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Mount Koya

Listed under Temples in Kinki, Japan.

  • Photo of Mount Koya
  • Photo of Mount Koya
Photo of Mount Koya
Photo by flickr user fabichan
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Mount Koya or Koyasan is the home of Shingon Buddhism. More than a hundred temples stand in, on and around the small town at the top of this wooded, eight peaked mountain.

As well as the many temples Mount Koya also has one of the largest graveyards in Japan, set in an atmospheric forests of giant ceder trees with both ancient and modern headstones. An impressive mausoleum covered in carvings and lit by thousands of lanterns is in the middle of the graveyard.

The main temples to visit are the striking red Konpon Daito pagoda and the Kongobu Temple, Shingon headquarters.

Some of Mount Koya’s temples offer overnight accommodation called shukubo for visitors who are also able to be included in temple functions and to eat and pray with the monks. Many of these temples are hundreds of years old and retain their traditional decorations and interiors, expect tatami mat floors and fusuma (sliding paper doors) and communal bathrooms with period features. Morning prayers start at around 6am and last for between 30 and 45 minutes, involving rhythmic chanting in the temple‘s rooms of worship.

A road winds up the side of Mount Koya but there is also a cable car which is more scenic.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

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