Mount Koya

Not far from the hustle and bustle of Japan’s third largest city, the holy mountain known as Koya-san is one of the most peaceful spiritual centres in the country. Mount Koya is the heart of Shingon Buddhism and the resting place of the sect’s founder, perhaps Japan’s best known Buddhist, known as both Kukai and Kobo Daishi.

The eight forested peaks of Mount Koya reach eight hundred metres into the clouds, surrounding the high plateau with a sense of serenity. Boasting over one hundred temple complexes, the area offers a welcome respite from the heat and crowds of Osaka or Kyoto.

A number of the many temples provide temple-stays or shukubo for travellers. Staying on Mount Koya is one of the best ways to experience Buddhist life in Japan: bathing before a dinner of traditional shojin-ryori, and rising with the birds for the morning prayers with the monks. Visitors need not be Buddhist to experience shukubo stays, and the Koya-san temples are particularly welcoming. Into Japan Specialist Tours is more than happy to include a temple stay on Mount Koya as part of your trip to Japan.

Accommodation in Mount Koya


With its roots in the 12th Century, Souji-in is a well established Koyasan temple and has been accepting guests since 1994. All rooms have a private Western style toilet and some have a private bathroom and unlike many Mt Koya...


Hongaku-in temple is surrounded by five unique gardens and is located at the centre of beautiful woodlands. Delicious ‘Shojin Ryori’ (vegan) meals are served when staying here and the temple is a good base from which to explore Mt Koya.

Sekisho-in Temple

The mountaintop settlement of Koyasan is one of the best places in Japan to stay overnight in a temple and experience Buddhist morning ceremonies. More than 100 temples surround the center of esoteric Shingon Buddhism, and some 50 temples open...


Henjoson-in is a temple located beside Reihokan Hall and just in front of the lotus pond of the Garan. The temple's 25 guest rooms provide customers with a TV, coffee and yukata. Hot spring baths are also on offer, including...

Fudo-in Temple

One of Mt Koya’s smaller temples, Fudo-in is located between the Mt Koya Visitor Centre and Okuno-in Cemetery. The temple is well known for its refined, welcoming atmosphere and peaceful setting, which is perfect for meditating. Join the morning prayer...

Daien-in Temple

Centrally located, Daien-in temple is one of the oldest religious places in Koyasan. Originally named Tamon-in during the 10th century, the temple became famous for the statue of Amida Nyoria. Guests can attend the daily morning chanting Buddhist ceremony before...