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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 Okuno-in 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.

Audley Travel specialist Rebecca
Speak to someone who's been there

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Japan specialists on 01993 838 210

Speak to someone who's been there
Audley Travel specialist Rory

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Japan specialists on 01993 838 210

Suggested Mount Koya itinerary

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Mount Koya, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

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.