Japon

Your journey to Mount Koya

A magical atmosphere 

travel to Mount Koya

Built on top of a wooded mountain at nearly 1000 meters above sea level, Mount Koya’s temples form a village that will transport you to a different world and allow you to enjoy a magical atmosphere. A night spent in one of the mountain’s 117 temples, with asuperb dinner and breakfast of shojin ryori (the monks’s ritualvegetarian gastronomy). Don’t miss the chance to take part inearly-morning prayers at this World Heritage Site.

In recent years, Mount Koya has grown to become a top destination for both foreign and Japanese tourists. However, this religious land, hidden away in the mountain, is still difficult to access.

A CITY DEDICATED TO BUDDHISM

Mount Koya itinerary
Mount Koya is located in Wakayama Prefecture, south of Osaka. It is the center to the Shingon Buddhism, introduced to Japan in the 9th century by the monk Kukai.

Originally a monastery built away from Kyoto, Mount Koya is now a city of more than 100 temples and universities dedicated to religious studies, but also an important meditation place for a lot of pilgrims from all over the world.

Furthermore, it is the starting and ending point of the 88 temples of Shikoku’s pilgrimage.

TO GET THERE WITH THE NANKAI LINE

How to get to Mount Koya
The easiest way to get to Gokurakubashi is to take the private line Nankai from Osaka.  You can take this line from the Namba or Shin-Imamiya stations, to the terminus Gokurakubashi. Only the travellers with Kansai Thru Pass ride this Nankai lines for free. There is a Koyasan World Heritage Ticket which allows you to travel from Namba to Koyasan over 2 days for 3400 yen.

0 KM - NAMBA station

10 KM - SHIN IMAMIYA STATION
Shin-Imamiya Station is accessible by the Osaka Loop Line, which is part of the Japan Rail Pass. There are 5 limited express trains per day that will take you directly to Gokurakubashi for a 1 650 yen fare. It is also possible to take an express or rapid train (departure every 20-30 minutes, 870 yen) that will take you to Hashimoto in less than two hours, from there you will have to take a local train to reach your destination.
Mount Koya cable car
72 KM - GOKURABASHI STATIONThe train station that serves as a gateway to Mount Koya is the Gokurakubashi station on the Nankai line. From this station, the Koyasan (Mount Koya) cable car will take you to the Koyasan stop for 390 yen for a 5-minute journey. Once off the cable car, you will need to take a bus for 10 minutes (290 yen) to Senjuinbashi, the city center where the tourist information office is located.

In Koyasan itself, it is easy to get around on foot, however 3 bus lines serving the main temples and tourist attractions are also available

REACHING MOUNT KOYA WITH THE JR LINES

Visit Mount Koya by JR lines
If you own a Japan Rail Pass you can travel for free on the JR lines. Indeed, reaching Mount Koya with a Japan Rail Pass is possible even if it will take you slightly longer (between 2h and 2h30).

If you are coming from Wakayama, you can reach Hashimoto (before transferring to the Nankai line) by the JR Wakayama line. Please note that there are only local trains on the Wakayama line. You can reach Wakayama from Osaka by taking the limited express JR train called Kuroshio from the Shin-Osaka station (which is your arrival station if you arrive in Osaka by Shinkansen).

Another option from Osaka is to take the Yamatoji line towards Nara, and to change at Oji station for the Wakajama line in order to reach Hashimoto. You can also change for the Nankai line to reach Gokurakubashi.
What to see in Koyasan

What to see ? 
The complex is small enough to go around on foot, so you will naturally run into its principal attractions, the firstof them being the gigantic crimson Dai Mon (Big Gate) throughwhich millions of visitors pass every year. In the center of Koyatown stands the Danjo Garan’s red pagoda with its brightlycolored interior and its five seated, golden buddhas. East of townand surrounded by a forest, the Okuno-in or the Mausoleum of Kukai, Koya-san’s founder, is a must-see.
Learn more with the Visitor information website.
Where to stay in Koyasan

Where to stay ? 
EKOIN 恵光院
Ekoin is located close to the Okuno-in Cemetery.Here you can experience Ajikan meditation and sutra writing.
497 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama, 648-0211
Tel : 07-3656-2514 / www.ekoin.jp/en

SOUJI-IN 総持院
Souji-in allows you to experience a templelodging in comfort and luxury. Surrounded by a Japanese garden,the rooms are prettily decorated with traditional paintings.
143 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama, 648-0211
Tel : 07-3656-2111/ www.soujiin.or.jp

JIMYOIN 持明院
Enjoy a quiet stay in the spacious rooms of thistemple, located only ten minutes away by foot from the Okuno-inCemetery. The meals are vegetarian and prepared by the monksof the temple.
455 Koyasan, Koya, Ito District, 648-0211
tel : 0736-56-2221 /  www.koyasan-jimyoin.com
Where to eat in Koya San

Where to eat ? 
HANABISHI 花菱
Eat as the monks do with a completelyvegetarian set lunch. Located next to the Senjuinbashi bus stop.
Open daily, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (5 p.m. in winter)
tel : 07-3656-2236  / www.hanabishi-web.jp/content/oshinagaki.php

MIYASAN 宮さん Inexpensive Japanese food with an Englishmenu. Located just across the road from Koya-san University,next to the post office.
Open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., closed Sundays  / 07-3656-2827

Your Pass at the best price

National JR Pass From $ 257
JR Kansai Pass From $ 20
JR Kyushu Pass From $ 135
JR Shikoku Pass From $ 67
JR West Pass From $ 171
JR Hokkaido Pass From $ 148
JR Central Pass From $ 126
JR East Pass From $ 234

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