Kōya San

Discover travel destinations of travelers writing a travel journal on FindPenguins.
Add to bucket listRemove from bucket list
Travelers at this place
    • Day 52


      October 7, 2018 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      In aller Ruhe spazieren wir durch den großen Friedhof auf dem Weg zum Kobo Daishi Gobyo Mausoleum. Verehrt wird hier der Priester Kukai, der 806 eine besondere Form des Buddhismus aus Chang‘an (Xi‘an) mitbrachte.
      Wir sind wieder genauso fasziniert von der besonderen Atmosphäre dieses Ortes wie bei unserem ersten Besuch 2006.
      Uns beeindruckt auch der Haupttempel von Koyasan Kongobu-Ji mit seinem Steingarten und den bemalten Schiebetüren.
      Read more

    • Day 9

      Nara, Horyuji, koyasan

      September 13, 2015 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      Ce matin réveil à 6h pour découvrir les merveilles de l'ancienne capitale (au 7ieme siecle) Nara. Les biches, considérées comme des messagers sacrées sont en liberté dans les nombreux parcs de la ville dans lesquels les monuments classés par UNESCO sont légions. Les plus marquants sont le boudha cosmique en bronze ( une des plus grands au monde) et le temple l'abritant. Ensuite Horyuji la plus vieille construction en bois du monde. En parfait état ! Ensuite ça se corse Koyasan après 2 trains nous avons encore 1 funiculaire et un bus avant d'arriver pour une nuit en monastère... La suite dans le prochain épisode ...Read more

    • Day 8

      Temple Stay at Jokiin

      March 23, 2018 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 8 °C

      After Danjo Garan, we headed back to Jokiin. Arriving back at Jokiin, we saw two monks chanting on a balcony next to the reception area. This was oddly reminiscent of my stay at a convent in Ruteng, Indonesia where I returned after a day of sightseeing to the sound of singing nuns.

      Shokubo lodging includes dinner. At Jokiin, all meals are shojin ryori (Buddhist vegan, no onions and garlic), supposedly prepared by the monks. When reserving the room, I was given a choice of a one-, two-, or three-tray meal. I chose the two-tray meal and hoped it would be enough.

      Our meal was served to us in our room by a guy I suspected wasn't actually a monk, as his head wasn't shaved (he wore a head covering, though) and he wasn't present at the prayer ceremony the next morning. I was pleased when he didn't offer us alcohol; I'd read about guests at other lodgings being offered alcohol with their meals, and I thought that was odd for a Buddhist vegan meal. The meal was beautifully presented, delicious, and very filling. I suspect many meat eaters would willingly give up meat if they could eat like this every day. We sat on cushions on the tatami mat floor to eat our meal.

      After dinner, a monk came and set up our mattresses on the floor. We chilled a little, then went to the on site onsen. Public bathing is the only option at many of the lodgings. Jokiin did have one shower room, but it was only available for use in the morning.

      After a comfortable sleep, we woke up early and got ready for the 6am morning prayer ceremony. It was cold and there was frost on the vegetation. We went into a beautiful, lantern-lined room and sat in silence as the head priest and four monks chanted for about 30 minutes. Halfway while the chanting was going on, one monk distributed information sheets inviting guests to come up to the altar and offer incense. The sheets also gave instructions on how to do it.

      After the chanting was done, the priest, who introduced himself as Kato, gave us a short history in English of Koyasan and Jokiin, told us about Shingon Buddhism, and explained the features of the altar. He then guided us on a walk around the altar. I only had my iPhone with me; I took a few pictures, but I wanted better quality shots, so I went back to my room to grab my camera only to find the prayer room door shut when I returned.

      Our next activity was breakfast in a communal room. There were about 20 guests in all. While we were eating, our bedding was cleared from our rooms. The message was unspoken but clear - they didn't want us hanging around before check in time and after breakfast. Part of me couldn't help but wonder if the temples opened themselves to travelers out of economic necessity. I also wondered whether, with only five monks (that I was aware of) on site, they had enough resources to prepare the meals themselves, or if the meals were catered. I also wondered how having to cater to guests impacted their daily routines and religious activities, and what their routines would be if they didn’t operate a lodging.

      Read more

    • Day 8


      March 23, 2018 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 5 °C

      Before embarking on this trip, I suspected (correctly, as it turned out), that Kyoto would be overrun with tourists. I knew I wanted to experience a culturally significant site without too many tourists, and I also wanted to experience shokubo (temple lodging). Scanning through travelblog.org, I found that pretty much everyone who had blogged about Mt. Koya had a positive experience there. I decided to investigate further.

      From my initial research, I learned that Koyasan is the spiritual center for Shingon Esoteric Buddhism, and that it has over 120 temples, with a significant number of them offering lodging. The cheaper lodgings seemed to already be fully booked. After some research, I settled on Jokiin, which appeared to be centrally located and had very good reviews. The price was a little steep at USD257 including dinner and breakfast, but it still wasn’t among the priciest ones by far. I took a deep breath and booked a room.

      We left Kyoto at 8.30am on the rapid express train to Osaka. It only took about 30 minutes to get to Osaka Station. There, we transferred to a subway line to get to Namba station, where Nankai, a private railway company, operates from. We each bought a two day pass which included return train journeys and unlimited bus rides within Koya, all operated by Nankai. We calculated that our cost saving with this pass would only be minimal.

      Prior to October 2017, getting to Koyasan used to be faster and more straightforward. A typhoon damaged part of the railway line, so the train now terminates at Hashimoto, and passengers bound for Koyasan are transferred to a bus. The hourlong bus journey took us up winding mountain roads before depositing us at a station. There, we transferred to a local bus to get to Jokiin. We arrived a little past noon. The journey from Kyoto took over three hours in all.

      At Jokiin, we looked for a reception area but found none. We asked a passing worker for help, at which time he opened a sliding door and a friendly woman came out, took our bags, and told us to return at 3pm. As we had a few hours to kill, we walked into town, ate some lunch, looked at some of the temples, and then found a nice hiking trail through pine forests. The short trail ended at Nyonindo. Up until the middle of the Edo period, women were not allowed into the sacred part of Koyasan; they could not go beyond certain points on the outskirts of town. Nyonindo was one of the places where women could stay.

      After looking at Nyonindo, we walked downhill back towards the center of town, explored a few more temples, and checked in for our stay at Jokiin. When we got there, the reception door was open, and a different woman checked us in, showed us around, and explained the schedule of events.

      After checking in, we walked to the nearby Danjo Garan complex, a big, imposing complex with several stupas, halls, and other structures. As Koyasan is at high altitude, it was cold.

      Read more

    • Day 51

      Osaka - Koyasan (70 km, ges. 14.500km)

      October 6, 2018 in Japan ⋅ 🌬 20 °C

      Heute pilgern wir zum Koyasan, dem heiligen japanischen Berg.
      Mit dem Zug geht es los, die letzten Kilometer den Berg hinauf laufen wir.
      Wir wohnen im Guesthouse Tommy mitten im Zentrum des Heiligen Ortes. Abendessen gibt es in einem sehr urigen japanischen Gasthof.Read more

    • Day 58

      Auf dem Weg zum Tempel...

      October 23, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      Hochmotiviert haben wir morgens unsere geplante Reise inkl. 5x Umsteigen angetreten. Der erste Shinkansen brauchte nur 12 Minuten für das 50km entfernt liegende Shin-Osaka. Auf der im Kreis fahrenden Loop-Line in Osaka kann eigentlich nichts schief gehen. Plötzlich standen wir allerdings vor den Universal Studios Japan. Jetzt weiß ich, wie es Matze am Vortag ging, als wir vor dem Eisenbahnmuseum standen und nicht rein gehen konnten, weil es nur noch 40 Minuten geöffnet hatte. :D Irgendwann haben wir auch mal einen Express-Zug erwischt, den wir gar nicht gebucht hatten und wurden freundlich an der nächsten Station wieder abgesetzt. Einem anderen deutschen Pärchen ging es ähnlich, sodass die Weiterfahrt vergnügt weiter ging. Sie endete mit einer Fahrt mit der Standseilbahn, die uns in 800 Meter Höhe auf dem Berg Koyasan absetzte. Nach ein paar Metern Busfahrt standen wir vor unserem Tempel (1h nach der vorgegebenen Check-In Zeit) und ich wurde von einem Mönch direkt begrüßt mit "Julia?". Die 30 japanischen Übernachtungsgäste sind wohl pünktlich gewesen... ;)Read more

    • Day 36

      Koya-san: Part I

      October 7, 2017 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      Located in a 800 meter high valley and surrounded by 8 mountain peaks, Mount Koya is the center of Shingon Buddhism. Kobo Daishi introduced this religion in 805 and started constructing the Dai Garan, a temple complex with shrines and pagodas. His mausoleum including a Buddhist cemetery with more than 200.000 tombstones surrounded by hundreds of years old tall cedar trees attracts tourists and pilrgrims. There is also Kongobu-ji, the headquarters for Shingon Buddhism for more than 4000 temples in Japan and overseas. All very impressive!! Almost half of the 120 temples provide lodgings, Shukubo....Read more

    • Day 274


      November 8, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

      Tantos lugares de Japón que ni sabía que existían... Y este es Patrimonio de la Humanidad! Impresionante esta amalgama de templos en este lugar de la montaña. E impresionante la carretera hasta llegar aquí (r371)Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Kōya San, Koya San, 高野山

    Join us:

    FindPenguins for iOSFindPenguins for Android