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Tentoku-in Shukubo, Mount Koya, Japan

Known as 'Shukubo', the accommodation here was originally designed for the Buddhist monks and worshippers who visited the temple for training or worship. However, it is now open to members of the public and tourists. The food served here is Shojin, which is vegetarian food in accordance with the Buddhist practices.

Few foreign visitors make it here and guests who do make the effort will be well rewarded with a memorable experience. The rooms are quite small and basic, but quaintly Japanese in style with tatami flooring and sliding rice paper doors. Your futon bed is made up in the evening and some guestrooms have views over the Japanese garden - accredited to master garden designer Kobori Enshu - at the centre of the temple. There is a small 'onsen' in the complex, for bathing before dinner (wear the 'yukata' dressing gown and the short over-jacket provided in the room to walk through the complex) and the toilets are communal.

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    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.