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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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Audley Travel specialist Jo

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

    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.

    • Tentoku-in Shukubo, Buildings and Gardens

      Tentoku-in Shukubo


      Tentoku-in was originally designed for the Buddhist monks and worshippers who visited the temple for training or worship. Few foreign visitors make it here, but those that do are well rewarded with a memorable experience.

    • Souji-in Shukubo, Mount Koya, Mount Koya

      Souji-in Shukubo

      First Class

      Souji-in boasts such modern conveniences as an elevator and air conditioning, and all rooms have a western-style toilet (some rooms also have a private bathroom), a rare commodity among the other shukubo on Mount Koya.