Koyasan 高野山

  • Published on : 01/12/2021
  • by : R.Z. / O.F.
  • Rating :
    3/5

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Mount Koya: A religious city with centuries-old traditions

Arguably the most mystical, sacred mountain in Japan, Koyasan can't be described but must be experienced. A religious city long closed in on itself, its spiritual temple-inns and forest of funerary grounds beckon for those who dare. 

Pilgrimage and tourism to Mount Koya

Koyasan has been open to tourism since the middle of the 20th century. The temples practicing shukubo, accommodation, reserved for pilgrims, quickly transformed into hotels with modern rooms equipped with televisions. The commodification of the sacred has not spared Mount Koya and it is not uncommon to see monks driving behind the wheel of their luxury cars. Today, accommodations at Mount Koya quickly sell out in spring and autumn.

Yet the spirit of Koyasan is still very much present. With its modernization, the community still lives out of time. The local specialty, gomadofu, is still made according to the oldest traditions at the Hamadaya boutique and in 2004, the city was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Even the most discriminating visitors cannot deny the unique and deeply spiritual experience of Koyasan. You will never see Koyasan the same way after even a day of visit.

Les moines de Koyasan

Les moines de Koyasan

Hanna Eberhard on Unsplash

How to get around Koyasan?

  • By bus

There are local bus services between the cable car station and Ichi-no-hashi. Another option for getting around is by renting a bicycle from the Koyasan tourism office.

  • By car

Car rental is a good option for exploring Koyasan and the nearby Kumano Kodo area. Car service can be hired or car rented at Nanki-Shirahama Airport and Kii-Tanabe Station. The trip from the Kii-Tanabe station to Koyasan typically takes three hours.

Koyasan, Wakayama

Koyasan, Wakayama

Laurent Gence on Unsplash

Our activities in Koyasan

  • Duration : 4 hour
  • Location : Koyasan
  • Duration : 1 hour
  • Location : Koyasan
Discover all our activities in Koyasan (2)

Our tours in Koyasan

  • Duration : 14 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Hakone Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Osaka
  • Included : English-speaking tour leader, 3*/4* Hotels & Ryokan, Hotel temple, Visits & meals
  • Duration : 21 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Hakone Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Osaka, Kobe, Takachiho, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Miyajima
  • Included : English-speaking tour leader, 3*/4* Hotels & Ryokan, Hotel temple, Visits & meals
  • Duration : 13 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Hakone Mt Fuji, Hiroshima, Osaka, Koyasan, Kyoto
  • Included :
  • Duration : 15 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Kawaguchiko, Matsumoto, Kanazawa, Kyoto, Koyasan, Osaka
  • Included : Airport Transfers, 3* Hotels & Ryokan, Hotel temple, Non-flight transportation, Guided activity, Travel diary, Pocket wifi, Assistance
  • Duration : 14 days
  • Locations : Tokyo, Hakone Mt Fuji, Kyoto, Koyasan, Osaka, Hiroshima, Kanazawa, Tokyo
  • Included : Airport Transfers, 3* Hotels & Ryokan, Hotel temple, Non-flight transportation, Guided activities, Travel diary, Pocket wifi, Assistance
See all our Tours (5)

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