Explore Koyasan (Mount Koya)

Explore Koyasan (Mount Koya)

As the centre of the Shingon Buddhism, Mount Koya or ‘Koyasan’ is one of Japan’s most important centres. Founded in the 9th century by the monk Kukai – one of the most significant historic and religious figures in Japan’s history – ‘Koya-san’ is an immense temple settlement spread through the forests of Mount Koya.


Shingon Buddhism was first introduced to Japan in the 9th century, by Kobo Daishi. Also known as Kukai, he is a preeminent figure in Japanese history. The Koyasan complex includes his mausoleum – Okunoin Temple – which acts as the start and end point of the ‘Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage’.


Notable temples within Koyasan include Okunoin Temple, Kongobuji Temple and Garan among many others. In recent years, staying in a temple lodging – called ‘shukubo’ in Japanese – is an increasingly popular activity for international visitors, regardless of faith or background.  Over fifty temples offer lodgings – a truly insightful and memorable experience while visiting one of Japan’s most important religious centres.


Information regarding accommodation in and around Mount Koya can be found through our ‘Mount Koya Area’ hotel page.


Accessible throughout the year

Most visitors traveling to and from Mount Koya will use the cable-car running from/to Gokurakubashi Station. The ride takes only 5 minutes / JPY500 and operates between 05:30 and 22:30 (approximately). To reach Gokurakubashi, take the Nankai Koya Line from Namba Station or Shin-Imamiya Station in Osaka. Please note, once visitors have arrived at Mount Koya they are not permitted to walk into the town centre but must instead use a bus or taxi


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