Visiting Koyasan (Mount Koya)

13 Feb, 2012

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After our short trip around Kobe, we had to get up early to go to Koyasan (Mt. Koya/高野山).  It’s about a 2,5hour train ride all the way down south.

The last 30 minutes of our trip, this train took winded through the mountains with an amazing view. Once we arrived at the end station, we were already high up the mountain. Weirdly enough there was not a lot to see, are we there yet?

Noooope, we had to go up the mountain some more. The higher up the mountain the better the view right!? So we had to take this really old cable car up the mountain, but unfortunately we still had to take a bus to reach our destination.

But once there, it’s really peaceful, quiet and beautiful. Like this traditional Japanese garden with a pattern made with the pebbles. No Melbourne shuffling allowed on that ;)

Koyasan was originally a monastery, but is now grown into a town and featuring a university for religious studies. These must be some of the students marching by.

Super tall and old trees reaching for the sky and tombs, this must be Okunoin Temple. And boy is it big!

(left) Some tombs are really big, must have some important people buried there. (right) just check out how big the trees are.

Of course all of this needs to be well maintained, but driving your kei-car down the stairs? Now that’s a first for us.

Somehow it also had tombs of big corporations, not really sure why that was… anybody got an idea?

The momiji (autumn leaves) were already coming through a bit here and there. It’s always so nice to see it, it surely makes things even more pretty. At the end of the path there is a big temple, but you are not allowed to take any pictures. So you will just have to discover that yourself.

Here is one from Nissan…

But after all that walking it’s time for foooood! Tempura soba.

and Oyako katsu don. Yum Yum. So now that we are filled up and ready to go let’s move to Kongobuji Temple!

The touristic area of Koyasan is not that big, so we walked from the Okunoin Temple to the Kongobuji Temple. As the sun was starting to set we arrived.

Walking up the stairs and through the gate to the inner court. There was this small temple there, which see you quite often at other temples too. But I have no idea what they are for. Do you know?

Once inside the temple there were a lot of nicely made murals, but of which we were again not allowed to take pictures -__-.

But of this we could take a picture. This must have a been a very big and old tree. It’s possible to count the years, but it’ll take a a year to count all of these.

Inside the temple they have a very nice traditional Japanese garden. With the sun setting this was a nice end to our visit. After this it was time to go back by bus, cable car and train to Kobe.

All in all it’s a nice place to visit, but it’s quite far from Kobe or Osaka. Is it worth the visit… I guess only if you have a spare day on your trip. Next up Miyajima, Hiroshima.

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2 Comments to “Visiting Koyasan (Mount Koya)”

  1. chiba_kun
    20 March, 2012

    Thank you for this post Remi!

  2. 3 October, 2013

    You have very beautiful photos of Koyasan! I also take this trip last month. Love the atmosphere here :)

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