town. Guests staying at the Fukuchi-in temple lodging may also relax in hot springs. How far off Japan's beaten path do you dare stray? After drinking alcohol, please wait a while before entering the bath. In accordance with Buddhist teachings, Shojin Ryori is entirely vegan, and is based on the concepts of five flavors, five cooking methods, and five colors. This simple dish made of roasted and ground white sesame seeds boiled together with starch powdered arrowroot is one of the most popular ingredients in Shojin Ryori. This is an important Buddhist sect introduced to Japan by the monk Kobo Daishi in 805. It is very effective to dry the bedding in the sun. 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