Kōyasan, or Mt. Kōya, is a sacred mountainous area north of Wakayama Prefecture surrounded by peaks about 1,000 meters above sea level. Having received a three-star rating in the “Michelin Green Guide Japan”, it remains an enigma to most of us. For more than 1200 years, this irreplaceable sacred settlement has enchanted people in Japan […]
Kōyasan Kongōbuji (高野山真言宗総本山金剛峯寺), opposite Danjō Garan, is the headquarters of the Shingon sect in Japan. The temple has a large precinct that houses many buildings that are lavishly and beautifully designed. Besides the gorgeous paintings on fusuma doors and Buddha statues, Kongōbuji is best known for its Banryūtei Garden. This largest rock garden in Japan
For the Japanese history buff and admirers of Sanada Yukimura (真田 幸村), Rengejōin (蓮華定院) is the destination that you will want to visit when you come to Kōyasan. The temple has a deep connection with the Sanada Clan. The family crest, which features six mon coins, was the amount that the Japanese would use to
In 816, Emperor Saga (嵯峨天皇) bestowed the land of Kōyasan to the revered monk, Kūkai (空海), also known as Kōbō Daishi (弘法大師), for the constructions of Shingon Buddhism’s (真言宗) monastery. He devoted all his energy to building the towers and halls on the high ground to express the world depicted in the Womb Realm Mandala (胎蔵曼荼羅).
The center of worship of Kōyasan has to be Okunoin (奥之院), where Kōbō Daishi (弘法大師) fell into deep meditation (passed away). It is believed that the revered monk is still providing his helping hand to those in need while meditating. As one of the Three Holiest Spots in Japan (the other two are Mt. Osore
Whether you are planning a day trip to Kōyasan or want to spend a night in the sacred mountain, Kongō Sanmai-in should be on your itinerary. The temple, which has multiple important national cultural properties and national treasures, is a spot that shouldn’t be overlooked!
Kōyasan, one of the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range (紀伊山地の霊場と参詣道) that was registered as a World Heritage Site in 2004, is a popular destination for tourists. However, if you are interested in samurai history, you will want to extend your visit to Kudoyama Town (九度山町) at the foot of the
If you are planning to visit the world heritage Kōyasan, remember to drop by the Niutsuhime Shrine (丹生都比売神社), which is on the pilgrimage route of Kōyasan chōishi-michi (高野山町石道) starting from Jison-in Temple in Kudoyama Town. The shrine has a deep connection with Kōyasan’s founding. One of the gods who is enshrined here – Kariba Myōjin