Conventionally used cotton stuffing is also being replaced by wool and feather stuffing. The room seemed a little larger than others we had peeked into. A meal should include a grilled dish, a deep-fried dish, a pickled dish, a tofu dish and a soup dish. 8. Koya while researching where bloggers complained about the temple stay … If you want to hike Koyasan, here’s what you need to do: Of course, you needn’t undertake the Koyasan hike to stay in a temple. Whether or not you take the very long hike up to the top, doing a Koyasan temple stay (also known as shukubo) is one of the most magical experiences you can have. Mitake in Tokyo, Zenkoji in Nagano and Koyasan in Wakayama. Rooms feature tatami-mat flooring, comfortable futon bedding and paper sliding screens. and tips while you stay in Koyasan. Getting there and around It is very effective to dry the bedding in the sun. Located in Koyasan, within 800 metres of Kongobu-ji Temple and 1.7 km of Nyonindo, Koyasan Shukubo Fudoin provides accommodation with a garden and as well as free private parking for guests who drive.... Fabulous stay in winter. Let’s just say that the monk who mans the check-in counter at Hongaku-in temple was not pleased when Suguru and I arrived after sunset. Staying in a shukubo It is one of the holy sites afforded to Kobo Daishi Kukai by the emperor as a place for eternal meditation in 816. A huge con, however, is that this is where the vast majority of travelers on group tours stay. Our stay in Koyasan was at the Shukubo Jokiin on half board (dinner and breakfast). We stayed at Jimyo-in temple, filled with ryokan styled rooms, tatami mats on the floor and futons (traditional styled bed) that are assembled after dinner. Although no Koyasan temple standing today physically existed all those years ago, the town of Koyasan has been continually inhabited since the time of Kukai. If you leave your room to eat dinner, the futon will be laid while you are away, so please don’t be surprised. The shikibutons serve in the same manner as mattresses do for Western-style beds. Whether or not you hike or do a temple stay, Koyasan is one of the most unforgettable destinations in Japan. 5. This means that one room can be used as a bedroom, study, living room and so on at different times. If you’re looking for a Koyasan monastery stay that’s closer to Danjo Garan than to the town of Koyasan itself, Joki-in is a worthy choice. My name is Robert and I'm happy you're here! Information—and inspiration—for all your trips to Japan. Fudo-in is in a similar location to Eko-in, but unlike that popular Koyasan accommodation stay, the simple (though recently renovated) rooms here don’t tend to attract throngs of group tourists. Stay at temple. Let's stay at Japanese temples and shrines! 1. Miidera Temple (Shiga) Located on Mt. Beautiful building, rooms and gardens, the monks who work there were lovely and it was in a great location right beside the Okunoin's Cemetery. Temple stays at Koyasan. Welcome to Koyasan Jokiin. When it comes to the many choices you have for a Koyasan temple stay, Eko-in is far and away the most popular option. Koyasan Guest House Kokuu is a guesthouse for travelers to Koyasan, hosting guests from any country in the world. Koyasan Shukubo Fudoin was a newer, shinier ryokan compared to my other temple stay. Overnight Temple Stay in Koyasan with Guided Walk. Return to the changing room As a result, a Koyasan stay is not simply an opportunity to sleep inside a real Buddhist temple, or an Instagram story that will make others gasp in awe. A Visit to the Okunoin Cemetary and an overnight Koyasan Temple Stay, are a must-do for many visitors to Japan, especially those seeking a spiritual experience and an insight into Japanese worship and culture. Saizen-in is also arguably even more luxurious than Saizen-in—and you will definitely pay for it. That’s because, as I explain in this post (and on the #JapanTravelBan homepage), Japan’s external borders are closed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We would like to show you around the temple and your room. They use thin quilts during the summer season, and thick ones during the chilly seasons. Sleeping in a Koyasan temple is fabulous, but it’s not the only game in town. Do not let it enter the bath. Where to Stay Visitors to Koyasan can experience a unique form of temple lodging called a Shukubo. All prices exclude international flights at the start/end of your trip. Temple guests can enjoy one of Koyasan’s unique foods, Buddhist Vegetarian Cuisine (Shojin Ryori). Need help planning your trip to Japan? Koya (besides staying in a temple)—and this was very much to my peril. Koyasan temples offer Shojin Ryori (Buddhist vegetarian meals) to overnight guests. *Drinking alcohol and bathing is dangerous. Futons are made of strong, tightly-woven cloth and cotton stuffing. Nor is Koyasan Town, charming as it may be, the only part of the mountaintop worth exploring. I absolutely loved Koyasan - such a magical place. Whether you're seeking information or inspiration, all your trips to Japan start here. Mount Koya is one of the top places in Japan for a temple stay, as it’s at the centre of Shingon Buddhism. Guests staying at the Fukuchi-in temple lodging may also relax in hot springs. Neon-bathed streets and Michelin-starred eats, Travel back in time to Japan's ancient capital, A world of Japanese street food starts here, Climb Japan's iconic peak, or just admire its beauty, Enjoy Japan’s seasons in the “Kyoto of the North”, Year-round adventure in Japan’s great, white north, Flowery castles, volcanic lakes and snow monsters, Discover Japan’s most underrated, unexplored island, Trek the trails of Japan’s ultimate hiking paradise, Tropical paradise a short flight from Tokyo. 2. Koya with me, no less. After that, sheets are put on the shikibutons and kakebutons are put on top of the sheets. Futons are mattresses and quilts that Japanese people traditionally use when they sleep. Doing a Temple Stay in Koyasan (Koyasan Shukubo) The opportunity to do a shukubo (temple stay) in a Mount Koya temple lodging is one of the main reasons travelers are attracted there. There are more than 50 Shukubos in Koyasan and the truth is that the experience in the Jokiin was very good. Put on your clothes Saizen-in is also arguably even more luxurious than Saizen-in—and you will definitely pay for it. Zenkoji (Nagano) PIXTA. On paper, the journey to reach Mount Koya – respectfully known as Koyasan in Japan – seems a bit convoluted. The best way to experience Mt Koyasan is to stay overnight at one of their many temples. 3. This makes sense, of course, when you consider that Kukai founded this place over 1,000 years ago! Guests are free to attend Buddhist morning services, the Goma fire ritual and meditation. Koyasan, Japan: Stay in a 1000-year-old temple. Temple lodging, or shukubo, is offered in over 50 temples around town and is quite popular among people who are doing the pilgrimage trails. Nagara in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, Miidera Temple (三井 … He’s one of Japan’s most significant religious figures and his mausoleum is close to the Henjosonin Temple. I have visited Koyasan (Mount Koya) in the past but this was my first time to stay at one of Mt Koya’s temples. Some of my other favorite options include: Additionally, Koyasan temples aren’t the only ones to discover in Wakayama, whether you marvel at the Kumano Nachi Taisha “waterfall temple” or visit underrated Kongobu-ji, which is also home to a tranquil rock garden. Like what you're reading? One of these temples is Jofuku-in Temple which offers a comfortable experience for both solo and group travelers. Koyasan literally means Koya (高野) Mountain (山). Koya doesn’t mean anything on its own—as you may find during your Mt Koya temple stay, it is the so-called “mountain name” of the Kongobu-ji temple that sits atop it. Wipe your body with a dry towel External Link. It took me many years after my first trip to Japan to do a Koyasan temple stay. The price of a stay at Fudo-in also tends to be on the more affordable end—two travelers can stay here with dinner and breakfast for under ¥20,000, total, most nights of the year. Many people suggested that we stay in a ryokan, or traditional Japanese inn, while in Japan. Visitors to Koyasan can experience a unique form of temple lodging called a Shukubo. DAY 2 Mt Koya – Osaka How far off Japan's beaten path do you dare stray? Around fifty temples offer this service to both pilgrims and visitors. There are 52 temple lodging options, along the main street. Both of us are avid hikers who maintain a good pace, and the ~20 km journey took up nearly 7 hours. It would be our pleasure if you can worship at each temple in Koyasan, stroll around Jokiin, and feel the endless breath of Saint Kobo Daishi in Koyasan. Then people get in between the sheet and the kakebuton and go to sleep. Asia - Koyasan Temple Stay - I am debating between Ichijoin or Ekoin Temples for a 2 night stay. 4. Suguru and I decided to pair our Koyasan temple stay with a hike up Koyasan, which was both easier than I expected (there are no extreme changes in elevation, nor poorly-manicured sections of trail) and much longer. When it comes to a Koyasan temple stay, there are at least a dozen temples offering a shukubo experience. Temples that provide lodging to guests are known as Shukubo. Koyasan is also one of the best places to experience an overnight stay at a temple lodging (shukubo) where you can get a taste of a monk's lifestyle, eating vegetarian monk's cuisine (shojin ryori) and attending the morning prayers. 10. It wasn’t until May 2018, in fact, that the opportunity finally came up. Depending on which train you board, the entire journey takes between 2-3 hours, though you should not that it’s not covered by the Japan Rail Pass. Koyasan temple stay Saizen-in shares many commonalities with Joki-in, although you’ll find it just north of Danjo Garan as opposed to just east of the temple complex. Koya is located in Wakayama prefecture, in the southern part of Japan’s Kansai region, which is also home to Osaka and Kyoto. 6. A 1000 year-old Buddhist temple, Shukubo Koya-san Eko-in offers Japanese-style accommodation, a beautiful garden and free WiFi. I hope reading my stories of traveling to Mt. We were lucky to have a room with our own bathroom facilities and toilet for our 2-nights stay. People use the same mattresses throughout the year. Please ask the facility. Whatever the case may be, you're in the right place. This Website is for basic tourism info. Koya (Besides Shukubo), Other Things to Do in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan’s Kansai region, which is also home to Osaka and Kyoto, 8 Amazing Japanese Foods That Aren’t Sushi, The Ultimate Guide to Cherry Blossoms in Japan, Pace yourself and stay the course—there’s only one small tea house to stop about 60% along the way, Buy a bear bell, but don’t worry too much about the threat of bears, Staying in the castle city (and prefectural capital) of Wakayama, Boating into the islands just offshore, like Engetsu-jima. Tranquility and the beautiful scenery of Japan, as well as abundant spiritual culture such as harmony and zen, lie within. In addition, it is located near the bus stop and the temples. Let us book flights for you. *Lightly dry yourself with the towel before leaving the bathing room, to avoid water dripping in the changing room. The only place to sit was in the (cold) veranda area, otherwise it was on floor cushions at a low table. The origin story of Koyasan goes something like this. Subscribe to email updates. *After bathing, relax and ensure you are hydrated. We stayed in Eko-in Temple in Koyasan and it was fantastic. It's like a trip to Japan every week, right in your inbox! The nights were freezing outside, but their are very good litle heaters in the sleeping rooms and dining rooms (also traditional). This simple dish made of roasted and ground white sesame seeds boiled together with starch powdered arrowroot is one of the most popular ingredients in Shojin Ryori. All of Koyasan's temple lodgings can be booked through the official Shukubo Koyasan website. Mt. The temples all vary, offering many unique experiences which help you get the most out of your trip. Due to destruction by fires and the combining of small temples into larger ones, there are now 117 temples, of which 52 provide lodging. Originally meals for monks, today this cuisine has developed into something more elaborate to be served to guests at temples. Commission a custom Japan itinerary! 2 days / 1 night Koyasan Prices from: £498 per person - Simple accommodation; View all accommodation options. Relax in the bath *Take care not to sit in the bath for too long as it could cause fainting. On the other hand, prices are on the high side, with nightly rates of ¥30,000 (or more) far from uncommon. *You must bathe naked. What to Do Atop Mt. Facebook; Twitter; Whats App; Reddit; Email; BROOK SABIN . Robert Schrader is the author of 183 posts on Japan Starts Here. In the daytime, when the futons are not in use, people fold the futons and store them in closets. How do I get to Koyasan? A shukubo is an accommodation facility that is part of a Japanese temple or shrine. Make sure to wake up early so that you can watch the morning prayers, and to leave time atop Mt. In Buddhism, the taking of any sentient life is wrong, so only vegetarian meals are eaten. The good news, if you’re already in Japan, is that most Koyasan shukubo are open, albeit with certain infection control protocols in place. People also use blankets between their mattresses and quilts when it gets particularly cold. Koyasan - an overnight temple stay in the embodiment of nature Koyasan is dreamland in the mountains of Japan and a charming escape from the busy cities. People only put the futons out when they sleep at night. Which brings me to the best Shukubo Koyasan has to offer, at least for individual travelers seeking an authentic, tranquil experience: Hongaku-in. This makes the bedding more comfortable to sleep in and also removes mites. If you want to experience the typical life of a Buddhist monk, make sure to spend a night or two at one of Koyasan’s temples. Please enjoy your staying in Koyasan. Need help arranging your Koyasan temple stay? He also runs the popular website Leave Your Daily Hell. In 1832, there were 1,812 temples in Koyasan. People change their quilts and pillows when the seasons turn owing to the changes in temperature that come with the changes in seasons. When it is too hot and sticky in the middle of summer, they cover themselves with thin sheets that are made of the same fabric that towels are. While both offered the same broad features, this temple was aimed more at upscale visitors. They are fitted with an LCD TV and a safe. Shukubo, or temple stays, began centuries ago when pilgrims were taken in by temples for a night or two. Assuming you hike, you’ll have to walk through the incredible Danjo Garan temple complex en route to whichever temple you’re staying at from Daimon. From the well-manicured on-site garden to the upscale feel, this is definitely one of the best places to stay in Koyasan. Go back to your room Has anyone been to either and any feedback. *People with tattoos are generally not accepted in the baths. Around the turn of the 9th century, a Kyoto monk by the name of Kukai became fed up with the trappings and temptations of life in the capital, and quite literally headed for the hills to stake out more sacred ground. The Japanese have traditionally spread sets of futons (mattresses and quilts) directly upon tatami mats when they sleep. Recently however, Western-style beds and bedding have become popular in Japan, and younger people now tend to use Western-style beds and bedding rather than Japanese futons. In accordance with Buddhist teachings, Shojin Ryori is entirely vegan, and is based on the concepts of five flavors, five cooking methods, and five colors.