As the mausoleum of Kobo Dashi, founder of Shingon Buddhism, Okunoin Temple is the most important site in the Koyasan (Mount Koya) complex and one of the most important temples in Japan. Also known as Kukai, Kobo Dashi is said to rest in a state ‘eternal mediation’, awaiting the Miroku Nyorai or ‘Future Buddha’. The temple acts as the start and end point of the ‘Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage’ and can be approached from one of two directions.
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…
Ichinohashi Bridge is the traditional approach to the temple, a 2 kilometre forest path that leads pilgrims and visitors past more than 200,000 tombstones. The second approach starts from Okunoin-mae Bus Stop, less than a kilometre from the temple. The Gobyobashi Bridge separates the inner sanctum – including the stunning ‘Hall of Lanterns’ – from the rest of the temple grounds. Please note that photography, food and drinks are forbidden from that point onward.
Always open / Hall of Lanterns: 06:00 to 17:00
Most visitors traveling to and from Koyasan (Mount Koya) will use the cablecar 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. Okunoin-mae is the nearest bus stop to the temple