Let's stay at Japanese temples and shrines! Rooms feature tatami-mat flooring, comfortable futon bedding and paper sliding screens. Originally, these were simple lodging for monks, however the number of these lodgings expanded greatly in the Edo period due to the increase in visits by pilgrims. Assuming you hike, you’ll have to walk through the incredible Danjo Garan temple complex en route to whichever temple you’re staying at from Daimon. The room seemed a little larger than others we had peeked into. *Lightly dry yourself with the towel before leaving the bathing room, to avoid water dripping in the changing room. Doing a Mt. This is an important Buddhist sect introduced to Japan by the monk Kobo Daishi in 805. Robert created Japan Starts Here so the web would have a beautiful hub of Japan travel information and inspiration. Let’s just say that the monk who mans the check-in counter at Hongaku-in temple was not pleased when Suguru and I arrived after sunset. Wash your body first Overnight Temple Stay in Koyasan with Guided Walk. Let us book flights for you. In 1832, there were 1,812 temples in Koyasan. Which brings me to the best Shukubo Koyasan has to offer, at least for individual travelers seeking an authentic, tranquil experience: Hongaku-in. Koyasan Shukubo Fudoin was a newer, shinier ryokan compared to my other temple stay. Asia - Koyasan Temple Stay - I am debating between Ichijoin or Ekoin Temples for a 2 night stay. Suguru and I decided to pair our Koyasan temple stay with a hike up Koyasan, which was both easier than I expected (there are no extreme changes in elevation, nor poorly-manicured sections of trail) and much longer. Lunch at shukubo temples is available as well, though reservations are required. They use thin quilts during the summer season, and thick ones during the chilly seasons. A Visit to the Okunoin Cemetary and an overnight Koyasan Temple Stay, are a must-do for many visitors to Japan, especially those seeking a spiritual experience and an insight into Japanese worship and culture. Koyasan, Japan: Stay in a 1000-year-old temple. After drinking alcohol, please wait a while before entering the bath. Brook Sabin 05:00, Oct 06 2019. 1. Book an overnight stay at a temple. After that, sheets are put on the shikibutons and kakebutons are put on top of the sheets. When it comes to the many choices you have for a Koyasan temple stay, Eko-in is far and away the most popular option. Facebook; Twitter; Whats App; Reddit; Email; BROOK SABIN . Japan Starts Here is information—and inspiration—for all your trips to Japan. All prices exclude international flights at the start/end of your trip. Relax in the bath Wipe your body with a dry towel We stayed in Eko-in Temple in Koyasan and it was fantastic. Please ask the facility. Koya doesn’t mean anything on its own—as you may find during your Mt Koya temple stay, it is the so-called “mountain name” of the Kongobu-ji temple that sits atop it. But the travel (usually from Osaka or Kyoto) via train, cable car and … The good news, if you’re already in Japan, is that most Koyasan shukubo are open, albeit with certain infection control protocols in place. Enter the bathing room Whether you hike to the top of Koyasan (more on that in literally 10 seconds) or take a quicker, more modern way there, you’re literally participating in a traditional that’s as old as Japan as we know it, and following in the footsteps of the man who founded Koyasan in the first place. Has anyone been to either and any feedback. Words, images and design ©2018-2021 Robert Schrader, All rights reserved. As a result, a Koyasan stay is not simply an opportunity to sleep inside a real Buddhist temple, or an Instagram story that will make others gasp in awe. Get out of the bath Many people suggested that we stay in a ryokan, or traditional Japanese inn, while in Japan. Although no Koyasan temple standing today physically existed all those years ago, the town of Koyasan has been continually inhabited since the time of Kukai. Remove your clothes in the changing room (place your clothes/accessories in the basket) Whether or not you hike or do a temple stay, Koyasan is one of the most unforgettable destinations in Japan. Welcome to Koyasan Jokiin. I hope reading my stories of traveling to Mt. Tranquility and the beautiful scenery of Japan, as well as abundant spiritual culture such as harmony and zen, lie within. My friend Suguru from Tokyo had committed to travel down to Wakayama prefecture with me for the weekend—and to hiking up Mt. Koya while researching where bloggers complained about the temple stay … Temples that provide lodging to guests are known as Shukubo. Likewise, at some point during your Koyasan temple stay, you’ll want to visit Okuno-in, which you can access by bus. Guests staying at the Fukuchi-in temple lodging may also relax in hot springs. Koyasan Temple Lodging Enjoy a Japanese-style meal of Buddhist vegetarian cuisine in a temple lodging situated away from the hustle and bustle of the city. 6. The temple is beautiful, and the two nights with traditional breakfast and diner were at a very reasonable price. Doing a Temple Stay in Koyasan (Koyasan Shukubo) The opportunity to do a shukubo (temple stay) in a Mount Koya temple lodging is one of the main reasons travelers are attracted there. Put on your clothes Neon-bathed streets and Michelin-starred eats, Travel back in time to Japan's ancient capital, A world of Japanese street food starts here, Climb Japan's iconic peak, or just admire its beauty, Enjoy Japan’s seasons in the “Kyoto of the North”, Year-round adventure in Japan’s great, white north, Flowery castles, volcanic lakes and snow monsters, Discover Japan’s most underrated, unexplored island, Trek the trails of Japan’s ultimate hiking paradise, Tropical paradise a short flight from Tokyo. If you leave your room to eat dinner, the futon will be laid while you are away, so please don’t be surprised. Koyasan - an overnight temple stay in the embodiment of nature Koyasan is dreamland in the mountains of Japan and a charming escape from the busy cities. Go back to your room In accordance with Buddhist teachings, Shojin Ryori is entirely vegan, and is based on the concepts of five flavors, five cooking methods, and five colors. After choosing Koyasan accommodation, I did very little research into how to do the Koyasan trek or what to do atop Mt. *People with tattoos are generally not accepted in the baths. Nor is Koyasan Town, charming as it may be, the only part of the mountaintop worth exploring. It's like a trip to Japan every week, right in your inbox! Furthermore, you can even visit Koyasan on a day trip from Osaka, if staying in a temple isn’t right for you. One of these temples is Jofuku-in Temple which offers a comfortable experience for both solo and group travelers. In addition, it is located near the bus stop and the temples. How far off Japan's beaten path do you dare stray? Most of these lodgings are around popular pilgrimage areas like Kyoto, Mt. Both of us are avid hikers who maintain a good pace, and the ~20 km journey took up nearly 7 hours. Koyasan literally means Koya (高野) Mountain (山). Comfort levels, amenities and prices vary. Conventionally used cotton stuffing is also being replaced by wool and feather stuffing. The Japanese have traditionally spread sets of futons (mattresses and quilts) directly upon tatami mats when they sleep. Make sure to wake up early so that you can watch the morning prayers, and to leave time atop Mt. *The towel is for washing yourself. If you want to hike Koyasan, here’s what you need to do: Of course, you needn’t undertake the Koyasan hike to stay in a temple. Next post: 8 Amazing Japanese Foods That Aren’t Sushi. Although I could’ve done without the aforementioned monk scolding Suguru and myself for arriving late, every other part of our experience here was fabulous, from our vegan sashimi dinner, to the simple on-site onsen, to the mystical morning prayers. If you want to experience the typical life of a Buddhist monk, make sure to spend a night or two at one of Koyasan’s temples. 5. This makes sense, of course, when you consider that Kukai founded this place over 1,000 years ago! Still need help planning your Koyasan adventure? In many temples, guests can spend the night during Koyasan Temple Stays and try one of the yummy vegetarian dishes prepared by the monks. Information—and inspiration—for all your trips to Japan. Originally meals for monks, today this cuisine has developed into something more elaborate to be served to guests at temples. Koya is located in Wakayama prefecture, in the southern part of Japan’s Kansai region, which is also home to Osaka and Kyoto. Ryokans often run from $300-$500 a night and so we decided to visit Koyasan and stay in a temple to get that traditional inn experience, with a Japanese buddhist experience, rolled in for good measure. Depending on which train you board, the entire journey takes between 2-3 hours, though you should not that it’s not covered by the Japan Rail Pass. It is one of the holy sites afforded to Kobo Daishi Kukai by the emperor as a place for eternal meditation in 816. Pour warm water on yourself to rinse away soap Koyasan temples offer Shojin Ryori (Buddhist vegetarian meals) to overnight guests. People change their quilts and pillows when the seasons turn owing to the changes in temperature that come with the changes in seasons. Koya with me, no less. It would be our pleasure if you can worship at each temple in Koyasan, stroll around Jokiin, and feel the endless breath of Saint Kobo Daishi in Koyasan. Futons are made of strong, tightly-woven cloth and cotton stuffing. If you’re looking for a Koyasan monastery stay that’s closer to Danjo Garan than to the town of Koyasan itself, Joki-in is a worthy choice. My name is Robert and I'm happy you're here! In the daytime, when the futons are not in use, people fold the futons and store them in closets. A shukubo is an accommodation facility that is part of a Japanese temple or shrine. Around the turn of the 9th century, a Kyoto monk by the name of Kukai became fed up with the trappings and temptations of life in the capital, and quite literally headed for the hills to stake out more sacred ground. Stay at temple. External Link. Mitake in Tokyo, Zenkoji in Nagano and Koyasan in Wakayama. It took me many years after my first trip to Japan to do a Koyasan temple stay. Mount Koya is one of the top places in Japan for a temple stay, as it’s at the centre of Shingon Buddhism. Note that if you want to enjoy shukubo, Koyasan is worth the trek no matter where in Japan you’re coming from! Subscribe to email updates. Whether or not you take the very long hike up to the top, doing a Koyasan temple stay (also known as shukubo) is one of the most magical experiences you can have. *Take care not to sit in the bath for too long as it could cause fainting. A set of Japanese bedding includes a mattress called a shikibuton, a sheet, a quilt called a kakebuton, and a pillow. People also use blankets between their mattresses and quilts when it gets particularly cold. Temple lodging, or shukubo, is offered in over 50 temples around town and is quite popular among people who are doing the pilgrimage trails. Please call ahead to the Koyasan Shukubo Association between 8:30-11:00am to reserve a meal. Whether you're seeking information or inspiration, all your trips to Japan start here. Koya (Besides Shukubo), Other Things to Do in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan’s Kansai region, which is also home to Osaka and Kyoto, 8 Amazing Japanese Foods That Aren’t Sushi, The Ultimate Guide to Cherry Blossoms in Japan, Pace yourself and stay the course—there’s only one small tea house to stop about 60% along the way, Buy a bear bell, but don’t worry too much about the threat of bears, Staying in the castle city (and prefectural capital) of Wakayama, Boating into the islands just offshore, like Engetsu-jima. Around fifty temples offer this service to both pilgrims and visitors. When it is too hot and sticky in the middle of summer, they cover themselves with thin sheets that are made of the same fabric that towels are. Staying in a shukubo DAY 2 Mt Koya – Osaka Why Should You Do a Mount Koya Temple Stay? Nagara in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Miidera Temple (三井 … Read Privacy Policy or view sitemap. The Shojin Ryori served in Koyasan originates in China, and has been adapted to Japanese tastes and local ingredients by monks over the centuries. Do not let it enter the bath. They are fitted with an LCD TV and a safe. Mt. I chose the traditional Japanese room (small, with paper screen walls). Japanese people first spread out shikibutons when they get ready to sleep at night. Koya (besides staying in a temple)—and this was very much to my peril. Getting there and around Rivaling Mount Koya in high popularity with tourists from overseas are the … He also runs the popular website Leave Your Daily Hell. Temple guests can enjoy one of Koyasan’s unique foods, Buddhist Vegetarian Cuisine (Shojin Ryori). I find that both of these two choices are ideal for older couples who want to fully escape the circus Koyasan can sometimes be in the era of social media (not unlike how Kukai wanted to escape Kyoto). Where to Stay Visitors to Koyasan can experience a unique form of temple lodging called a Shukubo. Recently however, Western-style beds and bedding have become popular in Japan, and younger people now tend to use Western-style beds and bedding rather than Japanese futons. Both look wonderful with good reviews. Our stay in Koyasan was at the Shukubo Jokiin on half board (dinner and breakfast). Please enjoy your free time before dinner. Miidera Temple (Shiga) Located on Mt. Koya inspires you to write your own! 2. People use the same mattresses throughout the year. *Drinking alcohol and bathing is dangerous. Often described as the most spiritual area of Japan, Mt Koya is home to an active monastic centre founded by Kobo Daishi, and is the headquarters of the Koyasan sect of Shingon Buddism. Some major pros include that it is only a few steps away from the geographical center of Koyasan, and the staff speaks very good English. How do I get to Koyasan? This simple dish made of roasted and ground white sesame seeds boiled together with starch powdered arrowroot is one of the most popular ingredients in Shojin Ryori. Well, if you’re reading this in 2020 and you aren’t already in Japan, you won’t be able to visit Koyasan. All of Koyasan's temple lodgings can be booked through the official Shukubo Koyasan website. This makes the bedding more comfortable to sleep in and also removes mites. From the well-manicured on-site garden to the upscale feel, this is definitely one of the best places to stay in Koyasan. *You must bathe naked. Morning Ceremony; Sutra Copying; Shojin Cuisine; 15:00 to 17:30 Arrival at Jokiin. and tips while you stay in Koyasan. Kukai himself is said to be interred here, though that fact alone isn’t what makes the picturesque and atmospheric Koyasan cemetery worth visiting. On paper, the journey to reach Mount Koya – respectfully known as Koyasan in Japan – seems a bit convoluted. Temple stays at Koyasan. Saizen-in is also arguably even more luxurious than Saizen-in—and you will definitely pay for it. I absolutely loved Koyasan - such a magical place. Located in Koyasan, within 800 metres of Kongobu-ji Temple and 1.7 km of Nyonindo, Koyasan Shukubo Fudoin provides accommodation with a garden and as well as free private parking for guests who drive.... Fabulous stay in winter. The location of the temple is perfect, very close to a bus stop. Great hospitality is the backbone of the Koyasan area, with 52 temples opening their doors to travelers. 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