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High in the forested mountains of the Kii Peninsula, south of Osaka, lies the monastic complex of Mount Koya, the secluded home of the esoteric Shingon Buddhist sect.

Lodging in temples

Rock Garden, Kongobuji TempleRecently designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the village contains more than a hundred different temples, many of which offer lodging for pilgrims and visitors allowing you to join the monks in their daily routines, share their delicious vegetarian cuisine, and experience a very different aspect of Japanese society. Take a stroll at dusk along the winding, lantern-lit paths through the Okunoin cemetery for a uniquely atmospheric experience. Other temples across Japan offer similar opportunities to stay and join in the monastic life notably at the beautiful mountainous Dewa Sanzen and Yamadera in northern Honshu.

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Start planning your tailor-made trip to Mount Koya by contacting one of our Japan specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Mount Koya

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Mount Koya, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Mount Koya

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Mount Koya

    Our expert guides to exploring Mount Koya

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Mount Koya, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Mount Koya at its best.

    • What to do in Japan: our highlights guide
      Geisha of Japan

      What to do in Japan: our highlights guide

      What to do in Japan: our highlights guide

      Having lived and traveled across the country, our Japan Specialist Caitlin has compiled her highlights, from observing centuries-old rituals to the learning about the most modern technology.

      8 min read

      Read this guide

    Accommodation choices for Mount Koya

    We've selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Mount Koya. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.