Series - Japan's World Heritage Site: Mt. Koya
Mt. Koya is a major sanctuary of Japanese Buddhism, founded by Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi Kukai 1,200 years ago (the beginning of Heian Era). Since then, the place has been worshipped and respected by the people, and in July 2004, it was registered as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the name "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range" and attracts many travelers.
The entire Mt. Koya is the precincts of Kongobuji Temple
Mt. Koya is also called "Issan Temple Grounds,” and the entire Mt. Koya is the grounds of "Grand Head Temple Kongobuji." Temple affairs that are concerned the entirety of Mt. Koya are conducted by this Kongobuji Temple.
There are many places of interest at Kongobuji, such as the main gate, the oldest architecture within the temple, “Banryutei Rock Garden” which is one of the Japan's largest rock gardens, and sliding doors painted by Kano School.
The two most revered sanctuaries at Mt. Koya are "Danjo Garan" and "Okunoin." At Danjo Garan, you will find the "Kondo," Mt. Koya's central hall (see above picture), "Konpon Daito," Japan's first two-storied pagoda (see picture below), and 19 more amazing architectures.
●Koyasan Shingon Sect Grand Head Temple Kongobuji
●0736-56-2011 (main number) ●132, Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama
●8:30-17:00（last admission 16:30 through the year）
●Admission: Kongobuji 500 yen, Konpon Daito 200 yen, Kondo 200 yen, other facilities also have admission rates, some not
Stay at the Shukubo and experience the sacred atmosphere of Mt. Koya
There are a total of 117 temples on Mt. Koya, and 52 of them offer shukubo (temple lodging). Each shukubo has a unique kind of Shojin Ryori (vegetarian monk’s cuisine), guest room, bathroom, and garden. Some offer Otsutome (early morning Buddhist service), Ajikan (a form of meditation), and hand copying of sutras for the visitors to experience. How about feeling completely peaceful by staying overnight at a temple? Choosing which shukubo to stay should be fun, too. The pictures are Shojin Ryori and Otsutome.
●Koyasan Shukubo Association
●0736-56-2616 ●600, Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama
*Koyasan Shukubo Association takes reservations for temple lodgings and Shojin Ryori lunch
Sanada-an—remains of the residence where famous father-and-son civil war commanders, Sanada Masayuki and Yukimura once stayed
Kudoyama Town is the gateway to Mt. Koya. It is also known as the place where famous father-and-son civil war commanders who are popular in a recent Japanese TV drama, Sanada Masayuki and Yukimura were placed in confinement after the Battle of Sekigahara. Zenmyoshoin Temple, also known as “Sanada-an,” was built where their house once stood. Within the premises, you will find the main hall (first photo), mausoleum, Masayuki’s grave, Sanada Treasure Museum, and also “well of sealed thunder,” (second photo) a well which, legend has it, that thunder was sealed into the well and thus the villagers were saved. The Sanada-an gives visitors a feel of a bit of history of the Sanadas.
●Sanada-an (Zenmyoshoin Temple)
●0736-54-2019 (Kudoyama Town Industry Promotion Section) ●1413, Kudoyama, Kudoyama-cho, Ito-gun, Wakayama
●The temple can be visited any time. Sanada Treasure Museum: 9:00-16:00, closed year-end and New Year’s holiday
●Admission for Sanada Treasure Museum: 200 yen (a tour by the chief priest: 300 yen, reservations required)
＊ The above information was last updated December 5, 2016. For further information, please contact the facilities directly.
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