Kongobu-ji is the most important temple in the Koyasan (Mount Koya) complex. Constructed during the 16th century, it is the head temple of Shingon Buddhism. As the most important temple of the Shingon Buddhist sect, Kongobu-ji ranks as one of the most important Buddhist temples in all of Japan. Its construction was commissioned by Toyotomi Hideyoshi – the second ‘Great Unifier of Japan’ – in the in late-16th century commemoration of his mother. The original structure was later reformed and joint with a neighbouring temple to become the principal temple of the Shingon sect and focal point of Koyasan temple complex.
15 Things to Do Around Koyasan (Mount Koya) & Where to Stay
Centre of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, Koyasan is one of Japan’s most impo…
While the façade is not as grand of some of Japan’s other great temples, the interior Kongobu-ji is truly beautiful with visitors able to move through the ‘Ohiroma Room’ lined with gilded ‘fusuma’ (sliding doors), the ‘Plum Room’ and ‘Willow Room’ also featuring elaborately painted fusuma and onto the Banryutei Rock Garden – the largest rock garden in Japan. The expansive and manicured grounds are punctuated by large stones rising from the racked peddle floor, representing two dragons emerging from a sea of clouds. Kongobuji is conveniently located in the town centre and nearby Garan.
08:30 to 17:00 (last entry 16:30)
Most visitors traveling to and from Koyasan (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. The temple is conveniently located in the town centre, a 5-minute walk from Senjuinbashi intersection